Book Review - Metal Artist's Workbench

November 22, 2011

It's been quite a few years now since I took one of Thomas Mann's first Sandwich Brooch workshops in Portland.  We all got more than we'd signed up for with not only a very cool class project using our own images and found objects, but excellent business advice and someone who cared that we learn how to use tools the right way so we could continue to create for many years.

A pet peeve of mine are workshops that do not cover safety.  It's not just the chemicals and powders we're dealing with, but how to hold and use our tools and sit properly to avoid injury.

I've always loved Thomas' work and hoped that he'd put out a book to share some of his extensive knowledge in the jewelry business.  His latest book is hopefully the start of a series, as the sub title of Demystifying the Jeweler's Saw may hint.

Proper posture, holding of the saw and the description of how your whole body works with the saw are up first before any projects are covered.  But one of my favorite things about the book are the gallery shots throughout of different metalsmiths' bench pins:  the patina and gauges they gain and what their saw and bench pin mean to the artists featured.  I'd buy the book just for them!  However, it's more than that for sure.  He shows how your saw can be used on just about any material from metal to plastic to wood and has simple projects to delay any procrastination in trying them.

If you love to saw or want to love to saw I recommend this book for your library.