Saturday, December 7, 2013

Book Review: The Art of Beadwork

Of all the hundreds of beading titles available out there, very few achieve the perfect blend of beginner-friendly instruction and serious seed bead inspiration. Of those few, a new book has emerged that is sure to be a favorite! The Art of Beadworkby UK artist Jane Lock is a treasure trove of bead weaving, perfect for beginners and experts alike.

The first chapter contains one of the most thorough Getting Started sections of any beadwork guide, with over 30 pages dedicated to working with seed beads and jewelry design basics. Jane has covered everything from choosing bead types to storing materials and trouble-shooting common beading mishaps. The preceding pages are filled with amazing examples of gorgeous beadwork by artists such as David Poston, Ulli Kaiser, Lynn Davy, and Jennifer Airs.

Next, many favorite bead weaving stitches are explained in fabulous detail, with variations and uses clearly shown to help inspire beaders to try the techniques. Unlike many beading books, the primary stitch instructions are illustrated with photographs rather than diagrams, providing real examples of how the work might look when attempted. Included are tutorials for ladder stitch, square stitch, brick stitch, herringbone, peyote, right angle weave, cubic right angle weave, and netting. With the exception of ladder stitch, each weaving tutorial is followed by a gorgeous project to try, with clear diagrams and step by step instructions.

Then it’s on to the extras - beading techniques and styles that turn stitches into projects. The final half of the techniques chapter includes tutorials on spiral rope, beaded bezels, classic pearl-netting beaded beads, peyote triangles and squares, fringes and embellishments, and finally loom work. Each stitch includes one or more complete projects for readers to test out their skills on.

The final chapter invites beaders to really test their favorite stitches on gorgeous jewelry tutorials by guest designers like Nancy Dale, Carol Dean Sharpe, and Kerrie Slade. My personal favorite is the Nefertiti Necklace by Heather Collin, which uses cubic right angle weave to construct a beautiful beadwork focal.

The Art of Beadwork is certainly my new favorite bead weaving resource, although I must confess to a bias, as two of my designs are featured within the pages. The Cherry Blossom pendant is included as an example of circular peyote stitch, and the basics section features the Quetzalcoatl necklace in a look at “color schemes in action”. It was a great privilege to contribute to a wonderful volume on beadwork, and a thrill to see the Cherry Blossom pendant on the cover of the UK edition, The Art of Beadweaving.

If you’re just starting out with beadwork, or want a fresh look at your favorite techniques, The Art of Beadworkwill not disappoint!

I would like to thank Jane Lock and Quarto Publishing for allowing me to take part in this book, and for providing me with a copy for my collection. Inspirational Beading has not received compensation for featuring this review, however, actions you take from this page can result in a commission for Inspirational Beading.

Copyright 2013 Inspirational Beading
Jane Lock and Quarto Publishing
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  1. Mortira, are these two separate books? I got confused because you were talking about one book and how your work was in it, but you were saying the name of the other book. Or did I just read it wrong? It's not hard to confuse me any more!! LOL

    1. The books are the same, but the UK and US editions have different covers and titles.

    2. Ah, so no wonder I was getting confused. So they actually have different titles too? How strange.

  2. Thank you very much for such kind words Mortira. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the book. And a big thank you for your beautiful contributions :)


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