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Book Review- Bead Soup

Bead Soup by Lori Anderson

Bead Soup- 32 Projects Show What Happens When 26 Beaders Swap Their Stash by Lori Anderson is a collaboration between beaders to show some of the possibility of bead soup beading for wire workers and stringers. If you're very new to the beading community, you might not have heard of bead soup. Bead soup is a deliberate mix of beads in different shapes, sizes and colors. They can be either completely randomized or they can be mixed around a central palette.

They are a nice mix of strung and wire projects, mostly necklaces, with a very current, asymmetrical, artistic and at times ornate look. Many of them lending themselves well to longer lengths, there are also some princess lengths and chokers. There are bracelets as well for people who love bracelets.

Text instructions which assume a familiarity with the techniques make this a better book for advanced beginners-intermediate beaders who are looking for ideas on playing with color and breaking out of symmetrical beading. It's also a good chance to practice balance in strung pieces.

The projects have fun food related names and show "Ingredients" with the pieces from someone else's stash listed first, then the beads from the beaders own "pantry". The directions are all text, as mentioned before, but it's step by step with bead counts.

The chapters each cover a method of bead soup.
Chapter 1 is The Leftover Bead Method which uses leftover beads collected in a bowl. That extra bead or two from making a piece all collected together. My favorite project in this chapter is Brandi Hussey's Summer Strawberry and Mint Soup which is a sparkling bracelet in a vintage palette of pink and mint with sterling findings.
Chapter 2 is The Focal Method which starts with one focal bead and builds a palette and necklace design from that. I love the playful fun of Melissa Meman's Waiter, There's a Lady Bug in My Soup. My favorite project in this chapter is Malin de Koning's Stone Soup neclace, which is balanced, asymmetrical and versatile.
Chapter 3 is the Color Palette Method which works around a specific palette. Author Lori Anderson has my favorite project in this chapter with her delicate Vintage Bean Soup which would work in a lot of lengths.
Chapter 4 is Random Purchase, which works around those impulse purchases to create jewelry. My favorite is Cindy Wimmer's The Golden Consommé of Aquitaine which is a necklace worked around a gorgeous vermeil tassel.

After the chapters is a gallery with other bead soup pieces for further inspiration.
I like collaborative books and books which have several artists in them as inspiration references. This one is lovely.
Published by Kalmbach Books.
U.S.A. U.K.

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Kalmbach Books provided this review copy of Bead Soup to me free of charge for review purposes, my reviews are always my honest opinion.
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