This woman has taught for the last few years at Bead & Button in Milwaukee. After buying this book, I would not hesitate to take a class from her. The drawings are concise, showing all thread paths for the stitches and there are a great variety of different projects and stitches that are used.
Another great book to have in any beaders personal library.
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Considering how complicated the Jewelry in this book looks in the beautiful photographs, I was pleasantly amazed at the beautifully simple instructions for creating each piece. This is a truly amazing book that belongs in every beader's "tips and techniques" library. I would give it ten stars if I could.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Lovely projectsMarch 26 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Like the previous reviewer, I pre-ordered this months ago, and have been so excited to receive it! I have almost all of the books in the Lark Master Class series; each one is a treasure, and this new one from Sonoko Nozue is no exception!
After an Introduction written by the editor, the book is then broken down into six chapters:
At the end of the book is an Author Gallery, full of gorgeous eye candy.
All of the twenty-five pieces are elegant and lovely! The "Look Inside" feature on Amazon will give you an idea of how beautiful the pieces are, and the projects in the book range in more simple netting designs to more complex pieces. Although there is a pair of earrings, a shawl, and some bracelets, the book emphasizes necklaces, and many are spiral-type chains. In the Basics chapter of the book, Nozue lays out the main stitches that are used: Zulu Stitch, Spriral Rope, Chevron Stitch, Peyote, Daisy Chain, Netting, Brick, and Tubular Bead Crochet. Even if you're unfamiliar with some of these stitches, the Basics chapter gives a clear explanation of each one, along with good diagrams. I would say that this book is appropriate for the intermediate or advanced seed beader; if you're a beginner, this might not be the best book to start off with.
Since each of us has our own style when it comes to beading, I always find it hard in review of a beading book to know if the style of the pieces will appeal to a book's buyer, which is why the "Look Inside" feature is so helpful. Since I personally am not drawn to spiral-type chains as much, I'd say that about half of the projects in this book are ones I would make. However, if I can find three or four projects in a beading book that I like, it makes the cost of the book worthwhile to me since I usually spend much more than the cost of a book on a single class.
As the editor explains, this book also uses what she terms "the Japanese approach" to instructions, meaning that there are more illustrations and diagrams than text. I tend to prefer more word-heavy instructions, and, after reading through all of the projects, I noticed that the diagrams seem like they will be a little tricky to follow, which is the reason why I didn't give this a full five stars. I will update my review when I attempt my first project with information about how well the diagrams worked for me; perhaps, once I have actual beads in front of me to play with, I will find the diagrams easier to work with, but when working my way mentally through some of the projects, some of the diagrams seemed like they could have included more steps and images.
At the start of each project, there is a list of supplies you'll need, the type of stitch used, and the finished size of the piece. While exact bead numbers for the seed beads aren't provided, there is a recommended color; for instance, it will list something like "Purple 11 Delica beads, 4.5g." For the Swarovski crystals used, the exact colors are given.
What I especially love about this book is the unique way the pieces are photographed: they are photographed in color on a beautiful model who is shot in black and white. This adds a very unique visual element to the book.
Overall, this is a lovely book to add to your beading collection! I'm not sure which project I will make first, but am tempted to start with the cover necklace!
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Elegant and lavish projectsMarch 23 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
I've loved all the books in the Beadweaving Master Class series, and got very excited about this book when it was announced. The sneak peeks posted of the beaded jewelry heightened the anticipation even more.
Personal side note: While I was reading this, apparently I talked to myself. My husband said "Wow, that must be a really good book."
It starts with a brief introduction to the artist written by the editor, Nathalie Mornu.
All the pieces in this book are extensively diagrammed with very clear thread paths. The instructions are complete and easy to follow. You do need to be good at following both written and diagrammed instructions. The diagrams show the thread paths very well, but the beads are not scaled, so you'll refer to written instructions for the bead sizes. The written instructions don't always include bead counts, so you'll need to follow the diagrams for those.
Chapter 1: The Basics covers the tools, beads and the techniques that are used, as well as an explanation of the diagrams used. Most of the beads used are very commonly available. She also talks about thread a bit, but doesn't push her own thread. I do recommend using her thread. It's strong enough to bear a fair amount of weight with a single strand, and fine enough for the multiple passes a lot of her pieces require. She explains how to add in new thread as well, which is an invaluable skill.
The next chapters are the bead projects. They use simple stitch techniques in unexpected ways. The designs are sculpted one pass at a time, starting with a base stitch. They are curved and shaped with different bead counts and sizes to create shapes that are wearable and won't flip or gather. A lot of the designs show how effective monochromatic color schemes can be using different bead finishes. The curves on some pieces are like mathematical models, and look like they have more planes than you'd believe possible. It's very wearable and elegant. Some of her designs could easily be a signature piece worth building an entire formal outfit on to wear to any dressy event.
