Because so many of the beadweaving techniques that we have come to love have ancient origins, it’s only natural when we want to use them to make traditional looking jewelry and beaded art. The beading methods, colors, and patterns that we choose can result in designs that make us look back to our roots, and appreciate the innovations of the beaders before us.
All over the world, the art of beadwork is still being used for traditional adornment, and being passed down through generations not only for social and ceremonial purposes, but to give families a source of income by supplying unique jewelry for international trade. Some of the most beautiful and intriguing beadwork comes from Africa - a continent where beads and jewelry are an important, though not always pleasant, part of history.
In Zulu Inspired Beadwork,renowned beader Diane Fitzgerald shares some of these histories, along with beautiful descriptions of traditional beadwork from South Africa. Diane goes into great detail about the origins of the beads and techniques used by Zulu women to create their work, the importance and meaning of the colors they prefer, and how the beadwork is used both personally, and as wares for the tourist trade.
After visiting villages, studying the beadwork, and even deconstructing finished pieces, Diane has completed full tutorials for some of the most popular and stunning Zulu beading techniques. Some of them will be familiar to readers, like the Ladder Chain (African Helix) and Zig-Zag (Chevron) chain. Others are departures from basic techniques like ladder stitch and netting, and some are completely unique.
There are 22 Zulu beadweaving techniques covered in the book, each with step-by-step instructions and clear diagrams. Diane has provided many examples of color and pattern variations, and many of the projects include photographs of genuine Zulu designs to help inspire you.
If you enjoy making unique pieces, or want to explore new and exciting techniques, Zulu Inspired Beadworkwill provide many new ideas and test your skills!