Maggie Roschyk's book Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry: Ideas and Techniques for Original Designs is a collection of seed bead woven jewelry that uses standard techniques and stitches to create wearable contemporary art jewelry.
The first 24 pages are an introduction to tools and supplies which you expect, but along with that is a lot of information on working out color palettes, designing jewelry and where to find inspiration. It's well written and full of valuable tips for both the supplies and finding ideas. If you've ever found yourself in a color or design rut, you may find these tips helpful. I certainly did.
The projects are written with the assumption you know the basic stitches, but if you don't know them, or need a refresher, there is a techniques section in the back of the book. A lot of the projects in this book are great for the beginner who wants to be challenged, and are very nice for the intermediate beaders who want to explore new uses for favorite stitches and get some practice with stitches they use less often.
The first project, the Herculean Bracelet is a simple knot translated into a bracelet. In fact, I tried something similar once, my version didn't turn nearly as elegant as the herringbone variation the author used. One of the things you notice is that the inspiration is mentioned, then she goes into some detail about how that design came about so you can see the creative design process at work. She also shows a photo on the sidebar of the fabric that inspired the bracelet. Each project also lists the stitches used in it, in this case, herringbone, even count flat peyote, tubular peyote and ladders.
The projects are richly inspired and a lot of them use combinations of stitches. The colors take their cues from the inspiring material and work well together and most of the supplies are very easy to find. Those that might be harder like the glass art disks used in the Uroku Pendant Necklace can either be found online or possibly commissioned from local artists or you can use something else in the project. I think vintage buttons would make a wonderful variation on that project.
Some of the shapes of the finished pieces are reminiscent of classic jewelry styles and can be classics you will wear for years, they are also still very contemporary and wearable day and night.
There is a lot of texture to the pieces, they want to be touched and appreciated, the colors chosen are dynamic, not flat.
Recommended for advanced beginner seed bead weavers-intermediate seed bead weavers.
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Kalmbach Publishing Co. provided this review copy of Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry to me free of charge.
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