Saturday, June 19, 2010

Seed Bead Fusion

You may recall that I bought this book on a whim because I had some JoAnn's coupons and I was mad that they didn't have any of the stuff I wanted for my next coin bra project. Amusing then, that this is the first beading book in a while that I've actually made something from! And that was also because of a whim. I was flipping through all my bead books looking for something elegant to do with Swarovski pearls for my friend Helen's wedding necklace. I thought that Seed Bead Fusion was all funky stuff, but there was a beautiful rivoli pendant project hanging from a strand of pearls, and when I showed it to Helen, that was the design she chose.

So I can actually give a real thorough review, since I've tested the directions! Author Rachel Nelson-Smith provides step-by-step written directions, with a few helpful graphs. For visual learners, each tutorial is followed by a couple pages of thumbnails of the major steps. The photographs of the projects and steps are very clear and sharp against a plain white background, making it easy to see what you're making and how you're doing it.

I found one or two small typographical errors in the project that I did, but they didn't throw me off since it was easy to infer what the author actually meant. Over all the project was very doable, though I bent three needles, and as I mentioned in my last post, it took three tries to get a 36 bead bezel that actually fit perfectly around the rivoli.

The projects use a lot of right angle weave and peyote stitch. Many of them are very dimensional, and the examples tend to be in extremely bright colors, so that I usually have to imagine them in green and black to think if I would actually do them. The fusion in the title comes from the fact that most of the projects also incorporate some wirework or stringing along with the seed bead weaving, but there's still plenty of interesting stuff for beaders who are strictly interested in weaving.

After making Helen's necklace (which I'll post tomorrow or Monday), I want to make something for myself with the same technique, and there are at least half a dozen other projects that I could see myself trying out. In fact, I'd dive right in if my BFAC deadline wasn't looming large on the horizon.


  1. I was lucky enough to take several days of classes from Rachel just before her book came out. We saw the prototype. She had many of her projects there for us to see in person. Her work is easy to follow and she is a delight to work with. If you ever get a chance to take a class from her, jump on it. Well worth the time.

  2. Thank you for the recommendation, Arline! I'll keep my eyes open, maybe she will come this way someday. I'm jealous that you got to see the projects in person, they seem like they'd be fun to fondle!