Monday, July 11, 2016

Jean reviews Guide to Beading with a Loom From Start to Finish and Beyond by Jamie Cloud Eakin

Guide to Beading with a Loom

From Start to Finish and Beyond
by Jamie Cloud Eakin

As the author says in her introduction, "Beading on a loom is one of the oldest beading techniques. It's fun, fast, and the results are fantastic."

Even if you have never used a loom before, you will agree, when you use this book as your guide. You will be shown every step from start to finish, including some fascinating, cool variations, and some excellent troubleshooting advice I wish I had seen before.

Chapter 1 begins by explaining the various looms available. The reader will learn that certain looms are more appropriate to some beading projects than others. Therefore, if you end up falling for beading with a loom (and you will definitely do that if you read this book!), you may end up with more than one loom. All of them are explained here, very clearly, with excellent photographs. As the loom will be your basic tool when you bead with a loom, this chapter is excellent and very helpful.

Chapter 2 discusses the process of bead weaving. The reader will be shown how the process of bead weaving (for example, stitches like peyote or brick stitch) require the addition of one bead at a time. With a loom, you will be adding multiple beads. You can follow patterns from this book, from other books, or make up your own. It is terrific.
In Chapter 2 you will get the five key steps to loom beadwork. They are each examined one by one so that the reader can understand, even if she is a beginner.

Chapter 3 follows Chapter 2 in that it is a discussion of how to complete step 5 of the process of beading with a loom, which concerns "Finishing the Warp Threads". The author discusses the Traditional Finishing Method, a method called Pull and Pray (I love that name), The Knot and Cover Method, and the Weave and Cap Method. Each of these has great diagrams and close up photos to help the reader understand. 

Chapter 4 is a discussion of Other Loom Techniques. It has tons helpful information, starting with setting up your work space and covering a variety of attachment methods which will add special touches to your projects. These techniques include beaded ends and end loops, how to fold over, and surface embellishing. You really will begin to "get" how loom beading can be something which you will love doing!

Chapter 5 concerns Edging Techniques. 
As always, the photos help the reader to understand. For example, there is a nice photo duo depicting the "weave side" and the "warp" side of a bracelet. Then it is onward to the square stitch extension and the brick stitch extension, as well as the simple bead edge. All of these are beautifully and thoroughly photographed and explained. Even better, there are six more edgings for you to try. Beautiful!

When you arrive at Chapter 6 you are ready for the Projects. These will progress from the simplest to the most complex, and are offered in numerous color variations. As the author is known for her ability to express beauty through design and color, this chapter is worth its weight in gold. You will definitely want to experiment and also add some of her previously shown techniques depicted earlier in this book to your loomed projects! I particularly love Project 8, a wide cuff in Turquoise, Cranberry and Rose triangle beads. When you change the color and add fringe to it, it is a total knockout that way as well. Then see how the author has designed a technique she calls "beyond tradition" and the bracelet she has designed. I expect you'll totally flip, as I did.   She goes out of her way to explain her finishing techniques here, too. Guide to Beading with a Loom is consistently excellent and thorough in that way.

Chapter 9 is an astounding collection of projects titled Projects Beyond Traditional. 
What does the author mean by this? When you see the very first project, you will understand.
Beneath the photos of two outstanding bracelets, it says, "Dagger beads? On the loom? Yes!" And off we go, learning that we can do anything if we don't just give up before giving it a try. These bracelets have two techniques to finish them. The one in bold purple dagger beads has one finishing method, and the other, in spicy orange, has a different method. You will be tempted to make them both! They are wonderful projects to kick off this chapter. 
By the time you are done, you will have studied 20 projects and tons of variations. I love the amulets, and the fascinating black, white and red Tila bead bracelet. What a stunner that is! The variations on that one are super, too. 
When you reach the bracelets which include fibers you are nearing the end of the book. However there has been much to learn and enjoy. 
Ultimately, you will get a chapter on Supplies and Basics, and a superb "Troubleshooting" chapter which I mentioned previously. Why doesn't every book come with one of these?

Jamie Cloud Eakin is one of our most treasured instructors and an enthusiastic, inventive beader. She has published numerous books, and each one focuses on a specific aspect of what she loves about beads. You will want to get all of her books, if you really love beading and want to learn from the best! Guide to Beading with a Loom, From Start to Finish and Beyond is a beautiful knockout of a book which you will love having in your library!

Jamie's other books:


Chris White said...
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Chris White said...

Jean, great review, as usual! I own all of Jamie's bead weaving books, and now I can add one more to my collection. This one looks great. Thanks!