Anna Elizabeth Draeger's Great Designs for Shaped Beads focuses on the wonderful shapes and colors coming out for beaders like two hole tile beads, daggers, peanuts, berries and lentils. The projects are designed for beadweavers.
She starts with a very short introduction which covers the various bead types she'll be using. It explains the differences between Tila beads from Japan and the molded Czech two-hole tile beads. It discusses the various sizes of daggers available and introduces shapes like half daggers and berry beads. It also offers tips about working with peanut beads.
Then straight into the projects. The very first project is my favorite. Using Tilas set on the edge to create open diamonds for a bracelet. The stitch works well stacked up into a wide cuff, but also can be used to make stackable wrist candy bracelets.
You will find projects using right angle weave, St. Petersburg chain and peyote. Using the bead shapes creates different looks than you've seen before.
The various techniques can be used as components in pieces of your own design as well, which makes it my favorite kind of beading book. One that can inspire. The wonderful cubes made using Tilas, seed beads and crystals are very sharp looking beaded beads that are quick to make. The chevron chain variation is a light look that could be embellished easily to create something very intricate. I'm envisioning it as the base of a statement necklace.
I also really like the petal pendant which uses daggers and drops to create a piece that reminds me of the 1950s-1960s costume jewelry I love.
The diagrams are clear and easy to follow, and the written instructions make sense. The supplies for the pieces are easy to find and fairly inexpensive. I do recommend this book for every level of beadweaver. It's clear, concise, with lots of designs that look great as shown but use techniques that can be incorporated in your own designs.
Published by Kalmbach Books
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