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French Beaded Flowers: The Complete Guide

As more and more mass-produced items flood today’s stores, people are seeking ways to make both their homes and themselves unique. This return to individualism has led to a revival of the craft and folk arts; in the 1990s, a renewed interest in French beading began that continues today. This renewed interest has led to an increased variety of materials and resources for today’s French beading enthusiast. It has also led individuals back to using old craft techniques with contemporary materials, although most French bead artists continue to adhere to traditional materials and techniques as their standard of excellence.

The purpose of this guide is to provide a technique-based instructional approach to French beading. Prior to introducing the French beading techniques, a brief overview is included on French beading, botany and French beading materials. Next, French beading techniques are explained, each with helpful photographs and illustrations. In addition, there are new flower patterns and projects for an applied learning approach to French beading. The patterns in this book implement the bead count method and, occasionally, the measurement system.

It is my sincerest hope that this guide will be a functional, applied tool that will assist each bead artist in expanding their beading techniques to create beautiful French beaded objects of art. Enjoy!

French Beaded Flowers: The Complete Guide
Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Chapter 1

Inspiration, Tools and Materials 8

The Language of Flowers 10
Botany 11
Setting up a Work Area 14
Materials 15
Tools 29

Chapter 2

Techniques 30

The Single Loop Family 32
The Basic Loop Family 43
Stamens 96
Outline and Shading 104
Lacing 106
Reducing and Increasing Wires 110
Stems 113
Flower Assembly 121

Chapter 3

French Beaded Flowers and Projects 140
Alaska Poppy 142
Alpine Azalea 148
Bering Sea Chickweed 152
Calypso Orchid 158
Kamchatka Fritillary 166
Fireweed 172
High Bush Cranberry 184
Prickly Rose 189
Red Osier Dogwood 203
Shooting Star 208
Sitka Spruce 216
Wild Flax 219
A Trio of Brooches 229
Alpine Azalea Tea Tray 240

Gallery 244
Abbreviations 248
Recommended Reading 249
Index 252