I had originally planned on putting Masters: Beadweaving by Carol Wilcox Wells on my Christmas list for someone in my family to buy for me, but I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket, so I used it towards this book. Carol Wilcox Wells curated this book, and chose the artists included. Many are expected — NanC Meinhardt, Joyce Scott, Huib Petersen, David Chatt, Laura Leonard, Maggie Meister, Marcia DeCoster, Sherry Serafini, and Laura McCabe, Marcia DeCoster, Ann Tevepaugh Mitchell, Jeanette Ahlgren, Laura Willits, Sonia Clark, Cynthia Rutledge, Don Pierce and many other recognizable names. There are three dozen included artists.
There were a few things that I enjoyed about this book. One is that it pulled together these excellent artists in one place. Even those artists whose work I know fairly well (I’m thinking of Scott, Chatt, and Leonard, specifically), there were new works for me to enjoy.
Another is that Wells did an excellent job choosing works for this collection that showed the breadth of artist’s work. For example, I am familiar with many of Rutledge’s kits, but there were pieces I had never seen. I have seen images of Sonya Clark’s hands, but not many displayed in this book — there are some large installation pieces that I would like to see in person. Clark also confirmed the use of darker thread with lighter beads, which I am using to effect in the carpet I’m slowly making. I want to study Leslie Frazier’s work more; her use of stitches to construct graceful jewelry forms is excellent.
And, there are artists I’ve managed to miss learning about previously. Amolia Willowsong collects beautiful cabs, and connects them with seeds in an understated freeform way with, as Wells states, knowing how to leave negative space. Several of Willowsong’s pieces are in this gallery of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. I don’t believe I’ve seen Melanie Potter’s work before, lacy, sparkly creations.
This is a beautiful, dense book, nearly 300 pages long. If you like seeing masters at work, you’ll enjoy browsing this book.