Will Soratling once turned thumbs down on a film title about his life--Silver Bill--but his File on Spratling is as distinctive a piece of work as his silver design: neither requires a signature to be recognizable. From a Southern boyhood (orphaned early), Spratling moved to New Orleans, knew Bill Faulkner, Sherwood and Elizabeth Anderson, then and later. An architect by training, he hit Mexico at twenty-nine, set up the silver industry in Taxco and has been running with it ever since. Today he lives fifteen minutes and two years from design appropriation out of town in Taxco-el-Viejo, on the second leg of the earn-more-than-you-spend, spend-less-than-you-earn syndrome, a recognized landmark. But Spratling has been making his mark for a long time. He writes of the silver industry, of riding in the terra caliente, of travelling to Europe in the Hindenburg, of collecting pre-Columbian art. Mainly he writes of extraordinary friends--Hart Crane, John Huston, Diego Rivera--not always gently, but with intimate incision, unsubmitting individuality. It is evident that Will Spratling has measured up to his life and companions all along the way. Good reading.