No scientist has yet identified the uniquely Japanese genes which enables them to come up with gorgeous aesthetic designs.  Fortunately for us, since we cannot inherit said genes, we can at least learn from a master bead artist.  Japan's leading bead artist, Sonoko Nozue, now teaches at the Bead and Button Show every year but you don't have to attend to get her instructions on how to create delicately nuanced jewelry.

That's because her book, Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue: 25 Jewelry Designs from a Master Artist, which I received for review, is just out.  While Sonoko is a master beader, she designs jewelry mainly for teaching purposes. Most of the 25 designs are not that difficult to do so students can make to wear in a relatively short period of time.

Perhaps the most dramatic design is the one on the cover. It is called the Sonoko necklace - the very design that she taught at her first Bead and Button workshop back in 2005. Sonoko works closely with Japanese bead and thread manufacturers. She even collaborated with Fujix to develop her own brand of wax-coated beading thread .

Mid Afternoon Necklace
Night Dew Reversible Bracelet
A couple of my favorite designs from the book were the Sonoko Wave and the ribbon-like Shower of Blossoms necklaces shown below.

Sonoko Wave Necklace

Shower of Blossoms
You can see pictures of  more designs from the book as well as download the free tutorial for the Crystal Rose design here.

Crystal Rose Bezel Necklace
What distinguishes Sonoko's instructional book from North American ones is the wonderful Japanese style of using diagrams with minimal words. The thread paths are clearly shown. Their pictorial approach makes  their Japanese language craft books accessible to others outside the country.  My mother and grandmother used to buy Japanese crochet books even though neither knew any Japanese. Here's what the Crystal Rose necklace instructions look like :

The photography by Hisamitsu Hayashi is stunning. The black and white photos of the beautiful model are awesome and the colored jewelry is the icing on the cake!

A truly delightful book in more ways than one.


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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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