Many fine books have recently been published for the serious student of metalsmithing. Tim McCreight’s new book is a tasty smorgasbord of diverse and varied metalsmithing skills.

At first glance, the book is clearly an important new achievement in metalsmithing literature. At second, it is obvious that a lot of knowledge, thought and Planning went into making it not only a wealth of valuable information, but also a practical and fun-to-read benchside companion.

The Complele Metalsmlth, an lllustrated Handbook
By Tim McCreight
Davis Publications, Worcester, MA, 1982
150 Pages, handwritten with line illustrations
$9.95 paperback (spiralbound)

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Tim McCreight not only displays his technical mastery of metalsmithing, but also his superb illustrations which are bold, clear and easy to comprehend. In addition, the author is a gifted and articulate teacher, presenting sometimes complex theoretical and technical information in language that is both lucid and comfortable.

Each of the chapters addresses a basic metalsmithing concept: Materials, Shaping, Connecting, Casting, Stones, etc. Each begins with basic descriptions and rules, followed by theory and basic techniques, and then more sophisticated skills. The chapter on Connecting, for example, first describes the theory of soldering, seven essential rules, and then a list of likely problems. Next is a thoughtfully distilled metallurgical explanation of soldering. The chapter goes on to present sections on safety, fluxes, flames, soldering variations, pickles, as well as a demystifying discussion of fusion, diffusion and eutectic bonding. Also included are sections on rivets, tabs, adhesives and more, all of which are augmented by drawings, charts and suggestions for further reading.

The informal yet informational manner of the book is flavored with thought-provoking proverbs, useful when challenged by the task of mastering the medium. My favorite, from Aristotle, appears on Page 19: “Well begun is hall done.” After reading and understanding the contents of this fine book, it would be difficult to begin otherwise.

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