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Not as easy for THIS beader as the other reviewers found!
on 25 October 2009
Firstly, I must say I differ from the majority of reviewers who talk about how easy it is to follow Burnham's designs, and who state this is a book for the BEGINNING as well as intermediate beader.
Clearly, I'm challenged, because I DIDN'T always find Burnham that easy to follow and yes, I'm a very beginning beader, so in theory this should have been splendid for me, as I'm attempting to teach myself purely from books
As an example, I really, really struggled with what Burnham meant in her instructions for right angle weave. She mentions 'passing through the 2 next beads along' but firstly the stitch is not an 'along' (row) at this stage, and secondly the diagram shows the needle going through the adjacent stitch.
So I've given up on RAW till a better explanation in another book. And sadly, that isn't the 'Encyclopedia of Beading Techniques', which I instantly went to, and failed to decipher - because that too is co-authored by Burnham and she copies from one book to another
Another design I was really keen on following I just couldn't understand at all, from the diagram - so much for the clear instructions.(Choker in textured brick stitch) She blithely instructs the beader to follow an instruction based on 'the core row' . However, from the diagram ONLY of the completed project I have no way of working out which that was!!!! Some other books show stages in a construction; Burnham doesn't, or only in the back section where she shows the individual stitches. Instead, she merely shows a photograph, and then a line diagram of the individual completed projects. This real beginner needed some visual help to get from steps in the construction to the end
Though I liked a lot of the designs, and can see how I may adapt them in terms of colours, shapes and textures of bead etc, I do think her style is a little 'same-y'
And, this is purely bead snobbism rearing its ugly head, she does seem to use acrylics (from the photos) quite a lot, and has a prediliction for acrylic hearts and stars. I personally think they often spoil a piece from really looking 'quality' and don't like the weight (or lack of weight, rather) in acrylics. But this is very minor, as its easy to find different sorts of beads as accents or endings.
What I DO like, very much, is her little 'Bead store' box, with life sized diagrams, so you can measure your own intended bead to make sure you have the sizing you need for the project, something VERY useful for the new beader who may not yet be quite sure of the size of the seed bead, as certainly MY beadstores don't state the sizes
And as for the RAW......I finally have got to grips with it thanks to Carol Huber Cypher - Mastering Beadwork, A Comprehensive Guide to Off Loom techniques.
CHC is able to explain to the level THIS beader needs; I think Burnham is several steps ahead of a real beginner. Or I just need more help in translation.
I NOW see what Burnham meant in her description, and it seems clear - but only after a much much better verbal (and pictorial) version from Huber Cypher