Beadalicious Review and Interviewcomments (1) August 22nd, 2008
I recently got a copy of Sonya Nimri's book Beadalicious and it's been so much fun to page through it! She presents 25 original beaded designs and even pairs each one with a recipe -- from a lavender sachet to a Liegeois cocktail. Her work is exuberant, stylish, and unexpected, and she's a girl after my own heart -- many of her materials are reclaimed from vintage costume jewelry. I had the chance to interview her about her book and her other work, and even get some tips for readers.
How did you get started beading?
I started making jewelry at around 12 and selling it at my middle school's craft faire and to a local shop in Monterey, CA called the Rabbit Hutch. I was quite a little entrepreneur back then! After a couple years I burnt out on it and had to change mediums for a break. I switched to sewing in high school, redoing furniture in college, and didn't get back around to beading until about 6 years ago when a friend of mine in Paris introduced me to a wire wrapping technique where I could combine countless types of beads, seeds, practically anything I could think of -- plastic, metal, precious pearls, seeds. I had never looked at beads that way before, only seeing a few matching beads together at a time. This opened a whole new world of design possibilities for me as well as re-igniting my love for beads.
What inspired you to write your book?
Like the title "Beadalicious" suggests, I wanted to write a book that celebrated the "voluptuous" nature of beads big and small. I hadn't seen any beading books out there for the chunky monkey plus-size beads and large over-the top clustering of random beads that I like to create. Many vintage beads are larger so I wanted to create a book as a guide for what to do with them. I am way into recycling so I'm always trying to reuse what I can find. They aren't all giant though, there are some delicate pieces as well, but even in their simplicity, the drama of the bead is present.
Any favorite online or brick-and-mortar bead shops to recommend to readers?
I get most of my beads from pieces I take apart from Salvation Army finds so it's pretty random. I also love going to bead fairs, they make me drool.
Do you have a favorite project to share?
One project that I wear all the time and get lovely compliments on is my Cozy Nest Ring. It is just so delicate and I feel like I've got a precious home resting on my finger. I also like to think of the three eggs as representing a little bird family.
Any beading tips for readers?
When embarking on a new jewelry project, I like to take a mint tin and combine a bunch of beads that I plan on using together in a tin. This is a great way to see if they go well together. If not, the beads that do not go stick out like a sore thumb and are easy to remove before you're in too deep.