Metal Corrugation by Trish McAleer: Surface Embellishment and Element Formation for the Metalsmith
A MUST for personal expression in metalsmithing and jewelry. Heavily illustrated, 148 pgs, 4-color, 8.5 x 11" with techniques CERTAIN to generate enormous creative inspiration. Covers tools to achieve many textures specific to the process. Gallery, Projects, element construction & cold connections. One will find difficulty exhausting the adventuresome exploration & excitement available with corrugation.
Here's a review of the book from metalsmith/jeweler guru Tim McCreight:
"It doesn't take long to realize that crimping metal is work born in equal parts of enthusiasm, exploration, and diligence. One of the pieces made by the author bears the date 1992 and it seems like a safe bet that work on this book goes back that far. Trish McAleer has assembled a sophisticated reference that combines instruction with examples, shot through with encouragement and zeal.
Corrugation, as we learn in the introduction, is not new. Mollusks, plants, engineers, and package designers have long used rhythmic parallel pleats to gain increased strength with less material. Ancient and universal visual references are made to wind-combed sand dunes, plowed fields, and natural rivulets. This book focuses on micro-corrugation on metal, mostly thin sheets. While tools have been developed just for this purpose, more common tools are crimpers used to extract the last squeeze from a tube or a category of tools used in paper craft. When applied to sheet metal the result is a wavy panel with parallel crests and troughs. This makes an appealing pattern and can be used as is. By pinching one edge together, one can make a miniature fan; a trick I used to do in church on hot Sunday mornings. Most people would stop there, but fortunately for us, Ms. McAleer didn't stop.
After introducing the history, geometry, and basic tools of micro-crimping, the author systematically applies the technique to a wide range of traditional and recent jewelry making processes. I think for the last decade McAleer started each day by saying, "Yeah, but what if . . . ". What if you want to set a stone on a crimped panel? What if you combine micro-crimping with foldfoming? What about die forming, repousse', and casting? All these are covered with technical information, process shots, and photos of finished work. If the venerable field of metalsmithing can be considered as a mansion, the author gives the impression of dashing from one room to the next to see how the process fits in each. Predictably, the fit is better in some areas than in others; great in foldforming, less exciting in fusing in my opinion, but that's not really the point. Readers will be carried along on the tour and stand a good chance of thinking up their own experiments before they get to the end.
At 120 pages, the book is packed full and felt longer. In addition to chapters on many merged techniques, the book includes a gallery section and a useful appendix with practical templates. If there is a quibble to be made it would be the inclusion of artist statements in the gallery section. To my mind the book's technical thrust is a bit blunted by the arrival of these other voices. But far more important is the wealth of information and clarity with which it is presented. Crisp, helpful color photos leap off almost every page, buoyed by a design that is careful and transparent.
The publishing world at large, like fast food and movies, is falling into a formulaic approach that cranks out tidy products that lack personality and energy. Crimping metal is delightfully moving against this current. It is a welcome, eye-opening addition to any jeweler's library".
Tim McCreight is a teacher, metalsmith, and is the author of 11 books on metalworking.