Friday, May 07, 2010

Metal & Beads ~ New Book Giveaway!

Metalwork and beads compliment each other so beautifully!

bead embroidery and copper charms by Robin Atkins, bead journal project, detail
Artists who combine their own metal components (whether silver, copper or bronze) with beads always seem to have a competitive edge in the market place. Their work seems more original, more unique, more precious to me.

doll by Kaite, metal and indigo, bead journal project
And it's not just jewelry. Above is a Kaite's April BJP doll, Metal-Indigo. Kaite made all of the little copper squiggles and dangles in a workshop. Don't they add great character to her doll?!

Back in the 70's, I was a metalsmith, fabricating silver and gold jewelry. Below are a few examples of my work.

metalsmith, sterling silver zipper necklace by Robin Atkins
metalsmith, man's ring by Robin Atkins
metalsmith, picture jasper necklace by Robin Aktins
I learned metalworking skills from three sources: 1. Community college and art college classes, 2. from my friend Liz who was getting a college degree in metalsmithing and 3. from several books (best one was The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight, which is still available). I made and sold jewelry for 5 years, loved working in my shop, loved forming metal!

Later, when I shifted into beads, I used my metalworking skills to create findings and components for my beaded creations (two examples below). Handy!

bead necklace with copper charms by Robin Atkins
bead necklace with copper and sterling hand by Robin Atkins
I also taught wireworking and developed a unique style of fibula pins (below), which have sold well over the years.

fibula pin by Robin Atkins
Frequently beaders have asked me, "I want to learn metalworking... what book do you recommend?" Until now, I have had to answer, "Sorry, there is no decent metalworking book for beaders. Get Tim McCreight's book and figure out for yourself how to apply the skills to beadwork."

At last Candie Cooper has given us beaders a really fabulous book on metalworking!!!!!

Metalsmithing 101 for Beaders, book cover
I like everything about this book! Candie's instructions seem easy to follow, yet thorough. She takes you through all the basics... tools, marking, sawing, filing, riveting, soldering, texturing, patinas... everything needed to create findings and components to compliment beads. Plus she gives many wonderful design ideas, projects and patterns.

Good how-to pictures and drawings...
Metalsmithing 101 for Beaders, setting saw blade
Exciting design ideas... fun fish pin...
Metalsmithing 101 for Beaders, fish pin project
Elegant earrings...
Metalsmithing 101 for Beaders, earrings project
Unique charms...
Metalsmithing 101 for Beaders, handmade charms
...and many more!

I read every word of this book (something I rarely do)... I found it entertaining (not expected), accurate/complete (also not expected) and it made me crave the feeling of the tools in my hands, working the metal, transforming wire and sheet metal into beautiful objects again. I give this book FIVE STARS ++++! Bravo to Candie and Lark Books!

This post is a giveaway! I have one copy of Metalworking 101 for Beaders, by Candie Cooper to send to somebody who writes a comment on this post. Please, include your email address in the comment, so I can notify you if you're the winner!

I shall select the winner randomly on May 20th from those who comment... that's two weeks from today. If you can't wait or don't win, you can buy it here or at your local bead shop.


  1. I now have to go look at this book. A 5 star rating from you tells me I need this book. Of course, winning it would even be better?
    I love that zipper necklace by the way!

  2. Ooh, another hobby to add to my collection! The books sounds fantastic! Count me in please!

  3. Anonymous4:22 PM

    Hi Robin,

    Thom & I are just back from Arizona - recognized your BJ right off the bat. I do love to read your blogs - you write so well, specially for me who is not a beader!!

    love, j

  4. Love your review on this book, count me in too please! Thank you for offering the chance to win it! Your jewelry pieces are beautiful, especially love the brown stone framed in the silver setting on cording!

  5. Wow, thanks Robin for posting my April bjp up here, i too thought that the metal and beads combo was on the 'cutting edge' - ha ha - excuse the pun.
    btw, i'd love that book, so pop my name in the hat as well. cheers...k.

  6. Oh, this book looks fabulous. I've been off my beads for a while now - something just isn't clicking - but a book like this might jumpstart things again.

  7. you don't have to enter me in your pool! :) i might just pick that book up! but i wanted to say i love your multi-strand necklaces with the metalwork! i have used coils in my bead embroidery:

    thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Looks like a great book - pleas count me in too. Thanks so much.

