I think most beaders would consider themselves collectors on some level, considering how much time we spend hunting for unique and versatile beads, sorting and organizing them, and showing them off. But can you imagine collecting beads and keeping them just the way you found them?
Expert bead collector and enthusiast Stefany Tomalin shares her amazing and varied collection of beads and beaded jewelry in this fantastic book filled with histories and facts about our favorite beads. Hundreds of bead types and jewelry styles are showcased through The Bead Jewelry Book, including everything from ancient stones to modern plastics.
This book is a must read for anyone that appreciates or works with beads and jewelry. There are four chapters in all, broken down into subsections that are packed full of fascinating and useful information about the origins of beads and their materials, techniques for making beads, and the history of beads in fashion. Although the text is written from an academic perspective, each chapter also contains instructions for creating wearable jewelry from the beads being discussed.
Stefany begins with natural beads and their qualities, including: seeds and organic matter; shell, pearl, and coral; amber, jet and precious and semi-precious gemstones. Readers will learn about the first uses for these materials as adornment, how and when beads were manufactured, and how to care for new and vintage natural beads.
Other sections cover metal beads, glass, plastic, polymer clay, beaded and decorated beads, and of course seed beads (referred to here as embroidery beads). The Bead Jewelry Bookalso explores modern and traditional jewelry making techniques, jewelry styles, and their place in fashion over the last century. There are also in depth explorations of specific jewelry types, such as collars and pendants. Every chapter is a wealth of information that will appeal to crafters, collectors, and designers alike.
The jewelry projects sprinkled throughout the book are simple enough for a budding crafter to try, but there are very few diagrams to follow. Experienced designers will love the photographs of finished jewelry and vintage designs, which provide plenty of inspiration for boho, tribal, and 1920’s style jewelry. Bead collectors and jewelry upcyclers will appreciate Stefany’s tips on finding and identifying authentic vintage and antique components.
The Bead Jewelry Book is a bit of a relic, from a time before online bead stores and world famous beadweaving magazines. The more traditional perspective makes this book the perfect resource for any beader who wants to get back to basics, or work from the ground up!