Valérie Hector: The Art of Beading: Historical Inspiration, Contemporary Design – Book Review


Valerie Hector The Art of Beading: Historical Inspiration, Contemporary Design (ISBN 0-8320-0307-8) is an interesting combination of historical and cultural analysis of various traditions bead making and presentation of works of modern designers inspired by these traditions.

There are many books on contemporary pearl designs, as well as many pearl-making stories (sometimes dating back 75,000 years, see
] / 2004

The book examines a number of ethnic and historical pearl embroidery traditions:

  • Han beadwork (mainland China)
  • Japanese ancient beadwork
  • Kathi beadwork (State of Guajarat, India)
  • Beadwork of Toraja (Sulawesi, Indonesia)
  • Beadwork of Chinese Pearls (Penang, Malaysia)
  • Beadwork of Kenyah (Indonesia / Malaysian Borneo)
  • Beadwork of the Island of Ambai (Indonesian New Guniea) [19659006] Beading of Ancient Egypt
  • Beading of Yoruba (Nigeria)
  • Beading of Maasai (Kenya)
  • Beading of Dinka (Sudan)
  • Beading of Xhosa (South Africa)
  • Perlage of Ndebele (South Africa)
  • Perl e (Zulu) of Msinga (South Africa)
  • Seventeenth Century Eng Pearl beadwork
  • Pearl beadwork of JM van Selow (1760s Germany)
  • Pearl beadwork (1930s Austria)
  • Funeral beadwork (France) [19659006] Plain and plateau beadwork
  • Achomawi / Atsugewi beadwork (California) [19659006] Huichol beadwork (Mexico)
  • Chimu beadwork (Peru)
  • Each chapter has a brief description of the historical tradition of beadwork, sometimes with fascinating anecdotes (I liked that about the "pearls" whose beads come from), followed by projects of contemporary beaded artists based on each of these traditions. Each project is shown with detailed photos and diagrams.

    The overall impression is that of the incredible creativity of the human spirit that has turned these little objects into dazzling and astonishing creations in so many cultures and times. Even if you are not interested in recreating any of the motifs presented here, the Art of Beadwork is a fascinating book on which you will probably come back again and again.


    Source by Pamela Bruce

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