Book Review: 30-Minute Rings

When I received a copy of 30-Minute Rings to review, I was skeptical. Thirty minutes isn’t a lot of time. Do the projects in the book live up to the 30-minute name? The answer is – it depends.

I think it is important to understand what this book is and what it is not. I think this book is a springboard to trying new techniques, working with different materials, and expanding your creativity and skills. This book is not a technical reference that will teach you sawing, soldering, filing, or other metal or wire working skills.

Each project clearly identifies what skills and equipment are needed. The projects range from simple ones like the ring shown above that require only pliers, cutters, and a file to those requiring much more equipment. Some projects specify equipment that every metal worker may not have such as disc cutters and rolling mills. In some cases, this equipment is needed to get the project to fit within the 30-minute time frame. The pieces that require disc cutters, for example, can still be made if you cut the circles out by hand. It will just take you longer.

There are basic instructions only. There is one photograph of the finished product. There are no detailed photos showing how to make the rings. If you need step by step visuals, this book may be frustrating to you. In fact, with all books that have projects I’d like to do, I’ve learned to check the level of detail prior to purchasing it. I have had the experience of purchasing a book because I was mesmerized by the pictures and did not realize until I went to try a project, that the level of detail was not sufficient for my skills at the time.

To complete each ring in 30 minutes, you need to be ready, pickle on and hot, tools ready to go, liver of sulphur steaming. I do think this book is a fun way to explore techniques you might not have tried. And I love some of the innovative materials used like rubber bands, tin, and even yarn. It’s also nice that each artist gives suggestions as to how you might alter the design to come up with your own version.

As much jewelry as I have made, I’ve never made a ring. So, I had to give it a try. I selected a project, got everything I needed laid out, set the microwave timer and was off. The result? I finished it well within the 30 minute time frame.
Back to my original question – Do the projects in the book live up to the 30-minute name? It really depends. It depends on your skill level, on the tools and equipment you have access to, and on your ability to read and interpret general instructions without detailed photographs. It also depends on the project. There is a chain maille ring in the book. There is no way, no how that I could make it with the instructions provided. I don’t have much experience with chain maille. I need the step by step instructions with the different color jump rings showing you exactly what is added at each step. Other projects, I can look at the picture, read the instructions and be just fine.

And here’s my version of the wire wrapped ring.

Top two photographs courtesy Lark Books.

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One Response to Book Review: 30-Minute Rings

  1. So glad you reviewed this book! I’m going to have to go look for it at the book store.

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