One of the things that happens when a hobby becomes a passion is that you start to absorb everything you can on a subject, from reading websites (such as this one), days spent on Pinterest or wiki’s, watching YouTube videos and, of course, reading all the books you can.
I thought I would share with you some of my favourite beading books that have helped to inspire, teach and shape my designs today. The choices here are probably suited for the more advanced beader, these are the books I go to now, not the ones I dipped into whilst learning the basics. There are so many good basic beading books out there, but these choices will push you out of your comfort zone and inspire you to learn more, or create something different to your usual style. Do you have a cup of tea? Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s dive in.
The Beader’s Guide to Color – Margie Deeb
This fantastic book is great to really gain an understanding of colour theory and how it works for beaders. The book starts with an explanation colour wheels, and goes on to describe each of the colours giving each one a personality. After that it heads into combining colours, and even describes the use of different coatings and textures. Put this together with gorgeous photos of beadwork, a few patterns you can make yourself and the passion for the subject the author has, I feel this this is a book that, if you can get hold of it, should be in any beader’s home library.
Sherry Serafini’s Sensational Bead Embroidery: 25 Inspiring Jewelry Projects
Sherry Serafini has to be one of my favourite designers. Her style and use of colour are a pleasure and her elaborate pieces are a source of constant inspiration to me. This book is a great reflection of her style and look. The pieces that she shows you how to make are beautiful. Techniques are explained well, although this book does seem to be for people who have some experience with bead embroidery, this might mean beginners find it a little lacking in instruction. She works a lot with cabochons this means that the techniques are bit different to some of the other bead-weaving books and it gives you a new insight into all of the wonderful things you can do with beads.
The Art of Bead Embroidery- Heidi Kummili and Sherry Serafini
I know, I know Sherry Serafini is already on here, but this collaboration with Heidi Kummili would be such a shame to leave off of the list. Both artists work directly onto fabrics or leather with cabochons and other items, but their styles are very different. Heidi draws from her Native American heritage and creates beautiful pieces inspired by nature and meaning, and Sherry is inspired by colours and patterns around her, and as I said before her use of colour is wonderful. They both use slightly different techniques and these are explained in the book allowing you to mix and match stitches and styles to create a piece all of your own, or follow one of their patterns. The jewellery is simply stunning, the artists explain everything so well, and the comparison of their styles really helps you develop your own. Once again if you are heading into more advanced techniques this book should be on your shelf.
Seed Bead Fusion – Rachel Nelson-Smith.
This book is a recent addition to my collection. I actually picked it up unseen from a bead seller who had an online book sale. It was so cheap I did not care if it was rubbish, fortunately it really wasn’t. This book is full of interesting seed bead projects, often combined with wire. It teaches you, in simple steps, how to create structured beadwork, 3D shapes and bracelets with gorgeous texture. Not only that but it gives you a sample of most of the projects in alternate colours so you can really get a feel about how changing things will change the look.
Mastering Beadwork- Carol Huber Cypher
My final and probably most advised choice out of all of the ones I have suggested so far. My reasoning, this is a fantastic reference book full of a ton of stitches, multiple ways to use them and whole bunch of designs. I think this is one of those books that I will keeping going back to again and again, no matter how much I know. What stitch is good for a design I am thinking about? Look at this book! How do I do this stitch again? Go and have look at this book. The instructions are clear and easy, and the pictures included are great representations of the use of each stitch. This book is great for both beginners who want to explore new techniques and advanced beaders who might need a little referral or inspiration, or just want to learn a new technique.
I hope this has helped you start to build your more advanced beading library. What beading books are the ones you are pleased to have in your library?