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Making Metal Beads, by Pauline Warg

“This is an excellent book, one of the better jewelry idea and how-to books I own. While it is not intended for metal clay, it does have ideas that could be used with metal clay with a bit of imagination. Otherwise, if you also do gold or silver, it's a great addition to your library.” --Paula Wright, Newbury, Massachusetts, USA

“I ordered the book without looking at it carefully. To tell you the truth, I thought the title was ‘Making Metal Clay Beads’ and was very pleasantly surprised by the content even though the title is ‘Making Metal Beads.’ The book gives much information that can be applied to metal clay. It is very inspiring.” --Randi Robertson, Montgomery Village, Maryland USA

“I came across Pauline Warg’s book, ‘Making Metal Beads,’ while perusing the local bookstore for books on metal clay. I wasn’t in the market for a book on beadmaking, and I’d abandoned traditional metalsmithing a decade ago, but I just had to own this fine volume! What initially struck me were the photographs of beads: beads that had been formed, soldered, riveted, chased, stamped, woven, rolled, domed, fused, and embellished in so many different ways.

“When I got the book home, I realized it was also a Lark projects and techniques book, with an excellent chapter on metalworking basics, including sawing, filing, drilling, soldering, finishing, and more. These subjects are presented in a clear and concise, but complete way. A true beginner can approach each technique with confidence, given the straightforward text and careful pictures.

“And then there are the beads. The chapters include step-by-step procedures for transforming commercial metal beads by various embellishments; making cold-connected beads with rivets, notches and weaving; making beads from tubing; making soldered double-domed beads; making fused beads; making beads with the hydraulic press; and then making more metal beads.

“These chapters introduce even more techniques, including stamping and chasing, and reticulation. In addition to Pauline Warg’s beautiful work, there are inspiring photographs of beads by 24 other artists. Each turn of the page brings breathtaking examples of beads in silver, copper, and gold. The projects are designed to be simple enough for the novice, but also presented with the experienced metalworker in mind, with tips on efficient techniques for production.

“The final pages include charts for saw blade sizes, solder flow and melting points, sheet metal gauges, drill diameters, and instructions on making a circle-dividing template.

“This book should find a place on many metalworkers’ bookshelves, even those who thought they were going to stick with metal clay! –Tina Carvalho, Honolulu, Hawaii USA



Arnold Howard of Paragon Industries interviewed Pauline Warg for this website.

Q. Please describe a couple of especially memorable experiences you've had as a jeweler.

A. There have been many.

In 1981 the Paul Revere House in Boston celebrated its 200th anniversary. The curators chose me to demonstrate making a silver item typical of something Revere might have made, using the same tools and equipment he would have used. I had to do a lot of research and discovered that except for the power tools and the torch (he used a blow pipe or forge furnace), most of the hand tools had only changed slightly. I gave a two-day lecture/demonstration for them on making a silver tea strainer.

In 1983 I was commissioned by Paramount Pictures to make a faux Hapsburg brooch for the production "The Hapsburgs." It was quite elaborate, but fun to make. I had to learn Cloisonné enameling for the project.

Q. During your lectures, what did people find most surprising or interesting about Paul Revere?

A. The fact that so few tools have changed for silversmithing. Also, he was not the sole producer of items with his name on them. He had people working for him producing his work.

Q. What scenes in the movie "The Hapsburgs" include your brooch?

A. The entire production was centered around the brooch. The premise was that the brooch was handed down generation to generation, and the plot followed the lives of those who wore it. It was a mini-series made for TV. Though completed, it has not yet aired.

Q. Please describe some of the experiences you had as an apprentice to Philip Morton.

A. It was a very dynamic program. Philip was an innovator in the contemporary jewelry field and one of the founders of the Society of North American Goldsmiths. Unlike university training at the time, we not only learned design and metal working skills, but also marketing, bookkeeping, retail management, and wholesale production line development. The program was 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, five days a week for three years.

Q. What over-riding, important lesson did you learn from him?

A. Self-discipline. Philip believed that most artists lacked discipline.

Q. How did you get interested in writing a book on metal beads?

A. I had been teaching classes in making metal beads for several years. One of my students convinced me that I had enough information and expertise to write a book. I mulled it over for a couple of months, investigated the proposal process, and contacted Lark Books.

Q. What was most challenging about the book project?

Getting ready for the photo shoot. My editor sent me a shot list of over 200 shots. I was to be flown down to North Carolina and would work in another artist’s studio for the shoot. I had to make dozens of beads at different steps in their creation. I had to be prepared to move along step by step through the shoot without hesitation.

I had to pack every tool I mentioned in the book and all the beads in progress. There was no time for error or omissions. We worked non-stop for two and a half days. Then I flew home.


Pauline Warg is a metalsmith with 30 years’ experience. After completing her metalsmithing apprenticeship to Master Goldsmith Philip Morton, she moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and opened Warg Designs. She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Southern Maine, Summa Cum Laude.

From 1983 to 1991 Ms. Warg designed lines of sterling silver tea accessories, specialty items for babies and children, and tableware for Shreve, Crump and Low of Boston and the affiliates of their parent company Henry Birks and Sons, nationally.

Pauline’s work, be it jewelry or hollow ware, incorporates precious / non- precious metals, gems and enamel skillfully worked with great attention to detail using time-honored silversmith techniques.

Besides designing and creating jewelry, Pauline has taught metalsmithing at Manchester Institute of Art (NHIA), University of New Hampshire, The Jewelry Institute (RI), Maine College of Art, and Metalwerx (MA).

From 1991 to 2001 Pauline developed, managed and facilitated the Future Builders, Inc. Metalsmithing program serving York and Cumberland Counties in Maine. Having attained her Special Education Certification, she applied her metalsmithing expertise to a training and education program for middle school and high school students identified with behavioral impairments and learning disabilities.

Most recently Pauline opened a new business WARG Enamel & Tool Center in Scarborough, Maine. The business has an expanded teaching studio for metalsmithing and enameling adjacent to a tool and supply store.

Over the past 30 years Pauline has won numerous awards. Her first major award was Best in Show at the Toledo Museum of Art’s MAY Show 1975, to more currently in 2002, Pauline was given the Joe Tucker Metal Award at the LNHC Annual “Living With Crafts” show. The Maine State Bar Association chose Pauline’s design of a brooch as the Caroline Duby Glassman Award for 2004 - 2009.

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