Top 10 Favorite Beading Books of Interweave Editors
“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” ― Jorge Luis Borges
My mom likes to tell people that I started reading when I was just four years old and the only way she could punish me as a youngster was to take my books away and make me go outside to play. It’s no wonder found a way to make books a part of my career now in adulthood!
Today my Beverly Cleary and Ronald Dahl books have been replaced by (cough, cough, several hundred) craft books. My office shelves are packed with everything from pamphlets to compendiums, on every topic from bead weaving to knitting top-down sweaters.
With so many books to choose from, it’s difficult to pick favorites — or know which ones to buy! I gathered together my coworkers in the Beading Group and asked them to chime in on which Interweave Beading books are their favorites and why. We have tough jobs, but someone’s got to do them…
Interweave Editor’s 10 Favorite Beading Books
Ancient Modern: Polymer Clay + Wire Jewelry, by Ronna Sarvas Weltman
I remember when I first got my hands on a copy of Ronna’s book, Ancient Modern, as flipped through the pages I was instantly inspired. At the time, my primary focus was lampwork glass beads and I marveled at the shapes that could be made with polymer that I struggled to achieve in glass. The book not only taught me how to make polymer beads, but how to look at different media to enhance and compliment what I was already doing.
Bead Metamorphosis: Exquisite Jewelry from Custom Components, by Lisa Kan
When I joined the Interweave book team in 2013, Bead Metamorphosis was knee deep in the production process as its early 2014 release approached. Lisa’s designs in this book are just spectacular and, with the easy to follow instructions and illustrations, they’re also achievable. My favorite piece is the Encanto Necklace, which can be customized with interchangeable focal pieces. All the designs in the book feel as fresh and modern as they did years ago when I got my first behind the scenes peek at them.
Beadweaving Beyond the Basics: 24 Beading Designs Using Seed Beads, Crystals, Two-Hole Beads and More, by Kassie Shaw
Editor Lavon Peter’s finds Kassie Shaw’s designs beautiful and wearable. Her book Beadweaving Beyond the Basics includes 24 gorgeous projects with clear illustrations and helpful tips. But what Lavon really loves about this book is all the valuable beading advice. Kassie presents some of her favorite stitches, materials, and tools. Her recommendations will help readers go beyond the basics in their own beadwork!
Bohemian Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon, and Cords, by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel
Project editor Megan Lenhausen is a fan of long time Jewelry Stringing magazine contributors Lorelei and Erin. She loved seeing the jewelry they would submit! They both design with a fun bohemian vibe, which is a style that has remained so popular through the years. True to the aesthetics that Megan has admired for so long, their book Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry is a compilation of wearable eclectic jewelry projects to make with leather, ribbon, cords, gemstones, ceramic beads, and more. The designs in this book are individually so unique and fuel imagination with the turn of each page.
Enlightened Polymer Clay: Artisan Jewelry Designs Inspired by Nature, by Rie Nagumo
Beadwork Editor Debbie Blair, with a background in art, has dabbled in polymer clay over the years, making the occasional stamped pendant or sculpted Christmas ornament. But discovering that stunning jewelry can be made by artists such as Rie Nagumo, who has elevated polymer clay to a whole new level, inspires her to push her own boundaries. Rie’s delicate, organic components look nothing like polymer clay — in fact, they resemble anything but, giving the appearance of Lucite, foam, seed pods, wood, flower petals, and even macaroons — yes, miniature macaroons on a chain! This book will change your perception of polymer clay jewelry!
Hubble Stitch: Instructions & Inspiration for this Creative New Lace Beadwork Technique, by Melanie de Miguel
When you hear there’s a new bead-weaving stitch in town your ears perk up, right? Well, Tammy Honaman’s sure did when news of the Hubble Stitch made its way across her newsfeed (aka – Facebook). Melanie’s book is and shall remain the encyclopedia version of all there is to know about hubble stitch. She explains every nuance of the stitch, how it behaves, and what to expect as you weave your beads together. The illustrations are fun (they even included smiley faces!), easy to read, and show you exactly what you need to weave hubble stitch.
Modern Beaded Lace: Beadweaving Techniques for Stunning Jewelry Designs, by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel
Cynthia Newcomer Daniel has always been both a lacemaker and a beader. In Modern Beaded Lace, she explains how to combine these two beautiful crafts. Lavon loves the primer on different types of lace, as well as the section that delves into the basic elements of beaded lace and explains which stitches to use for each. You’ll be designing your own beaded lace in no time with Cynthia as your guide!
Seed Bead Fusion: 18 Projects to Stitch, Wire & String by Rachel Nelson-Smith
The cover designs alone told Tammy this was her kind of book — the colors, the style and the fact this book includes stitching, wire, and stringing. What could be bad? With fusion in the title, she was in! This book lives up to all it promises, and then some. With lots of merging of so many favorites, Rachel has a wonderful way of weaving together beads, wire, and other materials to create designs you want to make right then and there. This book is one to keep handy and in your (electronic) library, for sure!
Sensational Soutache Jewelry Making: Braided Jewelry Techniques for 15 Statement Pieces, by Csilla Papp
This is another favorite of Megan’s; she’s never seen a more vibrant, striking, and ingenious group of designs as the collection in Csilla Papp’s Sensational Soutache Jewelry Making. Csilla has an amazing knack for color, which she incorporated into each soutache jewelry design in this book. Not only does she use color to her advantage but she also designs her soutache pieces around fun materials including large crystal stones, shaped beads, cup chain, leather, and more. Each modern design is full of life and movement and uses soutache like you’ve never seen before!
Simply Modern Jewelry: Designs from the Editor of Stringing Magazine, by Danielle Fox
While working closely with Danielle Fox for nearly eight years, Debbie always admired Danielle’s design sensibilities. And during most of her career at Interweave, Debbie’s kept copies of Simply Modern Jewelry on the shelf in her office and on her desk at home. Danielle has a way of combining unique and beautiful elements in such a charming way — it’s easy to find inspiration for using a beautiful artisan bead or a distinctive clasp from my stash when flipping through this must-have book full of beautiful strung designs.
Interweave’s Annual Hurt Book and Overstock Sale is a great time to expand your library and your beading skill set. For these books check out the collection we put together Editors’ Top 10 Beading Book Bundle and for other must-have books, hop over to Beading Book category, now.
Editorial Director, Books
Expand your skills and your beading library with Interweave Editors’ favorite beady picks!