  9. Anonymous6:00 PM

    This review is taking me back in my memory to my metalsmithing days. Like you I took classes at a community college. I loved every moment of the classes. I'd probably still be making silver and gold jewelry had the price of the materials had not jumped too high. Remember the Bass Brothers? This book could make me start sawing silver again!

  10. Thank you Robin for this good review. I have been thinking of trying working with metal to incorporate in my embroidery-beading projects. This book would be perfect to start with. Count me in please, please please!

  11. Oh put me on the list. I've neglected my beading (eye issues) and have been playing with metal. NEED classes but there are none in my area. So it's all trial and error. Would love a book to help me out!

  12. This is a great deal. Many of us beaders get a little nervous when it comes to working with metal. Sounds like a good book to have around.

  13. Me, me.....pick me!!!!! I've been drooling over metal ever since Kaite took that darned course. Next, I'll be investigating buying a torch. LOL! I already have a hammer and a small anvil. I think that I may NEED that book.......

  14. Hi Robin
    Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I have been itching to try metal etching and stamping. I'll add the book to my wishlist, but please put my name in the draw.

    I always love looking at your jewelry. I didn't even know what a fibula was until I saw yours!


  15. This looks like a must-have!

    I've been wanting to get into soldering, perhaps this will inspire me to get moving!

  16. Metalwork and beads go together perfectly in so many ways! As I look into new career options (time to change my life -- again), jewelry/metalwork are right at the top of my list of things to pursue and continue on with. This looks like a fabulous book, just what I'm needing.

  17. Annie8:04 PM

    Oh gosh, the book sounds wonderful! I also rally liked the zipper necklace.

  18. Metal can give such an edge to beadwork. I've found this from incorporating metal found objects in my work. I think this book would be a great asset to any bead artist.

  19. I'm brand new to fabric beading, and as usual, am obssessed with my newest passion. Have spent hours online and in the library, looking at the work of hundreds of artists ... and I believe I would recognize your distinct style anywhere. Your work has a remarkable degree of elegance. Am excited to have come across your blog ... maybe some of that good taste will rub off!! (Question: are you not doing workshops this year?)

  20. oww I'd love to get my hands on that book. learning new techniques is what I love most of all. the way you describe it sounds fantastic. plz put me on the list.

  21. Hi Robin!
    You've made me want this book. Lark should hire you as a promotional agent -- you are a great seller metal.
    I've toyed with "thinking" about metal. Even have some ideas wandering around in my brain... but this may push me further.
    Please add me to the pot for a chance at the book!

  22. That looks like a very interesting book. And I really liked that fish. Feel this must be added to my oh-so-long bead book wishlist.

    I started out as a beader, but soon felt drawn to metals, wirework being the first type of jewellery-making I really fell for. Seedbeading came later. And while I still bead more than I do metalwork, I really enjoy being able to do my own components from time to time and having the tools and know-how to alter store bought metal components. Both to get something that is a perfect fit for my designs and to make something more personal.

    BTW, I like how you added beads to the hand in the turquoise necklace, making the different parts really blend together. A detail that makes the design really come together and work as a whole.

  23. Just the thing to help create new embellishments for my different crafts.


  24. I have always, since I first saw a photo of it, loved your metal hand...I may have to try one myself...I took metalsmithing classes at OCAC in the late 70's so I could make bezels for my enamel pieces and I still have my tools. Thanks again for the inspiration this saturday morning!
    (no need to put me in the drawing)

  25. Wow, that sounds like a fabulous book. I just started getting into metalworking to add to my doll making & this looks great. I'm talking three metal class at the upcoming PSBF & can't wait to pound, grind, and punch! dot

  26. I'm not sure how these things happen but I've been collecting beads and filings and ideas. I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a 101 book as well. Luv you work!

  27. My friends say I am a very curious person and I am always on board to try new things. I took a silversmithing class from a trvelling teacher once then again at the William Holland Lapidary school a couple of years ago but I found the cost of materials daunting. I am still putting together some supplies. And every book seems to espouse some different way of doing things so curiousity seems to be a handicap right now. I decided to put the metal working aside for a while and just relax with my beads. But maybe that book would give me some ideas so I got out the equipment and gave it a go? Well, I am rlayt at bresnan dot net in case I have a chance at winning!

  28. This book is a "must have". I have never made jewelry before but this book has given me the itch to try. Please put me on the winning list.Lise

  29. I love that metal/leather/stone necklace, Robin! It so warm and it almost glows. Do put me in on the drawing for that lovely book, please. I really need another hobby! LOL!

