Review: Maggie Meister’s Classical Elegance: 20 Beaded Jewelry Designs

by Robyn Hawk on March 6, 2012

Maggie Meister's Classical Elegance: 20 Beaded Jewelry Designs
by Maggie Meister

First let me start out by saying that this book is one of a series of best sellers books from Lark Jewelry & Beading call the Beadweaving Master Class.  Every book in the series is aimed at the Intermediate Beader and  filled with glorious color photography and easy to follow step by step tutorials.

With one foot in beading and the other discovering ancient civilizations and antiquities, Maggie Meister is the natural choice to author a book entitled "Classical Elegance".

We have established that this is an Intermediate series, in this case it is important that you are comfortable working with the "Basic" weaves.  Maggie's style is based on a technique of combining weaves so if you don't have a command of the basics you can take advantage of the "refresher" chapters.  Included at the beginning of the book is an Intro to "The Basics".

In "The Stitches" she runs the stitches you will need for the projects in this book...they are:

  1. Ladder Stitch      
  2. Brick Stitch     
  3. Square Stitch       
  4. Herringbone Stitch           
  5. Right Angle Weave         
  6. Peyote Stitch (in multiple variations)
  7. Backstitch           
  8. Nepal Chain      
  9. St. Petersburg Chain

   ...and then she moves into the technique for "Combining Stitches".

The projects are organized by influence - with a chapter of pieces that were influenced by mosaics, one by textile patterns and one of my favorites is the chapter of architectural influences.  
"As far back as I can remember I’ve loved ancient history. Maybe it started when my parents would take us to museums when we were young. I don’t know, but the interest has always been there, and when we lived in Italy it really came alive for me. It opened doors for me while learning the history."From an interview with Maggie Meister
The beautifully written intros to each chapter are fabulous bits of historical fact interspersed with personal experience, and the project descriptions are every bit as inspiring.

Lark's Blog offered a couple projects in .pdf in their introduction for this book along with two projects that got cut.

This book is a winner and brilliant addition to the Beadweaving Master Class series which includes:

  • Sherry Serafini's Sensational Bead Embroidery
  • Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving
  • Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence
  • Diane Fitzgerald's Shaped Beadwork
  • and Rachel Nelson-Smith's Bead Riffs

Luscious photography, easy to follow instructions, well drawn diagrams and projects that you really want to do!  ...and Maggie Meister is the ideal instructor.

Disclaimer: a review copy of this book was provided free of charge by the publisher.

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