One of the first things I noticed was the extraordinary drama of the first piece in the book. It is large, paired with the right clothes and the model is looking straight at the reader daring him/her to object, or, perhaps, say anything. This led me to the table of contents, which is illustrated with thumbnails of the various projects. Many of the pieces, including the Panel Collar necklace (pg.52), the Waterfall Necklace(pg.97), the Royal Vines Necklace(pg.101), and others are all quite large. The first piece and these supporting ‘actors’ tell the reader that this is a designer with whom to be reckoned.
My first impression is supported by the first line of the Introduction, which reads “One of the premises I live by is ‘Life is too short to wear ordinary jewelry.’ and I am sure many of you agree.” I have always wanted a mantra like that! These two things set the stage for the book. The pictures of all the pieces throughout the book are dramatic and make the pieces look large, though some idea of actual side is implied in the pattern instructions.
This book has 29 projects, but these projects are further expanded by, in some cases, several variations. The nice thing is that the variations are included right in the table of contents. While the reader may not want to go straight to the variation after opening the book, their inclusion in the table of contents gives the variations some stature, prominence. With the variations, the total project count is 45.
The ‘Basics’ section in this book is called Basics of Design and Construction, which includes design as an important element. The design piece has a few exercises to get you started. Design tools are, then, combined, somewhat, with construction. Prominent in this section (pg.12-13) is the use of neck forms and collar forms. The contents of a Standard Necklace Kit is briefly discussed and then the Basic sections goes to The One.
The One (pg.16- ) is described as the star of the show, a single focal point that is described as “a beautiful simplicity to a single focal embraced by bead embroidery.” In this section, the reader is back on to design with some definitive examples. This section is filled with tips such as “use your closet and the colors inside to help with your design choices.”
I was slightly alarmed when I found that the above section was immediately followed by projects without very thorough directions. First, there is an instructional section at the back of the book (pg.149-154) and all of the patterns have a variety of types of instructions.
Throughout the book, the author tips on different aspects of the projects, including how to execute certain stitches and hiding thread when beading around corners. Most of the patterns are 2-3 pages. The supplies are clearly enumerated. The focal beads look quite special in these pieces and I think the reader might have some concerns about matching the quality of the imagery. The focal beads and color are integral to the success of the project. I am sure that readers will have fun seeking out the special beads!
Picking my favorite project was difficult. I don’t wear these types of pieces. I found aspects of various pieces drew my attention. With some, I was attracted by the colors. Others had appealing shapes.
as I started to look through them.
The end of the book has a small gallery of projects, by different artists. There is also a comprehensive index, which also warms my librarian heart.
Use the colors and shapes from this book for inspiration and thanks to Lark Books for sending it to me.