Craft & Design Workshop

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Chic Metal: Metal Jewelry to Make at Home by Victoria Tillotson
I love jewelry-making but never realized that I could take my love further than just simple beading until I picked up this book, Chic Metal: Metal Jewelry to Make at Home by Victoria Tillotson (published by Potter Craft). I love the look of hammered silver and gold (I own a few pieces I’ve picked up at craft fairs) but I always thought it was way more complicated to make. As a jewelry-making professor at the School of Visual Arts in NY, Victoria Tillotson demystifies working with metal and gives you a great 101 to the craft. You really feel like you are one of her students with all her anecdotes and tips. Scared of working with all those tools? She starts you off easy in the first chapter with projects using the most basic tools such as wire cutters, pliers, hammer, and file. Then, Tillotson helps you build on these skills so that by the time you finish the book, you’re soldering metal and using a dremel. The photography in the book is stunning and Tillotson’s jewelry designs are just breathtaking. (See more of her designs on her web site.) You’ll find yourself saying “wow” each time you flip the page to a new project. There are also illustrations of techniques for each project to help you along the way. I love the Scroll cuff (p.38) and the Starry Night Pendant (p.115) pictured below. Pick up this book for yourself or to make a gift for mom (Mother’s Day is coming up!).
But there’s more! Five lucky CRAFT readers are going to win a copy of Chic Metal! Just leave a comment in this post letting us know why you want this book. The deadline for entries is Thursday, April 23 at 10am PST. The winners will be announced later this week. Good luck!
Chicmetal Projects

202 thoughts on “Book Review and Giveaway: Chic Metal by Victoria Tillotson

  1. This would be the perfect gift for a friend that’s taking a metalsmithing course!
    I wish, I wish!!!! *fingers crossed*

  2. I want this book because I’ve always wanted to take a jewelry making class but there isn’t one available here. And, it just looks like a cool book.

  3. I’ve wanted to learn how to make my own jewelry since reading about it in Craft magazine! Thanks for the opportunity!

  4. In high school I toyed with the idea of becoming a metal smith, but changed my mind when I found out I would need to take physics. Now, 20 years later, I regret that decision. It would be a dream come true to learn to make metal jewelry now!

  5. I discovered Metaliferous, a jewelry making supply store here in New York. It’s just a few blocks from where I work! I go in for simple jewelry stuff (sterling silver posts, earwires, etc) but I always drool over all of the supplies and tools they have… I would love to learn more about jewelry making so I can learn how to use all the stuff that intimidates me in that shop now!!

  6. I would love to win this book, not for myself, but for my 75 year old mother in law. She is a wonderful artist and crafter and has just, at her age, picked up jewelry making and metal working! She is just amazing and I would love to surprise her with this beautiful, inspiring book. Thank you for the giveaway!

  7. I have exactly the same problem – I’ve been beading for years but never knew how to take the next step to hammering, soldering etc. I would love this book!

  8. I’ve been thinking about learning to make jewelry for a while now. I was just drooling over this book in the bookshop yesterday!

  9. I want this book for two reasons.
    1) My friends and I have a craft club and we have been at a loss for our next project.
    2) I can never find jewelry to buy that I really love, and can really afford, maybe I can make my own instead :)

  10. I’ve tried to get hooked on crochet, wild on painting, stuck to decoupage, etc. and need a new craft. And if there’s one thing I love, it’s jewelry. If I win the book, I promise to put it to good use over my summer sabbaticals.

  11. I have been beading for awhile and would love to bump up my skills to the next level. This books sounds like it would be a big help. Thanks for sharing such great ideas and information. I learn something new from your site everyday.

  12. this book looks great! I would love to learn how to make metal jewelry, but have always felt intimidated by the equipment and processes.

  13. Even if I don’t win, I so appreciate this post. This type of craft has been an interest for awhile but I hadn’t yet begun looking into any sort of tutorial book. This seems perfect and will end up on my wish list if I don’t get lucky with the contest. Thanks for the chance to win!

  14. I like jewelry, but don’t really like most of the options out there for men. With this book, I could make my own jewelry that I would love!

  15. I’m still learning the essentials of metal jewelry fabrication. This book would be a fantastic help!

  16. I would love a book like this because I love jewelry making, but currently I haven’t found a way to make the pendants that I use in making necklaces. I would love to find a way to customize the items I make, and this seems to be a great place to start!

