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
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.