Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review - The Spirit of Bead Embroidery

By on Thursday, September 27, 2012 4 Comments

Many of us talk about our need to create. It's an essential part of who we are. For Heidi Kummli, an acclaimed bead work artist,  it goes much deeper than that. She senses a spirituality when she beads.  She said, " Whether I am sitting on a mountaintop or sitting at my desk beading, a feeling of healing peace and tranquility flows through me."


Heidi, who is of Native American heritage, shares her bond with nature in a beautiful book which I received for review. The Spirit of Bead Embroidery is just full of amazing inspirational designs which captures her ability to integrate predominantly animal elements into her bead work.


Part of the book explains the various animal totems and what they represent. The eagle for example,  signifies spiritual power and strength. She added suggestions for gemstones and the colors for each of the animals she wrote about.


Many of the mostly off-loom designs in the book used light colored cylinder beads which are reminiscent of porcupine quills used by Native American beaders.

Flower Fresh Earrings
There are just 12 projects in the book.  One design I particularly liked was the striking Jaguar Cuff.


The owl cuff was also superb. As you can see from the excerpt below clothespins can help temporarily secure bead work without the risk of damage.

However, the one design which I thought truly captured the essence of the book was Grace's Angel Collar.  Heidi did an amazing job incorporating not just one but 2 white hummingbirds into the necklace. She wasn't sure white hummingbirds actually existed until she spotted one just before she started working on the piece.  The sighting made her believe that the bird was like an angel who came to tell her that her beloved dog who died the week before had made it to "doggie heaven."  Yes, this book is truly divine!



Click here for a preview of the book.

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4 comments:

  1. The Jaguar cuff is reallly pretty

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  2. Heidi's work is phenomenal, beautifully detailed and definitely pays homage to her Native American heritage.

    I did not know that white hummingbirds existed either, obviously they are extremely rare. Bet they are beautiful.

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  3. Got my copy yesterday, and it is an awesome book. Heidi is so talented, and the way she brings her heritage into the ebb and flow of her embroideries is exquisite and positively sublime. I really enjoyed the book, and the review!

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  4. Beautiful!!! Such detailed workmanship. No way would I have the patience to do that kind if bead work. Heidi's work is truly amazing. Love the jaguar cuff.

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