Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Spotlight: The Art of Beadwork

The Art of Beadwork by Valerie Hector

For many beaders, learning about the history of beads is just as exciting as learning to create with them. Thanks to Valerie Hector, we can do both at the same time. In The Art of Beadwork, readers are guided through a journey of beading around the world, and throughout history. Each chapter explores a different region, from Japan, to Kenya, to Peru, and everywhere in between.

An introduction to early beadwork and the progression of bead manufacturing provides a look at the scope of this great art form, including rarely seen photographs of Ancient Egyptian beadwork done in peyote and netting with tiny faience beads. Then, a primer on modern beadwork tools and techniques shows readers how to get started in the medium before taking a look at all of the historical and cultural influences in modern beadwork.

For each country and region, Valerie provides an in depth look at the styles of beadwork, the common materials and techniques, and their significance. Photographs of antique and modern beadwork designs give readers an idea of how each society’s style has been carried on to today’s designs. Every chapter finishes with a tutorial on how to create one of the example projects, such as Indonesian inspired hair sticks, and a scalloped netting scarf inspired by Nelson Mandela’s Mfengu collar.

The information and tutorials alone make The Art of Beadworka must read for the serious beader, but the gorgeous color photographs on every page are a delight in themselves. There are a wide variety of jewelry styles and works of beaded art from around the world, and renowned artists like: David K. Chatt, creator of right angle weave; Laura Shea, inventor of the Eureka Bead technique; Virginia Blakelock, creator of Cellini spiral; and Karen Paust, the sculptural peyote genius.

Copyright 2012 Inspirational Beading
Valerie Hector and Watson-Guptill Publications
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  1. I love this book! It's wonderful to learn more about the cultural significance of beads as well as having great inspirational project to go with it. I will never part with it!

  2. This is the book that really got me into beadwork instead of just stringing. I was a little sad that the projects on the front cover were not the projects in the book (well, one kinda is), but I've managed to figure out most of the others.

    It's a fascinating book and well worth it even if you never bead a project from it, the reading is awesome.


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