Chapter 2 is Casual. Cheerful Midafternoon, the first project has a neat construction method that involves beading on one plane, then folding the piece to create a light, fun layered necklace that would look wonderful with a sundress. The Waterdrops bracelet is textural and colorful. It's a bracelet that begs to be touched and possibly just the perfect piece to make with your bead soup. Like with all the projects in the book, you'll build skills and ways of thinking about design that will serve you well in your own designs. She works in white frequently, or metallic colors.
Chapter 3 is Feminine, the chapter is full of lace and curves. My favorite piece in this chapter is the Sonoko Wave which delicately spirals and is embellished with sparkly crystals. It's sculptural, and the technique is one you can use often.
Chapter 4 is Elegant, which actually describes many of the designs in the book. So what does the author consider Elegant? Lush, rich pieces starting with a netted bracelet called Night Dew, which drapes elegant and shining on your wrist. It's a wide, sparkly cuff made to be reversible.
Chapter 5 is Noble, clean colors and metallic shades create jewelry that's reminiscent of fine jewelry, the sort of thing you would see on the red carpet for an awards show. The Midnight rope is fluid and elegant, the example uses black, gold and silver and it would look equally stunning in garnet, gold and copper and it's a toss up between that and the set cabochon piece, Morning Glow which has several suggestions for how to wear it.
Chapter 6 is Gorgeous, and these pieces are complicated, layered, rich and amazing. These are the show stoppers. The incredible piece pictured on the cover is in this chapter. The pieces are big, dramatic, and still absolutely elegant. My favorite piece in this chapter is the Sound of Raindrops, which combines spiral rope with peyote stitched circles in a way that's both elegant and exciting.
[I received a complimentary copy of the book to review on my bead site- BellaOnline Beadwork. My reviews are always my honest opinion]
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Transporting Designs from a Master ArtistApril 3 2012
Jean Baldridge Yates
- Published on Amazon.com
This book, Japanese Beadwork, with Sonoko Nozue, is a perfectly elegant and amazing offering from a Master Class teacher of beading design. In the introduction, the reader learns that Nozue's jewelry has a "delicate quality", with wonderfully evocative names like "Dripping of the Moon, Beach at Night, and Sound of Raindrops". Additionally in the introduction, which is written by the editor of the book, Nathalie Mornu, the reader learns the interesting fact that, "using the Japanese approach, these instructions rely more heavily on illustrations than on text". I found that fascinating and encouraging. I like visual instruction, particularly when seed beading, as I am not an expert seed beader. I find drawings extremely helpful when done well. The reader will be quite pleased with the instructional drawings, as well the fabulous projects which are beautifully photographed in this transporting book. To read this book is like taking a vacation into the ultimate in inspiration, if you love beautiful and original jewelry design.
The book is split into chapters. Each one is sigh worthy if the reader, like me, loves spectacular and innovative jewelry design.
Chapter 1 covers the basics required for learning this type of jewelry bead work. It includes directions, materials, and techniques as well as information which will be needed to create the projects in the book. Amazingly beautiful photos of necklaces and bracelets, as well as earrings, adorn the opening page of the chapter and delight the eye throughout this chapter, even though it is primarily just for demonstrating the basics, as I said. It is a great boon to look at the first chapter and then to want to continue because of the photos and the clear drawings for the techniques.
Chapter 2 is called CASUAL. The subheading reads; "A pop of color adds excitement". If the photo of the gorgeous, rarely used combination of yellow, green and brown lacy beaded necklace below doesn't illustrate that to great effect I don't know what does! Interestingly, if one thinks about it, those colors are used by our greatest artist, Nature herself, and yet this necklace looks so fresh and invigorating it is as if Nozue had invented this combination of colors! I discovered later that the necklace is named "Sunflower" . Nature did inspire her, just as her necklace inspires me! More photos bedeck the page opposite: if you are a red lover, pink lover, blue lover, white lover, or fireworks-of-multicolor lover, this chapter will urge you to get your tools and materials and get going instantly! One of my favorite selections in this chapter is titled "Shower of Bossoms". It is created of 3mm Light Siam Swarovski Elements bicones, as well as tiny size 15 gold beads. The only other material required to make this piece is black beading thread. When the piece is completed, it is a glorious brilliant red and gold strip of simplicity, a narrow necklace which is very long, to wear in any way one chooses. It should be noted that this can be shortened and used as a bracelet if a clasp is employed. It is very fashionable and has eloquent impact. As noted in the book earlier, one can change the colors of the designs, but I cannot see a reason on earth to change this smashing piece. Also in this chapter are pendants to fall in love with, and dreamy bracelets called "Waterdrops" I defy the reader to not want to try these ! They are so pretty!
