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Comment: Used copy. Name written on the first two pages. Cracked spine. Interior looks free of underlining and highlighting. Wear to the exterior, rubbing on the front and back cover.
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Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths Paperback – August 15, 1978

4.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Kent State Univ Pr (August 15, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873382129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873382120
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have to say that this book isn't for everyone. It is for the person that enjoys learning some new info on things that one takes for granted. In conjunction with their avocation. Since it was published in 1978 some of the information at first glance may seem a rehash of the basics. That is far from the truth, The author does go over the things like the role of the formal shells, soldering,raising, planishing, layouts, tubing, hinges and linkages. In each of the sections or chapters he does go into things in somewhat more detail than the more modern books.Having been in metalsmithing off and on for over 40 years. Since high school I learned more from this book than I have from some classes I have taken over the years. The surface enrichment,refinement and finishing chapter and the one on the spout. Were of interest if for no other reason it pointed out things I never thought of in regards to the design of the opening in the spout. Having only made items with a spout for general shop work. No tea services ect. But the info will still work.
The art work is done by the author and are numerous. Since he was doing the drawing they reflect what he was thinking to a fine point. The pictures are in the style of the 70's brightly lit black and white. Each chapter has definitions of all things described. The glossary at the end of the book is illustrated with the drawings of the author ,the generic terminology,alternative terminology and etymological origins.
Having heard,and read all the artsy,2 dollars words thrown about by people that have no idea what they mean in relationship to the forms they are describing. It was a enjoyable read and I do own it.
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Seppä has written the best book I know for anyone looking to expand their range in creating forged metal objects. Although this touches on a few additional topics, like surface treatments and linkages, the largest part of Seppä's discussion addresses raising, forging, and planishing.

This book starts where others leave off. As a result, it skips the basics that a reader is expcted to know already. Those include soldering, annealing, raising or sinking of simple forms, and matching of complex shapes to be soldered to each other. Instead, Seppä goes into detail about forging of complex forms, including anticlastics, multi-part shells, and even a forged cube! Within each section, Seppä guides the prepared reader through steps, with special focus on the unusual techniques needed. The well-prepared reader will easily follow along as Seppä shows which part of the workpiece requires attention, and the kinds of blows needed to create the desired form.

The other major thrust of this book addresses the language in which metalsmiths describe their forms. Seppä asserts that terms like "bowl," "platter," or "box" create un-needed confusion between form and function. That, he believes, restricts the creator's imagination. If, instead, the smith thinks of a rounded concavity rather than a bowl, it suggests many more ways to incorporate that same shape into different design contexts. So, in addition to using unfamiliar shape-words (like 'spathe' and 'xiphoid') in the how-to section, Seppä adds 30+ pages of glossary. That creates a verbal short-hand, summarizing a complex thought in one word. Then, when those complexities have been reduced to single words, it becomes that much easier to combine them into larger structures.
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First of all, this book is not a project book nor it will not teach you the basics of working with metal. It assumes the reader knows all the basics of metalworking and is competent in basic forging skills - raising, sinking, planishing, etc.

This book looks in detail at the different shapes that metal can be forged into, without, most of the time, being worried with what the shape will be used for. Seppa tries to separate form and terminology from function, believing that abstracting these shapes will allow the artist to use them more freely and in more unexpected ways. This book will take you deeper into working metal than almost any other book.

To me, the major drawback is the overly complicated language Seppa proposes for describing shapes, which sound, for the most part, clunky and even pretentious.
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This book was highly recommended by my instructor who is, herself, a master of metals. She referred to Heikki Seppa as the Master of Master Metalsmiths. His book has taken me to a higher level of understanding and creativity. A valuable addition to any metalsmith's library.
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This book is essentially about shaping metal in the art-metal area; however; it does contain chapters with useful techniques for raising shapes and planishing, which is applicable to any work involving sheet-metal.

The text is rather heavy and the diagrams supporting it are rudimentary and often have no sub-titles of explanation.

I like the book but as a ready reference, but it would not be the one I pick up first- a DVD on metal-shaping would probably be more useful.
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By D. Kuony on September 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a reason this book has become the Bible for many forming metalsmiths. It's more than a "how to" book. The author seeks to establish a lexicon of stardardized terms to make communication between smiths more exact and fruitful. This is not a book for those just beginning metalsmithing. But those with a solid understanding of the craft and an imagination will find it highly rewarding! It should be kept as a referance in every creative metalsmith's shop.
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