Susan Lenart-Kazmer's book is in at both stores and, really, it's better than you thought it would be. It's a fancy coffee-table art book that also happens to be a great how-to book. Check out the thousands of images of Susan's work plus shots of work by Bob Ebendorf (from ECU) and other tremendous artists. If you are interested in incorporating anything out of the ordinary into your jewelry, the Blade Runner meets Stone Age Princess look of her projects will get you very excited. The chapter on hinges in particular got me really excited. Susan also talks about her favorite tools and tips, like using a pan of pumice to protect flammable objects from the torch. If this inspires you as well, remember that Ornamentea and Panopolie can special order almost any studio tool your heart desires, just ask to see our Eurotool catalog.
Semiprecious Salvage by Stephanie Lee is like an illustrated mystery novel that happens to be a great how-to book. She weaves together a narrative of expedition and discovery with techniques and projects that make you stay up late and dream of jewelry. More romantic and flowery than the Lenart-Kazmer book, the projects in Semiprecious Salvage are sweet and heirloom. I love her use of materials like plaster and silk ribbons and had to create my own 'messy soldered' chain after just a few minutes with the book...There are also great how-to photos for etching, different wire wraps and patinas.
Both of these books share a love of incorporating the odd bit into your work and each inspires with great images and in-depth how to directions. They both have a place next to may favorite reading chair right now, and will move to a prime spot on my studio reference shelf.