Book Information:

Title: The Jeweller’s Directory of Decorative Finishes

Author: Jinks McGrath
Publisher: A & C Black Limited

Date of Publication: 2005 – Reprinted 2006 & 2008

ISBN-10: 0713670932
ISBN-13: 978-0713670936
Number of pages: 128

Review Information:

Reviewer: Annie Nowak
Date of Review: January 2011




With this book you get exactly what it says. Apart from a brief introduction, glossary and a comprehensive nod towards Health and Safety this book is dedicated to its subject.  It is set out in a simple and informative way that makes it easy for the reader to find the subject they are interested in. The clear photographs and instructions will help you to achieve a wide range of finishing effects.




This book will appeal to a wide range of people – from students looking for an invaluable ‘one stop’ bench reference; to jewellers looking to enhance the uniqueness of their work by introducing new styles of finishing for their pieces.



The book covers 15 different finishing techniques:
• Stamps and Hammering
• Rolling Mill Texturing
• Fusing
• Polished, Matt and Satin Finishes
• Etching
• Patination and Oxidization
• Casting
• Press Forming
• Reticulation
• Gold and Silver Foil
• Granulation
• Enamelling
• Engraving
• Inlay
• Chasing and Repoussé






Each section is laid out in the same easy to follow format. Starting with background information on the technique, you will also find a list of essential tools and useful tips.  This is followed by sample pieces shown in Silver and frequently accompanied by Copper and Brass versions as well. The end of each section ‘Showcases’ the finish with pictures of work by various artists, all of which are cross referenced to the sample pieces earlier in the chapter.
There are a number of books on the market that cover the subject of finishes; this particular one has the advantage of giving you enough information to try 15 different styles for the price of one publication.


This is an incredibly visual book. The numerous illustrations are coupled with concise explanations that are clear and easy to follow. The showcase pictures are beautifully presented and inspire you to go back and check out the samples again.


The author of several books on jewellery techniques and an established lecturer, Jinks McGrath’s style is engaging, unpatronising and to the point.  The book is presented in such a way that you can go to whichever finish appeals to you, read through the chapter and then dive right in without the need to read the whole book. This is a book that makes you want to experiment; it also makes you believe that things are achievable with a bit of practise.
One other thing I took from this publication is the importance of keeping sample pieces with an explanation of the process followed, the visual records are much more inspiring and informative than mere words alone.
The book is priced at £15.99 but can currently be purchased from Amazon for £8.37.


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