Simple Soldered Jewelry & Accessories: A Crafter’s Guide to Fashioning Necklaces, Earrings, Bracelets & More is published by Lark Crafts and written by Lisa Bluhm. It retails for $17.95 in the US and includes 40 projects that use a soldering technique similar to that used in stained glass. According to the data sheet that came with my review copy, this is a paperback edition of a previously published book that has been republished in this new form to accommodate a lower price point.
Often people new to soldering are afraid of using a soldering torch because they don’t want to deal with an open flame. With the technique used in this book, you use a soldering iron instead of a torch. While it is still very hot, you do not have to deal with a flame, so it might be a good alternative for those who want to work with metal but do not want to use a traditional torch. One big difference between the solder used in this technique versus that used in most glass work like stained glass windows is that the solder it lead free. In fact, it has to be since some of the projects are wearable pieces. This is explained in the beginning section of the book that covers the tools and supplies needed.
After a discussion of the tools required, many of which are not overly costly, the technique section covers the basics needed for making the projects in the book. This includes cutting the glass and working with the metal foils. Full color photographs are included here along with step by step instructions. Then there are a few pages of instructions and illustrations that cover the wire work you will need to be able to master like making loops and wire curls. These are used to connect many of the jewelry pieces.
Most of the projects are jewelry, everything from earrings to bracelets, though mainly pendants. However, there is a chapter called “Beyond Jewelry” that includes other types of crafts to make like bookmarks, frames, and candle holders.
While I think most of us are familiar with the idea of taking two glass slides, putting something in between them like decorative paper, and then soldering them on the sides to form a pendant, and you will find this common technique in here, there are a lot of other ideas for creating jewelry and other items using this soldering iron technique. I have played around with doing this myself, and I like the fact that you did not have to invest a ton of money into equipment. The biggest challenge I found was not to have the solder getting gloppy on me and end up with messy looking pieces. Like any new-to-you technique, this will take some practice, but Simple Soldered Jewelry & Accessories: A Crafter’s Guide to Fashioning Necklaces, Earrings, Bracelets & More is a good place to start.