Creating Glass Beads by Jeri L. Warhaftig is a beautiful and thoughtful book. The book is geared towards ambitious beginner and intermediate level glass bead makers using the lamp work process. There is an introductory section that covers tools, equipment, types of glass and very importantly – safety. And then there are the projects.
Each project is designed to teach a specific skill. As you move through the various projects, later projects build upon skills learned in earlier projects. For each project, there are detailed instructions and lots of photos showing the techniques being used.
What I really like about the book is that the author selected 14 intermediate glass bead makers to try each project using the instructions alone. And the results of their work is shown in the book.
To me, this is significant for two reasons. First of all, I know how it can feel to see the gorgeous book or magazine example (made by the expert) and then compare it to my first attempt that by comparison comes up lacking. And I know how it feels to run into problems that the instructions may not address.
By including not just the images but also a write up on some of the problems the testers encountered as well as some of their work-arounds, the author really helps those of us learning a new skill. The second reason I like this is because we also get to see how other people can take an idea and put their own twists and variations on it.
Finally each project section ends with photos of beads made by other expert bead makers that include the skill that the project seeks to teach. I think that combining the projects, testers, and then expert variations is a beautiful and thoughtful way to present a technique. In addition to the technical skills presented in this book, the author also weaves throughout the book a thread about creativity and learning to express your voice and ideas in making new works.
Disclaimer: I received one copy of this book free of charge from Lark Books for review purposes. The opinions expressed are mine alone.