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Author Topic: Resources? Books?  (Read 994 times)
Xuiryus
Deck Hand
*
Scotland Scotland



« on: December 22, 2011, 03:20:11 pm »

Hi everyone, very new to creating steampunk items. Just wanted to ask if anyone knew of some good resources and/or books that I could buy that would help to teach methods and techniques for metal work for use in jewellery and gadgets and such (and other more adventurous projects in the future.) I'm also looking for good resources on where to buy leather and how to work with it for use in projects, at the moment book coverings and such.

I have these books saved on amazon.co.uk ready to buy after Christmas, if anyone has any experience with these books and can tell me if they are worth buying or not, that would be great!

Steampunkery: Polymer Clay and Mixed Media Projects
Steampunk Style Jewelry: A Maker's Collection of Victorian, Fantasy, and Mechanical Designs
Metalwork Jewellery - 35 stunning metalwork designs for necklaces, rings, bangles, earrings and more inspired by steampunk
Steampunk Emporium: Creating Fantastical Jewelry, Devices and Oddments from Assorted Cogs, Gears and Curios

I realise these books are all specifically about Steampunk, please note I am not limited to buying just these I would more than welcome general guidebooks on craft if they would help me achieve a better level of skill. Alternatively if anyone knows of a better place to buy these books I would be more than open to suggestions, however within the UK would be preferable.

Thank you!
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Lady Chrystal
Master Tinkerer
***
Wales Wales


Lady Adventurer, Chronicler


« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2011, 03:22:11 pm »

Steampunk Emporium  is an excellent How-to guide. Definitely worth your money.

Chrystal
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"The Chrystal? Ah, now - that would be telling."
.
Narsil
Immortal
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2011, 07:04:46 pm »


These two books are pretty much the definitive texts for jewelery and decorative metalwork :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jewelry-Concepts-Technology-Oppi-Untracht/dp/0709196164/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324576895&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Metal-Techniques-Craftsmen-Oppi-Untracht/dp/0709107234/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324576895&sr=8-2

Not cheap by any means but they are proper professional reference books.
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A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.
Lord Byron
Xuiryus
Deck Hand
*
Scotland Scotland



« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2011, 09:22:45 pm »


These two books are pretty much the definitive texts for jewelery and decorative metalwork :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jewelry-Concepts-Technology-Oppi-Untracht/dp/0709196164/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324576895&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Metal-Techniques-Craftsmen-Oppi-Untracht/dp/0709107234/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324576895&sr=8-2

Not cheap by any means but they are proper professional reference books.


For someone just starting out would I be better buying the several books mentioned or just buying one of the more professional books? I don't want to buy all of them at the one time, I think it may be a bit overkill.
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Narsil
Immortal
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2011, 10:17:44 pm »

To a degree it depends where you want to go with it.

The books I mentioned will last you a lifetime but are very much reference book rather than beginners guides, so it really depends whether you want a large amount of information which may take a while to fully digest or more of a walkthrough guide.

Certainly both have their place but looking at the ones you link to I do wonder a bit about how much actual hard information they contain that you couldn't find on here.
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Lady Chrystal
Master Tinkerer
***
Wales Wales


Lady Adventurer, Chronicler


« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2011, 10:21:36 pm »

I'd recommend Steampunk Emporium for anyone who isn't highly experienced in the various methods.

It's got lots of illustration and steps you through processes quite gently.

I can't speak for the professional books you suggest - I suspect they'd be beyond my skills.

Horses for courses. What sort of level do you need, Xuiryus?
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Xuiryus
Deck Hand
*
Scotland Scotland



« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2011, 11:17:37 pm »

At the moment I'd consider myself untrained and strictly beginner. I suspect the more walk-through type books with methods and such would be better for me at my current level rather than large expensive reference books.
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Mr. Boltneck
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 09:39:51 pm »

You might want to look at Tim McCreight's books on metalsmithing and jewelry. He's written one of the more useful benchtop references I know of, The Complete Metalsmith: An Illustrated Handbook. I have both this and the Untracht books, and they all have value, but the McCreight book probably has the most immediate bang for the buck, so to speak. His book on boxes and lockets is a good text for technical methods and design ideas, too.

As a general note, I find that books aimed at a narrow crafts market (steampunk, for instance) tend to be a bit limiting for my taste. They are often well-photographed, and reasonably informative, but because the methods are provided in a narrow context, it can make it harder to generalize into more personal work. That's why texts like the ones Narsil and I are suggesting really help. Rather than showing you how to, say, attach a watch movement to a pin back, a good manual can tell you ten different ways to form a cold connection, and how to fabricate or source the necessary bits, and make you think of three variations all on your own. At that point, you can make much better decisions about what you want to attach to which, and how, and really go crazy.
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Narsil
Immortal
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2011, 10:57:02 pm »

You might want to look at Tim McCreight's books on metalsmithing and jewelry. He's written one of the more useful benchtop references I know of, The Complete Metalsmith: An Illustrated Handbook. I have both this and the Untracht books, and they all have value, but the McCreight book probably has the most immediate bang for the buck, so to speak. His book on boxes and lockets is a good text for technical methods and design ideas, too.

As a general note, I find that books aimed at a narrow crafts market (steampunk, for instance) tend to be a bit limiting for my taste. They are often well-photographed, and reasonably informative, but because the methods are provided in a narrow context, it can make it harder to generalize into more personal work. That's why texts like the ones Narsil and I are suggesting really help. Rather than showing you how to, say, attach a watch movement to a pin back, a good manual can tell you ten different ways to form a cold connection, and how to fabricate or source the necessary bits, and make you think of three variations all on your own. At that point, you can make much better decisions about what you want to attach to which, and how, and really go crazy.

Yeah I think that is the main difference...the very specific books wil ltell you exactly how to make one particular thing whereas the more general ones will give you the information to make things of your own.

I'd always rather have a go at making something from first principals which I can truly call my own work than reproduce something which is virtually guaranteed to turn out exactly the same as the picture.

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Lady Chrystal
Master Tinkerer
***
Wales Wales


Lady Adventurer, Chronicler


« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2011, 08:39:52 am »

I'm afraid I would have to disagree that the non-professional books necessarily produce results which are unoriginal.

The techniques can easily be applied to original pieces. As an example, this earring is my work, using very basic techniques and tools. For scale, it's just under an inch at its widest point. It certainly isn't anywhere as impressive as, say, Narsil's work - but this is an example of what can be done by the hobbyist maker working without access to expensive tools.

It really does come down to what you want to do. If you're planning on pursuing this to a high level, you had better be prepared to pay for appropriate reference material and equipment. But even the most basic skills are a platform for individual creativity.
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