Monday, January 12, 2015

Feeling The Heart and Soul of the Beads

Beading for the Soul: Inspired Designs From 23 Contemporary Artists

Beading for the Soul, despite what the title says and leads you to believe, is not really a beading project book.  It does have some beautiful projects and related instructions, but they are secondary to the mission of the book.

To me, first and foremost, the book is about the lore and legacy of beads and their place in the lives of the people who create with and wear them.

Protection, Healing, Strength, Good

Each of the seven chapters focus on one of the meanings that can be attributed to objects and jewelry made with particular types of beads.  If you are interested in learning more about evil eyes, milagros, the healing or protective properties of some stones, this book has a smattering of that in each of the sections.

Prayer, Bonding, Remembrance

But it's more than just the history and symbols.  It's also about designers, their inspiration, and the personal meaning they attach to their work.

I created this set of prayer beads based on the handheld prayer bead project in the Prayer chapter. I tried to imbue this work with the same kind of meaning most of the projects in the book seem to have.

The frog bead is meant to symbolize the transformation that I hope to achieve, the wood symbolizes my superstitious nature and my need to 'knock on wood' to prevent something bad from happening and the silver beads - I just like the sound they make when the clack together when I'm fingering the beads.

Choosing this project was not a conscious decision though.  I just decided to open the book and make whatever was there.

Shine on

I'm not sure that will be interpreted as a glowing review of the book - and it probably shouldn't be.

The book is interesting, but it is deep and unlike your regular beading book.  I enjoy reading bits of it here and there, and re-reading bits of it here and there, but that's the type of book it is for me.

There are some beautiful and very unique projects, but it's just so much more.  How many other beading books explain how to feed the fetish on your Indian inspired carved fetish necklace?

I rest my case...

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