I have to admit I am a book addict and I do own a lot of metal clay books, so I was very excited when I heard that Gordon Uyehara had written a new book called Metal Clay Fusion. Gordon is undoubtedly one of the icons in the metal clay world with his own very unique, recognisable style and a wealth of knowledge learnt through hands on experience and experimentation with metal clay.
This hardback book has 144 pages and can be roughly divided into two parts. The first 60 pages cover techniques, designing and firing information and advice, and I particularly like Gordon's Artiquette Artist Declarations and Competition Tips. This is followed by 22 step by step projects which include a range of items such as jewellery, a spoon, a bell and an incense burner. Using varying combinations of base metal and silver clays there is something for everyone.
Throughout the book Gordon's explanations are clear and easy to follow with not just how to do things but also why he does them that way. The techniques are covered in depth with each skill well illustrated. The book is written in a chatty informal way as if Gordon is there talking to you which makes it an easy and engaging read, and gives an insight into the artists mind.
My main metal clay of choice is silver and whilst a lot of the information in this book covers base metal clays I found lots of useful tips, tricks and ideas, which I shall be adding to my way of working, even in the non silver projects.
Gordon states that the book is aimed at intermediate to advanced users so some areas do assume a certain level of knowledge but there is a wealth of information to benefit beginners and give them something to aspire to. The book is well illustrated with lots of photos and line drawings, including a plethora of lovely gallery pieces by a whole host of other excellent metal artists scattered throughout to inspire and delight. In fact nearly every page is graced with one or more full colour photos.
As metal clay books go this should be at or near the top of your list. This book is the first in a new series of Metal Clay Master Classes by the publishers Lark Crafts and in my opinion it certainly lives up to its billing :)