I have waited years for a book on beading with cabochons. Leave it to Lark books to provide the beautiful color pictures and quality paper book that we prefer. Lark always seems to have better-than-average technique-type books, and this one is no exception. The pictures are plentiful, clear and Jamie Cloud Eakin's work is inspiring and impressive. Just the kind of pictures I like to see when looking for examples of technique. Lovely, lovely, lovely!
I am another "Woman of 100 Hobbies" and have an extensive library of books, including beading. What does this book provide that others do not? The only other book I own that provides much in the way of step-by-step directions for working with cabs is Sadie Starr's 1993 publication _Beading with Seed Beads, Gem Stones and Cabochons_. While Ms. Starr's book provided us with her basic cabochon technique (amongst her other seed-bead and gemstone experience), it was in black and white with color plate pages elsewhere, depicted mostly southwest style, and really just whetted your appetite and curiosity for working with cabs. Beading with Cabochons reaches beyond the basics and offers such attractive variations! I love Eakin's style and find myself "champing at the bit" to try my own variations, and isn't that what a good book should do?
While we go from basic to more advanced styles, these are not your average-looking cab projects. I think they have more class/chic/dash than the traditional southwest style I am accustomed to seeing so often. (No disparagement or offense meant to the southwest/Native American style, of course; each has its place! It is simply not MY style most of the time. Know what I mean?)
Table of Contents includes: 1) Materials and Tools, 2) Basic Cabochon Beading, 3) Edge Stitches [Raw edge, Turned-bead edge, Lifted turned-bead edge, Pointed edge, Twisted edge, Star edge (using brick stitch), Ruffled edge (using brick stitch), Scalloped edge, and Fringes], 4) Attachment Methods (and variations thereof) [Direct, Turn-bead method, Backside bead method, Top-bail ladder stitch method, and Top loop method], 5) Other Bezel Stitches [Bead-raised bezel, Window bezel, Picot bezel, and variations], 6) The Projects, and 7) Creating Your Own Designs [color considerations, design steps (from concept to completion), jewelry-specific tips, other design considerations, using multiple cabs/ other objects]; a Gallery of cabochon jewelry by other artists; an Appendix on attaching findings; an Index to stitches; and supplier notes.
The 11 projects include: Fringed Dichroic Glass Necklace, Oval Solitaire Rhodonite Bracelet, Noondrite Jasper Necklace, Sea Moss Ladder Bracelet, Double Cabochon Dangle Earrings, Leopardskin Jasper Necklace, Black Onyx Pin, Victorian Triple Cabochon Bracelet, Southwest Spirit Necklace, Fringed Tiger-Eye Cabochon Earrings and Crazy Lace Agate Pin.
I came away feeling that Eakin knew what she was talking about, even providing us with helpful information about minutiae such as Glue: If/when using glue, instead of just selecting a glue suitable for glass, stones or fabric, "The key to selecting one glue brand over another is knowing what the glue's texture will be after it dries."; Scissors: Good, sharp blades are obvious, but curved manicure scissors are especially good for trimming and (surprise) curves; and Knots: Did you know there's a secure, one-thread knot when you cannot tie a square knot?
My only "complaint": The very fine-line ellipse thingy used on the title of each beginning chapter page. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats and I keep thinking that it's a hair! Ha!