Contemporary Geometric Beadwork by Kate McKinnan

Contemporary Geometric Beadwork by Kate McKinnon

Contemporary Geometric Beadwork by Kate McKinnon

After a long gestation period this lovely spiral bound book arrived in my mail box. Along with some sweet ‘extras’ which Kate very kindly included. A tube of candy which I ate absolutely immediately – no hesitation. A tube of delica beads and an eraser in the shape of a small donut! Plus some postcards and a signed book plate to stick in the front of the book.

Actually, there is a very good reason for the donut eraser. The simplest way to crack out a bead is to slip a thumb tack through the bead into the eraser. None of the other beads get damaged, the thread stays intact and the bead pops out easily.

When you open the book up you can feel the intensity of the design work and all the hours of creativity which went into the pages. Just chocker block full of pictures, tips, ideas, variations. Yowzers. It takes a while to absorb all the information so you need to turn the pages slowly.

Double Cone Ring made by Christina Vandervlist, photo by Kate McKinnon

Double Cone Ring made by Christina Vandervlist, photo by Kate McKinnon

Before you even reach the Table of Contents you know the writer is talking to you. Little comments such as …beads, how we love them … give a clue to the relaxed and humourous subtext. Short quotes throughout are little nuggets of thoughfulness. Do read everything – you cannot miss a smidgensworth.

Devil's Eggs Are Hatching, Horned Rick-Rack cuff by Gabriella van Diepen, photo by Jeroen Medema

Devil’s Eggs Are Hatching, Horned Rick-Rack cuff by Gabriella van Diepen, photo by Jeroen Medema

As you can see the illustrations are mouth watering. Both text and diagrams take you through the how and why of techniques. There are many sections: Basics, Triangles, Wings and Horns, Zigs and Zags, Glorious Combinations, Cones and Bead Number Tables at the back. But the telling section is the the Introduction for Backwards Readers at the end of the book. Kate writes: ‘I always begin at the back of a book, and I never follow directions. I suspect the two are related. If you’re like me, you’ll love that Contemporary Geometric Beadwork isn’t about following patterns, it’s about exploring ideas.’

And she is right. This book is not for you if you love to simply follow a pattern and come away with a finished piece. It’s for those who want to play with colour, shape and lines. Or those who want to take an exciting step further into design.

My opinion is this book is, or will be, a beading bible. Mainly for its thought provoking design ideas, its colour combinations, and its freshness. These are simple designs, beautifully executed. You can feel the honesty and integrity which went into the writing and assemblage of the book. Kate WANTS you to go away and be thrilled with the myriad of ideas which start popping into your head when you peruse each page.

Very nicely done – and I am glad I own a copy. Go get yours – Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.

And don’t forget, Volume II is already in progress and you can be part of it.