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The Art of Beadwork: Historic Inspiration, Contemporary Design Paperback – February 1, 2005

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Valerie Hector is a brand name for high-quality beaded jewelry and is thought by many in the field to have invented the fine craft category of beadwork jewelry. She lives in Evanston, IL. Lois Sherr Dubin is an internationally recognized authority on beads and beadwork, and also the author of The History of Beads (0-8109-8178-5).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications; 1st edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823003078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823003075
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #958,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By K. Varraso VINE VOICE on March 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
My first thoughts while reading this book were "Where have you been all this time?" and "Boy, this was well worth the wait!"

Many of the beading books available today are for beginning beadworkers who are just beginning to explore the art form. This is not - it discusses beading in a social, historical and geographic context, and each chapter contains one or more projects that illustrate the topics being discussed. The directions for the projects are good, and the diagrams are clear. However, this book is not for the person who sat down yesterday with a tube of beads and expects to make a masterpiece, or for the person who wants to make identical copies of a craft pattern diagrammed by another.

With the help of other talented bead artists, Ms. Hector teaches some advanced techniques and gives suggestions on making your own masterpieces using those techniques. It is not a "how to" book in the traditional sense, as it does not assume that you will follow the instructions, making bead for bead copies of the illustrated projects. Rather, it is like having an instructor who helps you with the skills you'll need to create your own art.

Beads are truly universal, and are among the oldest items manufactured by humans. Ms. Hector understands that and this book illustrates ancient techniques that are still indispensible, fresh and relevant to today's bead artist. It also provides a bit of humility to anyone who thinks they've discovered a completely new beading technique - it's almost inevitible that a skilled bead artist beat you to your "invention," probably centuries ago!

Definitely a must have for those who want to know their art and elevate it to something more than a "cute hobby."I predict that this book will join a select few titles that have become indispensible to those of us who spend far too much time and money researching and using these addictive little items with holes in them.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Hungry Beader on July 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
I waited months and months and *months* for this book after seeing the author's work in person and nearly fainting on the spot over her inexpressibly luxurious Xhosa double scallop stitch pieces (technique included in this book). Every few months I'd check on the status, and find out the publication date had been set back, and I thought I'd expire from desire before I got it.

AT LAST it was published, and I pounced -- and OH, *what* a marvelous book it is, and how well worth waiting for!! How wonderful to have the rare book for more advanced beadworkers -- packed with superb diagrams and inspirational photographs and unusual, atypical stitches.

Hector's approach is sort of anthropological; she builds the chapters around traditional/cultural styles of beadwork from around the globe and throughout history, presenting a rich and well-researched context of historical and multicultural example in which she roots the contemporary projects. Each chapter features the work of a different contemporary bead artist, who designed his or her project in response to the historical/cultural inspiration featured in that chapter.

The result is the most novel, juicy and satisfying wide-ranging offering of truly unique beadwork inspiration. That said, it should be noted that it would not serve well as a first "how-to" book for a beginning beader; some of the stitches are rather advanced and I believe would prove frustrating to most beginners. On the other hand, that is exactly what makes this one of my FAVORITE bead books of all! It's so gratifying to find a truly unique set of techniques that have not been presented in a dozen other books.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Hughes on May 18, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received my book 2 days ago. I looked through it and though I'm by no means done going through it, I had to jump in and try the cubic right angle weave. It's so cool!

The great thing about this book is the unusual weaves. Definitely not the same ol' stuff you see all the time. I'm an experienced beader and am always on the lookout for books that are not geared to the beginning beader. This book is really wonderful. As another reviewer said. She presents the possibilites in photos, then gives the general instructions, suggests other design possibilities leaving the rest to your imagination. The instructions given were clear and concise and enough to continue on your own (provided you're not a beginning beader.)

If you're an intermediate to advanced beader looking for new things to try, you've GOT to have this book. Beginning beaders will enjoy seeing the wonderful possibilities that can be viewed in this book but will probably want to get a good handle on weaving techniques before jumping into the projects offered here.

I can't wait to get back to this book and trying some more of the techniques. My upcoming vacation will be filled with hours devoted to this book.

I wasn't familiar with the author before but will definitely be watching for her name from now on.

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bingell on April 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have been doing beadwork, writing about beadwork, researching beads and beadwork, devoting my master's degree work to beadwork ... everything I have ever done these past 10 years seem to relate to beads ... even vacations with my wife center on going to specific bead stores, collections and museums.

This book is PHENOMENAL! There are things in this book that I could never have dreamed about. The photography, illustrations and explanations for the projects are first rate. Linking them to traditional pieces is brilliant.

This is the one book that will change the face of beadwork to come in the future.
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