Friday, 6 September 2013

OTTBS Bead, book & bounce: Beaded Colorways by Beverley Ash Gilbert

The July/August 2013 book for the OTTBS challenge was Beaded Colorways by Beverley Ash Gilbert. This book has been on my shelf for a while, and was something I referred to for my first experiments in freeform beadweaving and using bead 'soups'. If you are contemplating this style of beading the book is an excellent introduction.

Colour theory forms the basis of the introductory chapters and, as actual beads are used for illustration, it is much easier to understand than some 'paint based' works. Colour wheels are supplied in a handy wallet at the back of the book, for ease of reference.

The projects in the book are based on netting and peyote stitches, both of which are clearly explained. There is also a little metal/wirework covered, so something for everyone.

Despite my best intentions, I left myself only a few days to play with the book for this challenge. I began with a soup of seedbeads left over from another project, in lavenders and salmon pinks, which was, perhaps, a little bland, and added an accent bead soup of a similar palette with darker  beads also included. I used the Pastel colour wheel to identify the beads in the soup as below

I added the lime to give the expanded split complementary scheme some zing and swiftly started the Wanderlust earrings. I was a little sceptical as to the wisdom of freeform earrings as I didn't have much confidence in my ability to make them match but as time was running out I carried on . To keep the weight similar I used all 11s for the first row, then an 8 per loop for the second, and an 8/larger bead on every other loop, for the last row. 3 rows curved as required so I stopped there to keep the weight down.

The folding and stitching of accents (lampwork spacers from Shirley Giles, a local lampwork artist, and a few pressed glass shapes) was also limited for weight considerations. I decided the hanging loop would be in the lime 15s to pick up the lime in the freeform. Although the earrings are non identical they are similar in weight and comfortable to wear (provided your earwires are of good quality, these are goldfilled)

I have plenty of soup left, and plan to make a cuff/wrap bracelet with some of it, or maybe you have some suggestions?

Overall I'd recommend the book as suitable for adventurous beginners and intermediate beaders, or for the more experienced who lack colour confidence.

Beverley also has a website and has limited edition soups available to buy at times, though they tend to be snapped up quickly!

Please visit the OTTBS blog and follow the links to other members' posts on this book


  1. I love these!! And I think the soup is gorgeous, too. :)

  2. Thanks so much for joining in with Bead, Book & Bounce again my lovely. Your support is very much appreciated! As always, I have love reading through your thoughts on the book and seeing your finished project - and I especially love how you've shown us your bead soup starting point. It's rather delicious! x