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Native American Beadwork: Projects & Techniques from the Southwest Hardcover – October 1, 2003

4.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Much beadwork today is derived from various ethnic customs and designs, using contemporary styles to update very traditional patterns. Geary, a member of the San Carlos Apache tribe, employs the best of her birthright in following this trend. This how-to is distinguished by a number of reader-friendly features: extensive background information on Native American beadwork, both in general and specifically about each design; 18 projects, each indicating level of difficulty and incorporating one new technique; and a photographic glossary that begs to be transformed into its own book. The Southwest dominates such projects as bear earrings, a kokopelli pin and amulet bag, a medicine wheel pendant or pin, and corn-stitch earrings. Each includes step-by-step illustrations, color photographs, charts when necessary, and possible variations. It's easy to see why the very act of beading can be a perfect relaxation therapy. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Theresa Flores Geary, taught by her mother and elders from the San Carlos Apache tribe, has been creating beadwork since the age of fourteen. Besides making jewellery and other beaded objects, Theresa has developed a line of bead kits that she sells to museums, gift shops, and retail outlets throughout the USA. She also teaches beadwork classes. The author lives in Arizona, USA.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402703309
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402703300
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,165,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I came upon this gem while searching for ideas for using a packet of porcupine quills which a friend had purchased for me during his travels. I ordered the book online, based solely on a review which sounded promising. Little did I know what a treat I was in for!
The photography is stunning and whets the reader's appetite for undertaking the projects. The photos of the projects in various stages of completion are very clear. There is no difficulty in counting individual beads or determining where one row ends and another begins. In addition to the photos, there are diagrams which illustrate traditional stitches, as well as project patterns. Written instructions are explicit and complete. Ms. Geary has added a beadwork glossary, again with crisp photos and easy-to-follow diagrams. This is an indispensable reference for beaders, offering information on beading topics, in general, and Native American techniques and components, in particular.
In addition to the eighteen projects in the book, Ms. Geary has provided a succinctly and elegantly written introduction to the role of beading in history and particularly among Native Americans, e.g., its spiritual, cultural, and economic significance. Each project offers a brief, but very informative, introduction on the geographical and tribal origin of the piece or technique, and suggested variations, designed to spark the reader's own creativity.
Within one week of receiving this book, I had completed three of the projects and designed a fourth, based upon one of the author's patterns. This is a resource I will return to over and over, both for specific information and as a springboard for my own imagination. In the meantime, I'll be looking for more of Ms. Geary's work!
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a beader from Tucson, AZ and have bought many books on beading throughout the years. I was very impressed by the completeness of the Beadwork Glossary that included photos in Ms. Geary's book, as well as the easy to understand directions for the different projects. Her different beading techniques make this book a must have for every beader! Can't wait for her next book! Inspired in Tucson.
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Format: Hardcover
The author has indeed educated this anglo on some very interesting Native American traditions. Her writing is superb and the photographs of the completed projects are divine, thanks to Nancy Palubniak, photographer. Instructions are precise and very understandable. The step by step illustrations are also comprehensive and easy to read. I have been a collector of Beading Books for 12 years and this is my favorite, so far. I highly recommend every officianado of Native American traditions and beadwork purchase this book for their collection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great guide for anyone beginning "native American" beadwork. Easy to read and follow directions for many different techniques as well as beautiful illustrations, patterns and explanation's for common terms used in beadwork.
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Format: Hardcover
There are some good books on techniques and materials in the shelves out there. The there is a lot of kitsch out there that makes beading look like a second class skill or hobby.

This book excels in making beading a first class art. Although the Projects and techniques say they are from the Southwest, they are universal. The symbols do focus on the San Carlos Apache tribe. The finished product would be Worthing of giving as gifts or placing on the mantle:
Sonora-weave Choker
Netted Gourd
Floral Bracelet
Bone-hair-pipe Bracelet
Leather medicine gag
Triple-strand fetish necklace
Bear earrings
Comanche-weave feather
Chile Pepper
Corn-stitch earrings
Phoenix key ring
Kokopelli amulet bag
Netted basket
Flat round peyote basket
Powwow perfume bag
Navaho bead rug
Kokopelli pin
Medicine wheel

The book also contains information on Native American beadwork from the Southwest. Native American Spirituality. And a pretty good glossary.

Of course everyone will have their favorite; mine is Netted Basket.
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Format: Paperback
This book is excellent for describing technique. It's easy to follow and do. There are lots of interesting patterns and techniques you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

There is nothing traditional about what is described here. These are techniques for modern dodads and keychains. Still, it's great fun.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have this book as well as Theresa Geary's Creative Native American Beading book (Creative Native American Beading). Both are very good and in several respects interchangeable - not in the individual projects, of course, but in approach, quality, in the ranges of difficulty of the projects, etc. Both are project-centered books, have excellent full-color photos throughout, and have clear directions, advice on beads, needles, thread/wire, tensioning, tie-off, and other relevant techniques. I particularly like that Geary gives specific advice on topics like attaching beadwork panels to fabric and leather. That said, I wouldn't necessarily recommend either of these books to a new beader. Although easy projects are included, there just isn't enough handholding beginners information to start someone out cold from a book here.

The author is Native American and was traditionally taught. As with Geary's Creative Native American Beading book, I bought this one for one specific project. And, like the other, it's unfortunate that Amazon does not have a "look inside" for this book, as there is a range of projects presented in both type and difficulty level. Any buyer would be amply repaid for the price of the book by completing even one.
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