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Pearls, A Lasting Love Affair: We are drawn to the sensuous beauty of a pearl, to its soft contours, and most of all to the warm, persistent light that seems to glow from within this unique gem. Pearl Basics: Although the five criteria for selecting the best pearls - luster, surface, shape, color, and size - matter most when buying fine jewelry, they are still important when you choose pearl for your own jewelry-making. Classic Classic Pearl Knotting- The classic strand of pearls features a knot between each pair of pearls, to protect each pearl's surface from scratching on its neighbors and to prevent a broken strand from spilling the entire necklace. Purple Pearls- For the style of classic pearl knotting without the intricate handwork, string Delica beads in a matching or complementary color between each pair of pearls. Dark Beauties- In this long Tahitian-like strand of beads, the look of classic pearl knotting is replicated with a new product that emulates the look of knots. Coin of the Realm- Using a simple coin pearl with a red pearl accent, these simple yet chic earring look fabulous in any part of the world, no matter what the currency. Mother-of-Pearl Radiance- Long considered less desirable that true pearls, mother-of-pearl is made of the same material-nacre-and can glow as beautifully as its much-prized cousin. The Midas Touch- A fresh take on the Edwardian dog collar, this delicate but distinctive necklace makes a statement. Cuff Deluxe- Burgundy seed beads form the base of this cuff and bring out the spectrum of glorious colors in these side-drilled coin pearls. Special Occasion Champagne Necklace- Scattered pearls, wrapped with wire to sparkling ribbon, appear to bubble up like champagne in a glass flute. Sacred Vows Lariat- Two become one in this wedding necklace perfect for the bride. Lavender Bouquet- Inspired by new love, this delicate but versatile piece is filled with special details. Pearl Fusion- The combination of peach pearls and turquoise nuggets begins in a handcrafted pendant and continues throughout this multistrand necklace. Copper Romance- Large pearls and small beaded rings in hues of copper, bronze, and almond are embellished with dashes of dark Tahitian blue. Midnight Tassel- A dangling handstitched tassel of seed beads and black pearls punctuates this spectacular necklace, which alternates oval and top-drilled pearls separated by sophisticated wavy jump rings. Fashion-Forward Chain Reaction- Huge links of oval silver chain are divided by small classic white pearls, large sexy black pearls, and spunky teal pearls. Global Pearls- Materials and colors fuse together flawlessly in this chunky treat of the wrist. Catch of the Day- Pearl and silver charms are captured in this seven-foot-long "net" of braided cord, which is designed to wrap several times around the neck. Off the Grid- Begin with a base of green and orange seed beads stitched into a right-angle weave grid, and embellish it with a scattering of dark green pearls. Ocean Wonders- A reminder that pearls are merely one of many gifts from the sea, this shell pendant is engraved with images of the ocean's bounty. Wild Trellis- This very organic bracelet is a symbol of growth and regeneration. Center of Attention- Circles of chain broken up with wire-wrapped pink pearls lead to a centerpiece composed of more circles for a fun, flirty piece, perfect for a night out on the town. Brilliant Bangle- Six colors of seed beads blend to bring out the glow and nuance of each of three colors of pearls. Very Berry- Tiny pink pearls stitched into berrylike clusters are the impetus for these "oh so very" dangling chain earrings.

About the Author

Marlene Blessing has worked as an editorial director in western book publishing for two decades, was a contributing editor to SPA magazine, and was a senior features editor for The Seattle Weekly. Sewing, embroidery, quilting, clay sculpting, and calligraphy are a few of her favourity crafts - until, of course, she began beading. Marlene is the Editorial Director for Beadwork, Stringing, and Step by Step Beads magazines. She lives in Longmont, Colorado. Jamie Hogsett is the editor of Stringing Spring 2005, the projects editor of Beadwork magazine, and has contributed to several books in the Beadwork Creates series. She holds a BFA from Colorado State University, and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.


Oct 07

There is something about the soft glow of a pearl, and the extraordinary way in which these beauties are created that has fascinated people down the centuries. Whether your pearls are cultured, freshwater or plastic, here is a whole bookful of projects to please the pickiest pearl lover.

From a brief introduction to pearls, their shapes and diverse varieties and what different lengths of necklaces are called it is straight on with the projects. These are classified into three broad groupings, classic, special occasion and fashion forward. Each section is started with a short moodsetting piece, fondly imagining the person reading it to be hosting a garden party, a wedding guest or attending the opening of an avant-garde exhibition. Interleaved with the projects are plenty of photos of the pieces and interesting snippets about pearls, their place in history and the like. The projects are diverse, and range from classic techniques such as knotting to threading onto ribbons, through to combining with other beads and stringing materials. At the reverse of the book are various methods used to make the projects, such as peyote stitch, right angle weave, wireworking, using cones and gluing. There is a bibliography for further reading, and a list of stockists, all in the US. I've got a lot of books on making jewellery, but this is surely one of the most attractive - and user friendly to boot. If this has whetted your appetite, check out its sister volume Create Jewelry - Crystals to put those sparklers through their paces.

* Myshelf.com *

Dec 07/Jan 08

Other books feature pearls, but this one has them as its focus. It also includes some wirework and beading projects, so isn't limited to stringing. We really liked all the extra information, quotes, tips, anecdotes and facts sprinkled throughout the book. So if you're looking for something more than a simple, single strand pearl necklace then this book is for you.

* Bead *

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