I spent a glorious day with this new book, by the author of the incredibly well-received earlier books, Beading with Cabochons, and Bugle Bead Bonanza.
What makes this book special? Frankly, it is the very fact that it IS an instruction/technique book, rather than a book offering projects (although the nine projects which ARE offered, at the end of the book, are stunning).
Therefore it focuses primarily on technique, with the fabulous projects for the reader to soar with, after learning or brushing up on, via the previous chapters, all there is to know. A quote I found appropriate to describe this super book is that it is "a remarkable, 160-page encyclopedic guide to bead embroidery techniques with plenty of material for beginners and experienced beaders alike" .
This is the great concept which makes Dimensional Bead Embroidery so successful in purveying understanding, clearly and in a most excellent manner, to the reader, at every turn.
This great technique book also has going for it an astounding collection of beautiful photos (hundreds of them! to assist with the reader's learning and desire to keep ON learning. There is nothing like a vast collection of jawdroppingly beautiful photos, clearly taken and stunning, to keep a person learning and loving a jewelry technique book. The drawings which assist the reader to learn each specific technique are excellent as well.
Ms. Eakin's book is divided into 9 chapters, and then there is a gallery with what I would consider museum quality contributions from other amazing beaders.
Chapter 1 contains a list of materials and tools which you will require.
Chapter 2 is "Basic Techniques". For example, if you are a beginner, and you are wondering what you may have gotten yourself into, Chapter 2 has REALLY easy to grasp basics like adding a stop bead. Reading a technique book as well done as Dimensional Bead Embroidery is better in some ways than going to a class, because there are so many people who need to absorb information, starting from step one, repeatedly. I want to stress this chapter's value because if you are a rank beginner at seed beading, you are not alone when Jamie Cloud Eakin is guiding you. It is as if she is right over your shoulder, anticipating your questions and answering them. She has anticipated them all!
Chapter 3 is a chapter I would also like to bring to the fore as super special.
Entitled "Getting Started and Designing", as the author states, "This chapter will take you through the steps needed for bead embroidery, with chapters 5 through 8 focusing on the specific stitches and techniques you use in steps 3, 7, and 8, described directly below".
I was amazed that this book jumped right in to encouraging the reader to learn to design to his or her personal taste at this early stage! What's more, it is so clearly explained, even I can do this. As a designer who primarily works with wire, although I pine to learn to seed bead and do bead embroidery, I now have a resource book to turn to which will enable me to truly understand what I thought was forever going to be beyond my grasp. You will be able to do this too. I find this book to be incredibly inspiring for everyone who has ever looked at seed beading and bead embroidery and said, "Oh, I can't do that, although I would love to"! You CAN and you WILL, and the design you ultimately end up with will be your own creation!
As Jamie says, earlier, in her introduction, "I think my favorite thing about bead embroidery is not only the capacity for variety but also the simplicity. Even if you can barely sew on a button, you can do this".
That is the feeling the reader will carry throughout the book and it is a very fun and empowering feeling!
Chapter 4 covers using components. This of course is a must for a new seed beading embroidery enthusiast to understand clearly.
Chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8 each explain a variety of stitches which one needs to know to make the projects which follow in Chapter 9.
Chapter 9 is the reader's magnificent reward for learning how to bead embroider using
Dimensional Bead Embroidery, A Reference Guide to Techniques, by this wonderful teacher and author.
"Ceremonial Dance Necklace", the necklace which is on the cover, is right there for you to make. It is just as stunning as can be.
Another favorite project of mine is called "Woodland Secrets Purse". I will give you an example of how the book works by using this project. First is listed "What You Need", then come the "Stiches Used" and the pages upon which they are located. After that is "What You Do", with a template for the purse. There are a number of tips and figures to guide you as you make your own version of this lovely piece. At the end of the project is a photo of an absolutely smashing color variation of the same purse.
I cannot praise this book enough. It accomplishes what it sets out to do with every step clear and well explained. It s a beautiful book, as I have said, and one anyone can learn from.
To sum up, Jamie Cloud Eakin did a magnificent job with Dimensional Bead Embroidery, A Reference Guide to Techniques ! This wonderful book will serve as a reference guide and additionally will also inspire any beader who is aching to learn to bead embroider with seed beads.