  17. I want this book because I want this book. I want to make. I want to craft. I love reading instructions and how to do-sy-dos. I’m on “sabbatical” from working right now, thanks to the world, and while I am not littering the streets with my resume, folded into an awesome airplane, I crazy craft my life away. Thank you, must go now, I am very busy and important.

  18. I would love this book!!
    I’ve been making beaded jewelry for years, and have been looking for ways to expand my designs. metal working has always interested me, but I haven’t had the opportunity to learn how to do it! This would be a great way to get into another aspect of design.
    Thanks for the opportunity!!!

  19. I would love this book! I took a metal jewelery making class years ago, and would love to re-learn it!

  20. Seeing as I am not able to make it to one of Victoria’s classes for her to teach me (as I live very far away), this book would have to be second best. I am a “mature student” finally learning how to make jewellery & this book looks amazing!

  21. This book looks amazing. I love jewelry and have been tinkering with the idea of making my own. This book would be an awesome guide.

  22. I would love to have this book because even though I don’t make jewelery I mind my embroidery getting more and more inspired by non-fiber art.

  23. My grandfather, who introduced me to wire working and beading, kept a small metal shop in his garage. He recently passed away and left me his jewelry bench. I don’t know how to use a lot of what’s in there, and I’d love to do his craft, and the man who introduced me to mine, justice.

  24. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at metalsmithing and this book looks like a fantastic place to start.

  25. I want this book because I want to take my jewelry making skills to a new level.
    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

  26. I’ve just returned from the library where I was hoping to browse jewelry making books… and I was very disappointed with the selection on offer. However, this book looks like it’s got all the information and inspiration I need to start crafting some metal jewelry.

  27. WOW! Great book really inspires me to do more than just beading. So please…please pick me. I no shameless….but I would really like to have this book….. LOL!

  28. I’d love to give the book to my mom for mother’s day. She lives on an island, and has been combining metal and seashells– this would be perfect. Thanks for being so generous!

  29. I have always wanted to learn to work with metal in jewelry. In fact, I’ve wanted it enough to go off and try, by my lonesome, to convince the entire art department at my university that they should make an exception for a single crafty Microbiology major and let me take upper level art classes (which are open only to the art department) just because I wanted to learn to work with metal in jewelry. Alas, I failed at that attempt, but it remains a bolded-and-underlined entry on my “Things to Learn Before I Die” list. From your review, it sounds like this book would be a great push down that road.

  30. I’d love to win this book in your giveaway, I can only work with wire and metal is something I would love to learn!

  31. I would so love to win this book! i’m making jewelry with wire , sdtones and beads , and did some glasswork , but dont know anything about metalwork and would just LOVE learning it!!!

  32. I’ve been looking for the most inexpensive way to spark my creativity again. I have to hold some ideas in my hand to do this! I would love the book. thanks!

  33. I’ve been looking for a jewelry class in my city and have had no luck. This would definitely solve my problem!

  34. I need to have this book. Its not that I want it, its just that because of my addiction I NEED this book for medicinal purposes:)

  35. I need to have this book. Its not that I want the book, its just that because of my addiction I NEED to have it for medicinal purposes:)

  36. I’d love this book because I was just starting to think about crafts that I could do in my new crafting room and metalwork jewelery was one of the ideas I’d had!

  37. I’d love this book because I was just starting to think about crafts that I could do in my new crafting room and metalwork jewelery was one of the ideas I’d had!

  38. I adore jewelry making and will take advice and inspiration anywhere I can find it. THis book looks (and sounds) fabulous!

  39. I’ve been dying to work with metal for years now and just haven’t found a good jumping off point. I’ve been eyeing this book and could barely resist buying it, so this giveaway is perfect. This book would really help me expand my skills, since I’ve been limited to wireworking so far. I would really really love to own this book, my head is already swimming with new ideas if i only knew the techniques to make them!

  40. My sister, a jewelry-making addict, would love to get into metalwork, but doesn’t have the time to research how to go about it–this book would be a perfect surprise for her and hopefully kickstart her interest in acquiring this new skill.

  41. After seeing the cover of this book, I realized that in this current economy the only way I’m going to get some new jewelry is if I make it myself! It would be nice to bust out my old skills from undergrad art metal classes.

  42. The book would be for my wife and two daughters, at craft events and flea market trips we see unique work. This would be the book to get them started making their own.

  43. I’d like to make shawl pins for my crocheted shawls and sweaters. The shapes in this book’s photos are generous and open; they look like they would be good models, and I’d like to learn how to do them.