  30. I already have the book by Tim but feel like I need more. Thanks for the great review of this new book and please add my name. I have been trying many things but feel like I need some more direction.

  31. Oh Gosh, now I have to wait until May 20th to see if I might win your blog give-away before going out and buying this book. I have been searching for something exactly like what you describe for a while now.

    Thank you for the review! But oh, oh, oh, it's going to be so long to wait - lol!

  32. As always, your post delights me! What amazing artwork! Sounds like a wonderful book that could easily gown into another obsession! I cannot wait to see more of your work in this area!

  33. You and I truely are kindred spirits Robin!! We share totem animals, we love the PNW and Orcas Island, we love anture and beaqds and creating and we bot started our art journey's as metal smiths! i started with lessons at 13 and still rely on all of the techniques that I learned way back when!!! I ahve always love your fibula pins and I can see that you have carried over your metal smithing finsihing techniques to all of your other creations!! Fisnishing is such a crucial part of metal work!!! Youa re sucha fabulous mentor to all of us- Thank you!!!! I would love to own this wonderful book, my friend!!!
    Big Beady Hugs!!!

  34. OOOOO- this looks like fun! I'd love to win this book. Love your Zipper necklace!

  35. Me too, Me too.

    I always love to see your pieces, LOVE the zipper necklace. Sounds like a cool book and since I have been getting into wire wrapping and combining wire and beads would be a timely addition to my collection.

    Love Ya, Angie

  36. You're two very gifted women and both so inspirational to the rest of the arts community. Anyone would love winning this book... I have to admit I'm drooling. Hurrah for both of you! And for whoever wins. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  37. Hi Robin. Hmmm a five stare rating. This has to be good. I enjoyed your input on this book. Great review!!! I would love to be the winner of this giveaway!!!! Please include me. You can reach me at beadwright(AT)

  38. I just met a fellow jeweler who is also (her term) a techno-geek,who helped me get my Etsy store back open. I would LOVE to give her this book in appreciation of her help. She is already a skillful wireworker, but you can never have too many books for your field.
    Your blog is a truly inspiring place to visit. Thanks for sharing your process. Sher (mamalester)

  39. Oh, I'd love to enter! But for some reason this random thing never choses me :D

  40. Please enter me in your giveaway. My niece is interested in learning this so would be a great book to get her started.

  41. Soounds like this will be another one for the bookshelf. I wonder about making my own findings but I am not very creatie or dexterous. this sounds like a wonderful prize to win.
    i love that you have taken all your skills and combined them into the work you do now.

    Diane, New Zealand

  42. There are must-have books and this one seems to belong to that group. I would love to get it but if not, let's spend some money :-))) Best regards, Monika

  43. I have just started experimenting with metalwork, so this would be perfect. I know enough to be dangerous. Your metalwork is lovely, so I'm wondering why you stopped...

  44. I too took a class in metalsmithing at my local community college...but found I didn't have enough time to put in at the studio to really benefit. I would love to have this book.

  45. This book sounds like a dream come true. Please toss my name in the hat for it.


  46. Northmoon8:20 AM

    High praise indeed! I'd love a copy of this book. susananderson50 at hotmail dot com.

  47. First of all, congrats on your blogiversary and the retirement party for One Bead at a Time. I still go back to that one for inspiration often. And a big joyful whoop for all the good things that came from it for all of us!

    Having said that, I would like to put my name in the hat for this book. I'm thinking I might be able to get my son to make things for me out of it. If he's going to live at home he might as well make himself useful eh?!


  48. Hooray! How nice to stumble upon such a great giveaway, and while it is still open too :)
    This looks like a book for me. I have been feeling quite unsatisfied with wirewrapping lately (and not the fancy kind either) and have been thinking about other options.
    Metalwork, here I come! :)
    (I hope oversea'ers can participate too).
    All the best, Lene

  49. Oh my goodness! I would *love* to win this book. I started making my own lampwork beads last month and make all the findings I can -- but have no idea how to line my own beads, or anything remotely complicated.

    Your blog is awesome too... What a wonderful thing to stumble on just browsing the web. Going back to read more now.

    :) Kelley

  50. Oh hurrah!!! I have never won anything in my life and this will be a terrific lot of fun. Thank you soooo much!!! I can barely wait. I do read your blog and enjoy it whenever I find a minute to drop in. How fun to have won something, and from you makes it all the more terrific. Thank you Robin!

  51. I have this book. It is everything Robin says. There are so many projects that I love in this book, the problem is deciding which one to make first!


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!