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The Book of Beads: A Practical and Inspirational Guide to Beads and Jewelry Making Hardcover – August 15, 1990

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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This stunning volume utilizes glorious color photos to catalog all types of beads (glass, wood, metal, ceramic, natural, semiprecious, plastic, novelty, and collectible), offer design guidelines on planning jewelry (considerations of bead shape, texture, size, weight, and color), and document various practical considerations (findings, equipment, basic how-tos of creating earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and brooches). The section on themes and special occasions, complete with directions for each project, features designs for evening wear, summer styles, holiday looks, weddings, children's items, and African- and Indian-inspired pieces. Even the purely informational and visual spreads (those without actual how-to instructions) offer endless inspiration and ideas for beaded creations.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (August 15, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671705253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671705251
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 11.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book has multipage spreads on every imaginable type of bead--by material, color, and style--accompanied by exquisite photographs. It also tells you how to rejuvenate jewelry. My favorite section is "Techniques," at the back of the book. It has clear photographs (not sloppy drawings like some books) of findings and equipment, plus basic instructions for making earrings, necklaces, etc., as well as beading on fabric. There are books that go into greater detail on technique, but for someone like me who wants to comprehend the full range of beads and materials available, plus basic how-to, it's terrific!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By sandy807 VINE VOICE on August 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This bead book is like an encyclopedia and gallery in one. I love looking through its wonderful photos of beads and jewelry, and it has added to my store of techniques and design ideas. A large section is dedicated to close-up photos of many types of beads with references to their history and cultural background. It makes me more knowledgeable about what I'm getting when I shop for beads.
The next section has a wonderful display of jewelry, mostly necklaces and earrings, in all kinds of styles, materials, colors -- from light and delicate to chunky and bold. I've gotten a lot of ideas from these to copy or create my own designs.
A section at the end explains various jewelry-making techniques with closeup photos and adequate written instructions. I think just a little prior experience would be helpful in following these fairly simple techniques. There are a couple more pages that clearly show a few methods for sewing beads onto fabric. This is a bead book I will keep returning to for browsing and inspiration.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is the book that got me interested in beads and jewelry makiing many years ago--and I still go back to it. It covers types of beads, while giving some history, and then goes into styles of beaded jewelry. The last part describes what you need to make jewelry and gives some design ideas. Also interesting is a section on recycling old jewelry.
Experienced beaders may find it too simplistic, but overall, it is a wonderful introduction to the world of beads.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Janette H Rodrigues on February 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Trying to figure out the name and history behind your most recent flea-market-find beads? Chances are the answers are in this slim, easy-to-overlook book. I've been making bead jewelry for more years than I like to admit, yet I learn something new every time I open this book. All the full-page photographs come with plenty of FYI factoids about beads, which are catagorized by type and color. I've used it to identify everything from rudraksha nuts used in Hindu prayer beads, and batik beads from Kenya, to the Italian name for my favorite African trade beads. The book isn't big on instructions. But if you are looking for ideas or inspiration, it is a wonderfully informative guide.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This IS a textbook, in a way. Great reference material for those new to beads and beading - beautifully photographed with lots of information both on all types of beads and also findings and simple techniques. I keep dipping into this one and still find something new.
Very helpful and informative - and lovely to look at, too!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Larabie on November 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This beautiful book is full of colour photos that show hundreds of examples of bead types and styles and describes their origins. A whole section is devoted to projects appropriate to each style and the how-to instructions are easy to follow. The only problem is the book doesn't include a bag of beads once you get your appetite whetted! For the beginner and more experienced beader, this is a lovely reference guide and worth the money.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Vicki D on March 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The information and the photography in this book is really wonderful. I refer to it time and again for information on particular beads or just to look at the wonderful pictures of beads. I love to collect beads and use them in designs. It is always enjoyable to me to just peruse this book. I would recommend it to anyone that is interested in beads,or just for information and ideas.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book has absolutely gorgeous pictures that also provide inspiration. Has sections on various types of beads (along with pictures of them) and basic how-to's in the back. Excellent for beginners and/or anyone looking for design ideas.
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