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Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I realized that I have been remiss in sharing information about some new books, so I will be doing a few book reviews on the blog. The first is Bead Play with Fringe by Jamie Cloud Eakin (JCE Publishing, ISBN: 978-1500777418, around $17.54 on Amazon or Barnes & Noble)

As the title announces, this book is all about fringe. It consists of 94 pages divided into 8 chapters covering topics such as supplies, fringe basics, standard fringe, loop fringe, kinky fringe, branch fringe, twisted and spiral fringe, and basic procedures. One puzzling mistake in the Supplies section that I want to correct is that Silamide thread is not a "rice-filament" but it is actually a pre-waxed, 2-ply, nylon thread with twisted filaments made by the A.H. Rice Company of Pittsfield. MA. Long used in garment construction, this thread has become a favorite of many beaders so its mischaracterization made me wonder about the quality of research.

Aside from that error, there is a lot of information in this book for someone who wants to learn how to make beaded fringe. Chapter 2 has a useful photo index of which fringe instructions are found on which page, making for a quick overview. It also covers treatments for ending fringe and how to attach the fringe to different types of bead stitching, i.e. loom stitch, brick stitch, or herringbone stitch. The subsequent chapters cover specifics of each type of fringe and include projects that are based on a simple ladder of beads so that the reader is concentrating on the fringe techniques; a few fringes have even faster projects of earrings for those impatient beaders. There are lots of illustrations and charts to guide the beginner fringe maker.

The drawback to the book is that the photos are okay but not up to the standard set by the majority of beading books published today. They are good enough for you to sort of see what you are making, but you will be frustrated if you are one of those people who learns better with visual material and counts on clear, detailed photos to guide you. There are a large number of charts and illustrations to make up for the photos, but the presentation of the beadwork is not the eye candy that many expect.

I am not sure how much of the problem with the photos is due to the fact that the book was not done with a high-end, four-color, offset process on coated paper but was done as print-on-demand, which uses a process such as laser or inkjet printing on a matte paper.

Still, this book could prove useful if you are new to beaded fringe and a few ideas might even appeal to experienced beaders. I showed fellow, New York beaders the book to make sure that I wasn’t being too critical and, while they were not impressed with the visual aspects, they thought the book would be useful for beginners. A few ladies thought the spiral fringe looked interesting. So, if the cover of Bead Play With Fringe appeals to you or you are new to fringe, you should find this book helpful.



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