1 out of 4 stars
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The Progressive Bead by Barbara Vaughn is a book about making jewelry. It is a short book that contains more than 40 do-it-yourself projects. The author begins the book by disclosing how she first started making jewelry. The book also contains photos and descriptions of various types of beads, wires, and tools. The author shares several easy projects that people can try for themselves, including bead sequences and nifty methods for creating clasps. The book is not only informative in a theoretical way. The author also includes handy techniques gained from her own practical experience. Different styles of jewelry are pictured throughout the book. Barbara Vaughn writes this book with beginners in mind because she explains jewelry-making lingo in simple terms and encourages readers to start making jewelry as a hobby.
Facts about gems and beads were included in the book. These were interesting nuggets of information that I really liked because I got to learn new things. For example, I learned that bicone beads were first used by African indigenous tribes for trading. I love to wear gemstone jewelry so I was also fascinated to learn that amethyst, citrine, and agate gems act as hosts for quartz crystals to form within them.
I liked that the photographs in the book showed readers the beads used for each project, the steps that have to be followed, and demonstrations on how to use the tools. However, most of these were photographed against a grey background that made them appear dull. Some of the jewelry appeared old because the metallic parts weren’t very shiny and the gems were rather lackluster. Despite this, there were a few pieces of jewelry that I liked looking at, such as the green donut hanger pendant and the gray monochromatic bracelet that featured a lovely piece of sliced agate.
In my opinion, this book lacked diversity. All of the jewelry projects in this book are exclusively for women. It would have been nice to learn how to make something for a male. Additionally, there are many different kinds of jewelry, but this book primarily focused on bracelets, pendants, and necklaces. I think the author could have diversified the projects in the book by also showing readers how to create earrings, brooches, rings, and anklets. The author only taught readers how to work with metallic wires, but it would have been interesting to learn how to string beads using macramé and nylon too.
The lack of professional editing and formatting was what I disliked most. Due to numerous spelling errors, poor punctuation, and grammatical mistakes in The Progressive Bead, I had an awful reading experience. I spotted more than ten errors on the first two pages. Furthermore, the book didn’t have a table of contents or a distinct conclusion. The step-by-step instructions were numbered correctly for each project but weren’t properly formatted. Sadly, the projects themselves were not logically numbered. For instance, the 42nd project came directly after Project 39.
The Progressive Bead has the potential to become an excellent jewelry-making handbook, but it currently needs improvement in some areas. I rate it 1 out of 4 stars because there are several things that need to be changed. After the editing, formatting, photography, and diversity of the jewelry projects are improved, then I would be happy to recommend it to folks who want to learn the art of making jewelry. People who like doing crafts will likely be interested in the techniques presented in this book.
The Progressive Bead
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