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Book Review- Classical Elegance
Maggie Meister's Classical Elegance, part of Lark's Beadweaving Master Class series, takes it's inspiration from the classics. Architecture, antique jewelry and textile elements from history and other cultures worked into beautiful, ornate jewelry.
The introduction includes the basics you'll need, an overview of the tools and supplies, followed by a chapter with illustrations of the basic stitches you'll need, including some less common stitches like Nepal chain.
The projects in this book are very ornate. It's jewelry meant to be impressive and wearable both and succeeds in that very well. Lots of glitz and rich colors that would work very well as statement pieces with a professional wardrobe and can dress up a formal outfit nicely.
While there are only 20 projects in the book, those projects are very versatile. They are made in components which are stitched together, and those components can easily be combined in other ways to create matching accessories or something new. In some cases, a second accessory is shown illustrating how you can make something else using the basic construction of the project as shown which effectively increases the number of projects.
Each chapter and project starts with a short introduction about the inspiration of the projects.
The first project chapter is Ancient and Antique Jewelry as Inspiration. The very first project in that chapter is the Vineyard necklace that combines right angle weave with Nepal chains to make grape clusters. Combining various stitches is a common theme in the jewelry in this book. My favorite pieces in this chapter are the Macha necklace which combines flat, round peyote pieces into beautiful Celtic inspired swirls and the Girandole earrings which have a classic shape and large and beautiful enough to wear with your fanciest formal dress.
Mosaic and Textile Motifs as Inspiration, this chapter is full of bright colors and wonderful shapes, starting with the modified peyote cross shapes on the Anatolia necklace which takes it's cue from kilim carpets. The necklace from the cover is in that chapter. My favorite piece is the Kilim Beads Pendant which is a bright, colorful piece that is made in an innovative way using the motifs from the Anatolia necklace.
Architectural Elements as Inspiration has my favorite project in the whole book. The Artemisia earrings which are woven using right angle weave to link 3 rings together into a large, beautiful and colorful pair of earrings.
Recommended for advanced beginners who want a challenge and intermediate beaders.
You can get this book directly from the publisher, Lark Crafts, from your local beadstore, or by clicking the Amazon.com affiliate link below.
Amazon.com affiliate links don't affect your cost, and provide extra income to me personally, which helps support my book addiction.
Lark Crafts provided this review copy of Maggie Meister's Classical Elegance to me free of charge.
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