After pre-ordering this a few months ago, I was ecstatic to finally receive my copy of Kate McKinnon's new book, Structural Metal Clay, in the mail last week. I took one of Kate's amazing classes a few years ago, and have been making my own fine silver clasps for my lampwork jewelry ever since.
Kate won the prestigious Rio Grande Saul Bell Design Award in metal clay in 2005, and is a prolific artist and writer in the bead industry. She has recently challenged the PMC industry to promote the safe use of this material, and to educate users about the health hazards associated with using burn-out materials such as styrofoam or other plastics in their classes. This courageous mission was supported by her own scientific research, and driven by a concern for the reproductive health of a largely young female body of PMC users.
Reading this book was just like taking one of Kate's PMC classes, with tons of tried-and-true, essential information on each page. Whether you're interested in making pendants, rings, clasps, or chain, this book will teach you how to build PMC components that are strong and stylish, while avoiding toxic chemicals and fumes.
She covers everything in this handily spiral-bound 132 page book from supplies and tools, to construction and firing, to work hardening, and to applying various patinas. In addition to the tips that will help you make better PMC creations, the photos of Kate's work in this book are amazing. Her rings are fanciful and fun, and I can't wait to adapt some of her techniques to some unique designs using my lampwork beads.
You can visit Kate's website here. I highly recommend her frequently updated, well-written blog - I visit on a near daily basis.