Friday, 27 January 2012

Book Review - Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry By Maggie Roschyk

As beading with seed beads is my favourite technique I have amassed quite a collection of books on the subject. But I have to say, this is one of, if not the best book I have on my shelf at the moment! With Artistic Seed Bead Jewelery, Maggie Roschyk takes you on a journey through the creation of the pieces in her book while teaching you how to translate the things you see around you into beautiful beadwork.

The first section, entitled Welcome to My World, talks about The author's creative process, where her inspiration comes from and how she chooses just the right beads for her projects. After a comprehensive look into what she keeps in her beading toolkit (and why), it’s on to the projects!

The 13 projects are varied and include many of the stitches we know and love – herringbone, peyote, brick stitch, right-angle weave and bead embroidery to name a few – but turned into wonderfully exotic and rich bracelets, cuffs, necklaces , pendants, earrings and a pin.

As you can see from the cover this isn't a book for beginners, but I think that someone with some beading experience and knowledge of the the basics could complete some of the projects with no problem. Far from being overwhelming, many of the projects are made by creating smaller components and joining them together.

The instructions for each project are comprehensive, including not only the usual supply list, clear instructions and diagrams but they also explain the inspiration behind the piece and why she chose those particular colours, beads or stitch. Among the collection of beautiful projects, my favourites include:

  • Helena Elements - a beautiful necklace made from square beaded components which would not look out of place around the neck of a Greek Goddess.
  • Blue Flame Pin - a bead embroidered brooch that employs a very interesting way of getting the design onto the beading foundation.
  • Poppy Pods Beaded Beads - a collection of five peyote beaded beads made with seeds and drop beads.
  • And of course the amazing Intergalactic Love Song necklace which features on the front cover.

Almost at the end of the book is the Techniques Review section, a handy guide to the techniques used in the projects. I particularly like the information about adding and ending thread as I find this is sometimes missing from most beading books.

The only negative I have about this book is that the author’s gallery at the end is way too small, I would have loved to have seen more of Maggie’s amazing work!

In a nutshell I think this is a fabulous book that’s full of encouragement and inspiration, glorious projects and page after page of beautiful photography.

I really wanted to complete one of the projects in the book to accompany this review, but as beading time was in short supply this month I only managed a small component! This is one of the beads from the Banded Carnelians Necklace which I really enjoyed making, even if my choice of colours leaves much to be desired ;)


Charters said...

Good to have a book recommended by a Jewellery Designer. Looks like it may be one to add to my list. Like that it covers all the popular stitches and has a quite a few projects to tuck into.

Shirley said...

Thanks so much for the review Liz. I am not normally a fan of making components and putting the whole thing together, so it is good to know that about the book. However, I am currently working on a project that is exactly that, and am enjoying it immensely.
I happen to love the colors you chose for your component. I like the stark contrast between the black and the pinkish tones, and the accent of the goldish/yellow is striking. Looking forward to seeing the entire piece now!

Peapod Beads said...

I am seriously considering adding this book to my library, so this review is really useful! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you :)