  44. I would love to have this book! I have been making beaded jewelry for five years and am looking to vamp up my style! This would be the perfect beginner how to book for starting my hobby with metal jewelry…

  45. I work at a shopping network that sells jewelry and gemstones. I’ve always wanted to try to make some unique pieces myself, something different than the typical gemstone and semi mount rings and necklaces.
    I think this book could be the perfect way to kickstart that passion. I’ve also started taking welding classes, so it would go perfectly!
    Thanks so much! Love this blog.

  46. I’d love to get into metalworking, but with a toddler running around I haven’t been able to figure out how to start. This looks perfect!

  47. Hi. I’ve been making jewelry for about 7 years, using beads and wire, and I’d love to get even more creative with the ideas from this book. I’m a working mama, so crafts that I can do at home work great for me. Thank you for having the contest.

  48. My sister in law would love this book. She has been making jewelery for years, and even taught some welding classes.

  49. that you can make such beautiful things at home, by yourself, unprofessionally! Prove me wrong!

  50. I have some great metal wire languishing in my craft closet. A lot of brass and not sure what to do with it. I would love to make something that won’t take hours and hours (I love instant gratification). and then when I have time to work on the more intensive projects.

  51. I got into wire-wrapped jewelry last year, and I love it so much! I’ve found myself wanting to expand on my skills and start making more ‘solid’ pieces. I’ve seen this book advertised on different places on the internet, and I thought it was a perfect way for me to learn. Crafting jewelry makes me so happy, and I’d be super thrilled to get a copy of this book (for free)! ^_^

  52. Amazing! Maybe a book like this will keep me from splurging on every shiny thing that crosses my path–though it may make me start splurging on all those oh-so-necessary supplies to make my own shiny things.

  53. I learned how to make my own earring wires a few months ago and would love to learn more about metalsmithing. The samples are gorgeous!

  54. … that all that talk I’ve been giving them … about how they can do anything and learn anything they put their minds to … is not just talk. I too can learn something new and exciting. This book is just the right inspiration!

  55. After almost two years of home renovations and random storage crises, I finally have access to all my beads, wire, and jewelry tools again. And I haven’t had a place to drill or solder in even longer. So I am very, very rusty, but I have a new Dremmel; all I need is the guidance!

  56. The examples of this book shown on the blog look really inspiring. I would like this book because jewelry making sounds like an interesting challenge.

  57. I have wanted for years to take a jewelry making class, but time and money have gotten in the way. I would absolutely love to learn how to work with metal and make some stunning jewelry of my own.

  58. I make a lot of beaded jewelery, but am always left desiring for more. I want to be able to incorporate really unique and beautiful pieces of formed metal to have completely new designs, that aren’t limited to what beads I can buy at a craft store.
    otherwise the book looks great, congrats to Victoria! It must be really exciting to have a book be published, I hope that it sells very well.

  59. i’ve been collecting books on working with metal in collage and altered art, and i’ve always wanted to master metal work to make jewelery, but i’m too scared to try! this book looks amazing!
    plus, my sister is an amazing jewellery artist who works with semi precious stones. i can’t imagine how incredible her pieces would be if i shared the book with her (i would, i promise!)

  60. I dabbled in hammering metal at a booth in the Craft room of the Maker’s Faire last year. It was wonderful, and I’d love to do more of it, but I can’t afford to take a class. This would be a wonderful alternative :)

  61. oh wow – I love her jewelry. I’ve wanted to make metal jewelery since I took welding in college but a torch hasn’t been in the cards since I’ve consistently lived in apartments. I would love to get back to working with metal if someone would show me how to do it at home!

  62. wow those pieces are gorgeous! I’ve always made jewelery, and this would help me bring my hobby to a whole new level :)

  63. Both my jewelry-making friends would absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book!! I might need my own giveaway to see who gets it.

  64. I want it because I’ve never worked with metal before and it would be a great opportunity for me to start! I always love trying new things!

  65. I would love to win this book for a few reasons:
    1. I love making stuff.
    2. I am always up for a challenge.
    3. I am motivated to take the info and add my own twist.
    Thank you for your consideration.

  66. Are you kidding? Why wouldn’t I want this book? Oh, because I don’t need another hobby? Right, right, well that’s what I said before I started crocheting…and then knitting. Because between school and work there aren’t enough hours in the day? Well that’s true too, but…I could just…not sleep. Oh, and because I have way too much jewelry making supplies as it is, that I haven’t touched in months because I need new inspiration and a book like this would be perfect inspiration? Hm…well actually, that’s a perfect reason to want such a book!

