The Bottom Line
- Wide variety of projects included in the book
- Many different beadweaving techniques included
- Beautiful photographs of historical and contemporary beadwork
- Easy to read history of beadweaving techniques from around the world
- Projects are not all geared for beginners
- Most projects have a distinctly modern feel to them
- Paperbound edition
- Photographs of historic and cultural beadwork from around the globe
- Modern projects are inspired by historic beadwork
Guide Review - The Art of Beadwork: Historic Inspiration, Contemporary Design by Valerie Hector
A cultural feast of beadwork, Valerie goes into the history of several different parts of the world and how beadwork and wearable beadwork played a part of that history.
The book is divided into four major sections covering Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. The major beadwork styles of the region are profiled, and there are projects inspired by these styles.
The projects themselves are not just simple beadwoven and strung pieces – some include metalsmithing/metal work techniques that may not be of interest or easily made by everyone. Some of the most well-known bead artists have contributed projects to this volume, including Carol Perrenoud, Joyce Scott, David Chatt, Don Pierce and Madelyn Ricks.
Valerie Hector’s projects in this book include some of her signature techniques in three-dimensional bead stitching and combining metal work and beads. Even if you don’t know any metal work techniques, looking at her pieces is very inspirational. These projects made me think about all the different directions in which I could take my beadwork.
I think the part of this book that I enjoyed the most was seeing how the artists took their inspiration from the cultural beadwork from around the world. Seeing the transition from classic cultural beadwork to modern beadwork projects gave me new ideas for places to look for beading designs. And learning a little bit about the history of each culture as it related to the beads and the beadwork was fascinating and really gave me a sense of being connected with these cultures through our work with beads.