Monday, February 18, 2013

Bead embroidery (part 1)

Hi everyone!

Today I want to share with you my experience with bead embroidery. I am quite new to this technique: I only made two pendants up to now and, I have to confess, I was quite intimidated by it when looking at pieces from other artists. A few good readings and videos later, however, everything looked quite clear…and after a couple of inevitable but very educational mistakes (wow…I sound so calm about them now!), I was ready to turn my first design into an actual creation…so, let’s start! 

First of all, I think videos are the best way to understand and learn in a very intuitive way…and if they are free it’s even better! here you can find a series of instructional videos from Beadaholique completely devoted to bead embroidery, giving amazing step by step instructions and advice. Now, if you feel totally confident, you can already start making your own creations! 

I however believe a couple of additional references can be extremely useful to get more insights and confidence. The first of them is a book: Beading with Cabochons by Jamie Cloud Eakin. Besides presenting some amazing (and incredibly inspiring) pictures of completed pieces, it also features six chapters which are dense of useful information on tools, materials, edges, attachment methods, bezel stitches and how to create original designs. Instructions are clear, complete and easy to understand. 

Since I believe in always hearing at least two points of view (besides loving craft books), I also purchased The Art of Bead Embroidery by Heidi Kummli and Sherry Serafini. This is also a nice reference, but I find it a bit more confusing for the beginner, as the choices of the two authors are reported separately and, while pictures are still beautiful and inspiring, instructions are a bit less complete. I would still advice to buy both books, but if I had to pick only one, my choice would be the first. 

I also recently purchased one more book: Dimensional Bead Embroidery by Jamie Cloud Eakins. I am not sure I really needed it, but after reading her Beading with Cabochons, I just couldn’t stop my hand from clicking on “buy” when the new one was released! While I didn’t have much time to go through it, I can say that chapters are laid out quite similarly to her first book and pictures are still amazing. I will hopefully soon be able to read it and write a more complete review. 

I would also like to point out that many other books on the topic are available, and they might be as valid as the ones I talked about in this post. What I am saying is just that, for a beginner, the ones I mentioned are of great help and a source of inspiration which will allow you to confidently move your first steps in the fantastic world of bead embroidery!

Here you can see my first completed creation and here you can find out more about my first practical experiments with this technique. Now, I would love to hear about yours too: which books do you think are the most inspiring? Do you have any favorite material/stitch/fringe technique? Share them in the comments! 

…and have a beautiful day full of creativity!

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