  67. Are you kidding? Why wouldn’t I want this book? Oh, because I don’t need another hobby? Right, right, well that’s what I said before I started crocheting…and then knitting. Because between school and work there aren’t enough hours in the day? Well that’s true too, but…I could just…not sleep. Oh, and because I have way too much jewelry making supplies as it is, that I haven’t touched in months because I need new inspiration and a book like this would be perfect inspiration? Hm…well actually, that’s a perfect reason to want such a book!

  68. Are you kidding? Why wouldn’t I want this book? Oh, because I don’t need another hobby? Right, right, well that’s what I said before I started crocheting…and then knitting. Because between school and work there aren’t enough hours in the day? Well that’s true too, but…I could just…not sleep. Oh, and because I have way too much jewelry making supplies as it is, that I haven’t touched in months because I need new inspiration and a book like this would be perfect inspiration? Hm…well actually, that’s a perfect reason to want such a book!

  69. Honestly, I want to win this book to give to my mother! She is beginning metal work and this would be a great idea source for her. I want to encourage her to keep pursuing this, as she has so many talents that she doesn’t get the chance to pursue as she would like.

  70. i love books and i love metal. i just took a short silver class to make an engagement pin for my love interest and i am so excited about making more stuff.

  71. A book that not only tells me that I can but actually teaches me how to make my jewelry look nicer and more professional is *everything I need*. Well, except for an extra bedroom and some more storage space. Will you be giving those away anytime soon?

  72. I so want this!
    I have a crush on silver jewelry and it would be soooooooo awesome to make my own!

  73. i’m a chic and i love metal. i sure would love a copy of that book! (i love how the works are out of the ordinary as well!)

  74. The photos look really nice and I do love making jewelry so it would be fun to do some of these projects!

  75. I would love to read this book. I’m just starting out to create metal jewllery and could need some inspiration and guidence.

  76. I work with polymer clay and using found objects is my favorite way to create! i just did jewelry with mosquito net (with is used on every window in our country)
    i will glad to recieve this book!
    thanks a lot!
    Iris.

  77. I work with polymer clay and using found objects is my favorite way to create! i just did jewelry with mosquito net (with is used on every window in our country)
    i will glad to recieve this book!
    thanks a lot!
    Iris.

  78. I learned some basic metalwork and beading techniques from one of Victoria’s students/TAs and I am taking a class with her on casting in the summer. I would love to check out her book and work on my techniques in the meantime!!!

  79. And since my birthday is next Saturday, you still have time to give it to me as birthday present…

  80. I am hoping to learn some more jewelry skills before another move where I won’t be able to bring much of my fun craft things :) This book looks great :)

  81. I would love the book because I’ve always admired hammered metals, and metals used in jewelery altogether, and I had no clue that it was something that I could do at home. I’ve spent almost the last year in bed with brain cancer, and feeling better now, I’ve been looking to make unique gifts for friends, because I couldn’t have gotten through some of the hardest days without them. Thanks.

  82. I would love to have this book because I love learning new techniques and way to be creative. I really enjoy making jewelry and I think that using all kinds of techniques to create it is what makes it so special and unique.

  83. I was stunned to see the beautiful jewellery you can make from this book and would love to have this book so I can attempt these projects. My mother has also been doing some jewellry making, but not with metal, and I think it would be a great project for us both to learn while she recuperates from health problems.

  84. I think this is just the thing to get me back into jewelry-making! I’d love to add something new to my repertoire.

  85. I was encouraged to try making jewelry about 9 months ago my a jewelry artist I met, who unfortunately, has now moved away from my small, rural community. I miss having a mentor to direct my clumsy hands, who won’t make fun of my “amateur” questions. (Though we did laugh alot!!) I love the earthy, simplicity of the designs of the artist for the book give-away. This book looks like it would really help me to build up my skills and take them to the next level. Thanks for the give-away!

  86. My 17 yr old daughter started making her own jewelry and although it is very primitive, she shows signs of creative talent. I would like this book for her to give her ideas and professional techniques that would improve her skills.

  87. I’ve been searching for a metalsmithing class in my area. This would be a very good alternative to get me started :)

  88. I am drooling already… I have all my supplies form years ago and keep wondering should i see them? should I start up again? This book would get me in start up mode …

  89. I haven’t done jewelry-making since my middle school years, but this book looks like a nice excuse to get back into it… ;) Either way, it’s going on my “want” list.

  90. I could take my jewelry making to the next level! My freinds and family would be very happy.

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