Arte Es Vida

Easy Beading from BeadStyle Magazine by arteesvida
December 3, 2006, 2:23 am
Filed under: Beading, Book Reviews

BeadStyle magazine features fun, coloring, simple-stringing projects with a wide range appeal and BeadStyle’s parent company, Kalmbach, has just has just released a fantastic book, Easy Beading — The Best Projects From The First Year Of BeadStyle Magazine which is chock full of all the greatest projects and tips from their first four issues.

Although BeadStyle has been marketed primarily to beginning beaders, it really appeals to a wide range of jewelry designers. Anyone looking for easier, less time-consuming projects or anyone who creates jewelry for resale will also find this book a must-have for their shelves. While more complicated projects are gorgeous, the pieces the sell the best from my own website are the things that are easiest for me to put together (and therefore more inexpensive for me to sell). Although I love stitchwork (especially beaded embroidery), those are the really time consuming projects that I generally work on while watching TV instead of part of my regular repertoire. The kind of work I create on a regular basis is really similar to the projects listed in this book. Triple strand bracelets, beaded watches, lariat necklaces, knotted cord bracelets, and donut wraps are just a few of the techniques the book details. They also delve into the less traditional fun stuff like using metal washers as charms and filigree as connected necklace components….which I love!

If you are fairly new to jewelry making, you will really appreciate the literally hundreds of photos and step-by-step instructions for each project. I remember starting out, how frustrating it was to read book that assumed certain knowledge on the beaders part. The book also includes a thorough break down of beading terms, tools, and materials as well as a well-photographed section of basic techniques including how to position a crimp and properly use crimping pliers, how to wrap a wire loop, and how to tie a surgeon’s knot. If you have ever struggled with any of these techniques, you will definitely have an epiphany moment of “Oh! So that’s how they do that! That’s not hard, after all!” (Those surgeons have fooled us in to thinking that was tricky stuff!)

Interspersed with the projects are some of the best reader’s tips and tricks that were published during the magazines first year. After 15 years of beading I like to convince myself that I’ve heard it all, but there was some ideas in there that I had never thought of…and after reading these books, I am so going to go buy some foam shelf liner this week!

2 Comments so far
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what kind of supplies does one need to get started beading? I always find when I want to get involved in an area of crafts, there are soooo many tools you need to do it properly (although I can’t imagine beading is as bad as stained glass for that 😉 )

Comment by paperbacks

They may, at least, be cheaper! To get started should be well under 20.00 bucks. It depends on what you want to make, but for basic necklaces and bracelets all you need is material to string on. I use nylon coated wire which is usually called “tiger tail”. You can also use fishing line which is great for practice. Then you need beads, of course, your clasps, and crimps to attach your clasps to your stringing material. I prefer the tube crimps, which are about ten cents each versus the “cheapie” ones for five cents!

If you want to make earrings you would have to buy some jump rings and ear wires, if you want to make pins you will need pin backings, etc etc. But you will tend to just buy that stuff as you go.

In terms of tools you will need a pair of needlenosed pliers and that is really it at first. Eventually you will get some wire cutters (the pliers have a cutting device on the inside of them but the wire cutters work better), some round nosed pliers, and maybe some crimping pliers. I also have a pair of metal shears for cutting up sheets of metal but I didn’t buy them until just a couple of years ago, and a soldering gun I finally bought about a year ago…all I used were basic Wal-Mart pliers for years and years, and I still use them most of the time!

And that is pretty much it. The only thing you will really have to learn to do to finish off your necklaces and bracelets is how to use the crimps. I think the Wig Jig University website has a good photo tutorial for it.

If you want to metalwork and glasswork that can get expensive, I bought a small kiln a few years ago to fire metal clay and slump glass, and keep saying I want to buy a torch to do lampwork too, but that is all “extra”….if you get bit by the beading bug!

Comment by arteesvida

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