Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mastering Beadwork -book review

Seed beads, Czech fire polish, druks, teardrops!- I'm a huge fan of them all. Like many jewelry artists, I started off bead weaving. I've learned several stitches. But even though you know a stitch, sometimes you just don't know all of the ends and outs. Other times you simply want to expand your skill set. Mastering Beadwork: A Comprehensive Guide to Off-loom Techniques by Carol Huber Cypher delivers on both accounts!

For the beginner, the first section of the book reviews and defines bead types, materials, and tools. Cypher also offers a brief “beadwork glossary. Here she includes info for types of knots,skittling thread, and error correction techniques ( getting rid of those wabber jawed beads without ripping everythign out!).

Cypher delivers in-depth, yet easy to follow instructions and tips for 13 different stitches. Each stitch comes with helpful tips, stylish suggestions and alternatives. Her 34-page section on Peyote stitch, alone is worth reading! She includes side by side comparisons and offers alternate uses for each stitch. The beaded bead section is clear. The latter portion of the book Cypher discusses several African stitches and ropes. Her triangular rope bracelet and "octogonish" bracelet are upbeat and well done.

Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, Mastering Beadwork is an excellent resource to have on your bookshelf. Not only is it full of information, the construction lends itself to the needs of active beaders. It has a hardback cover. The pages are spiral bound instead of glued in like many other craft books. This leaves hands free to stitch while reading without having to wrangle pages with minds of their own! Additionally each section is color coded. Various notes refer to needed skills in other chapters when needed.

Mastering Beadwork by Carol Huber Cypher- check it out!

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