Amee K. Sweet-McNamara
November 19, 2013
How To/Jewelry Design
by Linda Morelli
K. Sweet-McNamara is an artist with a uniquely talented ability
to make fascinating and stunningly beautiful jewelry using beads
and fibers to create “curving, organic shapes and rich
textural combinations.” This new technique, called “soutache,”
is a process of using fibers wrapped in a figure-eight around
two cords. The cords are then shaped in a curvilinear style
around a central component, or group of components, including
old beads, glass, shells, wood or stones. The resultant jewelry
is an organic and beautiful work of art. Making soutache jewelry
has its advantages: it is an inexpensive process, requiring
only the soutache braid and beads, metallic findings or components
of your choice. The possibilities of making unique, artistic
pieces of jewelry are endless.
The author starts
us off with the basic figure eight and koala shape (think
of a round face with ears), then goes into more intricate
curvilinear shapes to make as your confidence grows. The design
examples are colorful, the materials lists are included, and
the instructions and photos are detailed enough for the basic
beginner and cover techniques through advanced design.
Some of my favorite
designs, like the "Suspended Stone" necklace, incorporate
gemstones, drilled and undrilled. Some of the designs are
reminiscent of lovely jewelry made around the turn of the
century, and others like the “Full-Dress Thistle”
earrings are whimsical and delicate. Amee also covers layering
designs for added depth and appeal.
My favorite design
is the “Lady Josephine” bracelet, which incorporates
turquoise blue and light green colors, along with pearls and
seeds, to create an elegant and unforgettable piece of art.
Soutache & Bead Embroidery is an outstanding book, and
a must have for anyone who loves beading.
Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published