The Showcase 500 series are chosen collections based on themes. Art books, like carefully curated collections, they are generally what would be considered a coffee table book. The photos are in full color, with detail shots on some images. All printed in a nice big size.
This collection is focused on beaded jewelry. There are over 350 artists represented and the pieces cover a broad range of techniques and ideas. It's pure eye candy for bead artists.
What I liked best about this volume is everything. Trying to narrow it down is hard. The pieces chosen are inspirational. The artists prove that bead art is fully relevant and expanding. Mr. Hemachandra picked the pieces well to cover simply an amazing array of styles and techniques while sticking to the criteria they must have beads and they must be jewelry.
There are sculptural pieces made from wire and beads, strung pieces made using handmade beads, and over course, all the types of seed bead work including looming, off-loom bead weaving and embroidery.
Artists used their skills and imagination to create pieces that are conversational, interesting and beautifully made. Some of it is made with subtle humor. Some of it is just laugh out loud funny. Some is very thought provoking. There are also a lot of pieces that are inspired by more traditional work, but bring it completely into the 21st century. There are also pieces that just are, they are gorgeous, colorful, elegant and beautiful and that's all they need to be. It's bead art jewelry at it's best.
My favorite pieces were impossible to choose. Of course, I love fellow Alaskan Rebecca Starry's elegant violence. She turns dangerous weapons into amazing works of intricate art. But I'm equally entranced with the various artists who used glass eyes in their pieces, the artists who created gorgeous flowers to wear around their necks and amazing sculptural Art Nouveau Peacock set by Mary Ann Helmond.
I think every time I look through this book there will be a new favorite, and it's a book that deserves to be looked through again and again. For ideas, inspiration and just to be amazed at the intricacy, balance, color use and art created from beads.
Published by Lark Crafts
You can get this at your local book store, bead store or using the Amazon links below.
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Lark Crafts provided this review copy of Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry to me free of charge.
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