Chapter 3 is called "Feminine". The subtitle states "these designs embody the happiness of an afternoon spent with friends". If you don't have any friends or don't feel happy, both of your needs will be fulfilled once you have made any of the pieces in the chapter. I guarantee you will have a bevy of friends and you WILL be happy! I almost fell over flat when I saw the samples on the front pages of the chapter. I wish I could crawl inside this book, and become the glamorous person I was supposed to be, instead of the sort of geeky person I am. I want to make everything in this amazing book! It is transforming! When the reader sees the first offering in this chapter, a shawl named "Sweet Breeze", he or she will understand what I mean. All in white and clear beads, with AB bicones and white thread, it is as delicate yet dramatic as imaginable. Sonoko Nozue states that she taught this in a one day lesson at the Japanese Hobby Show in Tokyo. The thread tension, according to her, must have special care taken with it. It is as simple as that, and you will have something your family will pass down as a cherished memento of you and what you can create with the help of this great book, Japanese Beadwork. Also in this chapter is the spiral rope stitch ("Sunoko Spiral") . People, spirals are my one and only seed beading forte' ! I am so thrilled to see it displayed in such a lovely fashion. It is a very fun pattern and can be used so many ways! I know. I made it and made it for months! "Under the Sea", which follows, is her total knockout version of it.
Nothing which the reader sees is anything but astounding, however there is always the feeling that "you CAN do this"!
Chapter 4 is titled "ELEGANT" and everything you will enjoy in this chapter is passionately stunning. All is grand yet non gaudy. If the reader wants to wow everyone in the room at a high fashion dinner, try the necklace "Beach at Night". It is a woven chevron stitch doubled stranded necklace made entirely of metal beads in the colors of gold, silver and black. It looks like pyrite on the jetties as the sun is going down on the beach, causing making sensual sparks to glint off the rocks. I am enthralled by this necklace. For a different sort of elegant look, try "Aurora". Nozue says her favorite color is white and in this necklace, which has a white and silver cameo clasp as the focal, the author states that she "sought to express a profound design by using Toho glass pearls and crystal beads. It doesn't get more elegant than this! In this chapter as well is one of my favorite projects, "Breath of Spring". It is a scarf like necklace which is very fringe-y, yet not crazy fringe-y. It is colorful, yet in a reserved way, and could be worn anywhere. I am so drawn to this scarf-necklace, with its hint of early Spring colors, it is hard for me to express the pleasure I get from seeing it.
Chapter 5 is "NOBLE". Indeed these are the sorts of pieces which will make a person feel her heritage speaking to her from the past and the present. They are chic and extremely fine. One example is "Powder Snow", a netted bracelet which looks as if it is a cuff of sorts. It is a four strand bracelet using white glass pearls and size 11 silver and gold beads. The reader will want to try this one, I am certain!
Chapter 6 is "GORGEOUS". Some of these pieces are indescribable."The Sound of Raindrops" , a rope laced though several frilly charms, must be seen to be believed. It is clear and silver and has a moonstone and sterling clasp. The frill features blue -gold triangle beads and antique silver Matsunos as well as clear charlottes. It is perfect, perfect, perfect.
There is a gallery at the end of the book which should not be missed by any lover of great jewelry design work.
I cannot encourage the reader more than I have to get this amazing, inspiring, wondrous book. Japanese Beadwork be one the reader will wish to return to time and again if it is in his or her library . It will absolutely be a complete favorite. Sonoko Nozue is extraordinary.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Definitely 1 of the best beading books I ownApril 10 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Well, I looked at this book for over a month prior to ordering. I was at first hesitant thinking that the parts I saw online were probably the best in the entire book...you know like movie trailers are in a way... I was beyond happy when I opened the package after that great debate...its a wonderful book. Now I am only having difficulty deciding which project I REALLY REALLY want to work 1st. Have narrowed it down to just 2 of them but still haven't figured it out totally...its so hard. IF you don't know how to do basic stitches practice a tiny bit so you get your tension right...use bigger beads and watch an online video and you won't waste more expensive smaller beads.
I am partically fond of all the netting, her daisy chain variation as well as her use of the Chevron chains in the book.
While some of the patterns call for massive amounts of some beads (one used 2000+ of one kind) I feel like its worth getting those just for that pattern although if you've been beading a while, think you can make calculated substitutions without any issue.
Though I haven't worked with size 18o beads I am looking forward to trying some of those patterns IF I can see them....haha!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
When You Wish Upon a StarApril 3 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
When You Wish Upon a Star
Several years ago, Sonoko sent me a signed copy of her book, "Mode de Beads." I was mesmerized. The artistry was amazing and each and every piece of jewelry was breathtakingly beautiful.
The instructions, as far as I could surmise by the illustrations, were straightforward, but they were written in Japanese. I contacted a young Japanese student to whom I had been introduced. She was kind enough to translate one of the deisgns. But, since she was unfamiliar with the "beading world" and I with her "written world," our attempt at a collaboration was not very successful.
The process and jewelry featured in the new translated version are very well defined. "Sweet Breeze," a netted shawl, particularly caught my eye. I could envision a young woman wearing it as she strolled through a fragrant garden with her love. It was gorgeous and so utterly fluid and feminine.
Sonoko Nozue is a gifted master artisan. Her 25 jewelry designs are exquisite. Her color pallet is captivating. Thank you, Sonoko, for the gift of this translated book to all of your admirers. I can't wait to collect my tools, beads, and thread, and get started.
Sometimes when we wish upon a star, our dreams do come true!