Monday, May 17, 2010

Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving

Laura McCabe is pretty much my beading idol (well, one of them). Her floral work is so faerie-like, and her edgier pieces with prosthetic eyes and stone spikes appeal to my macabre Gothic side. So when I heard that her new book was out, I bought it sight unseen. I didn't even know the title at the time. I just knew that it had to be mine.

This was a well-chosen impulse buy! Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving focuses on giving your beadwork a luscious, textural appeal. The basic techniques that Laura teaches are pretty simple, and you may already be using variations of them. The genius is in how she uses and combines them.

Embellished Beadweaving is the 3rd volume in Lark Books' Beadweaving Master Class series. Like the previous two books, it starts out with an introduction to beadweaving, a bit of history, and some detailed tips on what tools, supplies and beads the author recommends. There's also a short chapter where Laura describes her process for gathering inspiration, and explains the focus on natural inspiration in the books' projects.

Some beaders like to learn technique, and apply it to their own project. Others like to be given a project that teaches them the techniques. The Beadweaving Master Class series is designed with both of these types of beaders in mind. Embellished Beadweaving has an entire chapter dedicated to the various embellishment techniques that Laura uses in the projects. The final chapter has 18 projects in Laura's signature styles, ranging from relatively simple rings to incredibly complex necklaces. I've unfortunately not had a chance to test any of the projects yet, but the directions look relatively clear. There's ample text, with easy-to-read graphics of the important steps.

This book also has lots of eye candy. In addition to gorgeous photographs of each project, the book is sprinkled with photos of Laura's past work, and then in the back there's a huge gallery of inspirational works -- all various embellished beadwork in a variety of styles, from the biggest names in the bead world.

I would consider this book a must for anyone who admires Laura's work and would like to bead more like her, especially if you can't take a class with her. I for one can't wait to try most of the projects, and I really hope the book will help me add some rich dimensionality that my own beading is lacking.


  1. Great review, AJ! It makes me even more interested in acquiring this book. Thanks.

  2. oooh, you make me want this book.

  3. Glad to help, Arline! I think you'll really like this book.

    Julie, you should definitely at least flip through it at B&N. It's such a pretty, pretty book!