Marcia DeCoster is an amazing beader who makes incredibly lush beadwoven pieces and has a talent for explaining exactly how she did it. This collection of projects by her is jewelry that is rich and layered but without being stiff. It has movement built in.
It starts with an introduction that includes explaining the tools and supplies used in the projects, then an extensive primer on basic beading stitches with nice, clear diagrams and instructions. While I'd consider a lot of the jewelry in this book advanced beginner to intermediate beadweaving, a patient beginner would be able to make all the pieces in it, referring to the diagrams at the beginning where necessary.
The jewelry itself is opulent, layered, and intricate. The movement can be as simple as connections on a drop to give it more ability to sway to a whole series of rings that have spinners built in. The necklace on the cover has spinners on a beaded core, and also sways and slides with the slightly oversized bail.
The spinning movements give a formal, fancy look a touch of playfulness. I've always loved beadwork with moving parts. They are built using clever combinations of standard stitches. The instructions for each piece are well written with lots of diagrams to show bead placement. Because a lot of the pieces are fairly intricate, there are not always thread paths shown on the diagrams, reading the steps clarifies the stitches and thread paths used.
Mostly, this is statement jewelry. These are the pieces you wear with pride over a plain sweater or a little black dress and say "Yes, yes I did make this." But there are a few pieces that elegantly simple like the Leaf Slide Necklace with it's lariat shape.
My favorite pieces in the book? The whole book. I tried to narrow it down, but the combination of elegance, opulence and playfulness is one of the best and most inspiring things I've seen.
The 24 projects will teach you new skills and inspire you to add more movement to your own designs.
Published by Lark Jewelry and Beading
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Published by Lark Crafts
who kindly provided a copy to me free of charge for review purposes. My reviews are always my honest opinion.
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