Book Review: Elegant Knotted Jewelry by Becky Meverden

Book Review
Elegant Knotted Jewelry by Becky Meverden
2009 Krause Publications
Copyright 2010 Margot Potter

Global handicrafts hold a particular fascination for me.  My husband and I had a Fair Trade Craft gallery for five years and tried our best to spread the powerful message of fair trade and the power of appreciation for the art and craft of other cultures.  I have always loved to see the dialog that begins when a person from one culture is introduced to a craft from another and they begin to infuse it with their own unique vision.  Becky Meverden moved to South Korea with her husband in 2007 and discovered the ancient art of knotting known as maedup (pronounced mae-doop.)  She found a willing instructor and some partners in craft and together they studied this meticulous art form of intricate knotsBecky returned to the United States with a newly cultivated craft passion and beautiful photographs and stories to share. 

Her new book Elegant Knotted Jewelry is a joy to behold.  The reader feels as though they are transported to another country and immersed into an exotic art form.  Becky has created an array of stunning projects that incorporate the knots she shares in detailed step by step pictures in the front of the book.  She infuses this ancient craft with her own modern twists adding interesting materials and accents.  I loved the seed beads she wove into the Beaded Garakji bracelet, what a novel touch!  Using CRYSTALLIZED-Swarovski Elements columns gives the Faceted Crystal Columns necklace an upscale appeal.  Her use of color is exceptional and the designs are all modern and appealing.  The book is filled with wonderful color pictures that guide you through learning the knots and recreating Becky's beautiful designs. 

If you're looking to expand your jewelry making or craft repertoire in new directions, this book will be a perfect addition to your library.  Touch the 'art and soul' of South Korea through Becky's lovely photographs and stories and through her exploration of the ancient art of maedup.  The language of craft is universal and these ancient art forms are rapidly disappearing.  Kudos to Becky for her hours of patient practice and her willingness to share what she's learned with the rest of us.  What a wonderful gift indeed.

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