If there are any beading questions left unanswered by this book,either someone is trying really hard to find something obscure to "stump the author," or the bead hasn't been invented (yet). I've been beading for a long, long time, and found information that surprised me. The author, Karen Morris, has more than done her homework finding the latest and greatest in beading information (very few beading books cover ALL of the currently available [2/09] cylinder beads) as well as a brief notation on the oldest of beads, which are among the first items that our early ancestors manufactured.
Not only does she tell you _what_ you need to do, but why you need to do it. For example, the author has a strong bias toward beading wire for strung beads, and tells the reader to use the largest wire that goes through the beads comfortably, which is something I'd been hearing for years. But she also explains that a smaller diameter of wire will eventually break in the middle of the strand, because the weight of the beads will eventually cause their sharp edges to saw through the wire. Gee - that makes sense, and I have never read that before!
Naturally, all the answers are concise, and if you want detailed information on how to make, French Beaded Flowers for example, you want a book that goes into a lot more depth than this one. But, if you simply want to know what French Beaded Flowers ARE, and a quick line on how they are made, then this is perfect. Want to know the different types of crimp beads available, and their relative merits? Check. Opening and closing a jump ring properly? Check. Why you want to use a certain size of bead when loom weaving? Check. You name the topic, and she's got it covered.
Like every beader, Ms. Morris is biased and thinks that there is a Right Way to Do Things. But unlike most authors of bead books, she explains why she feels the way she does. She likes precious metal crimp tubes and tells the reader to use them. but she also tells the reader that the tubes are a lot easier to get right than the round crimp beads, and that precious metal crimps fail a lot less often than the plated base metal ones. Sure, everyone tells you how to crimp a bead on wire, but very few say which size of crimp bead is used with which diameter of beading wire, and even fewer caution the beader to make sure that wire isn't crossed before crimping a crimp bead. Why? Because the crossed wires don't grab onto the crimp bead properly and will come undone. Not bad, and a question every beader will need answered before long.
Ms. Morris even goes into a short chapter on the repair of beadwork, which is something every beginner will encounter, if my experience counts for anything. If you sell someone a necklace, invariably the customer will ask about some old bit of beadwork that has been broken for eons, and can you repair it? The author tells the beader how to roll up her sleeves and bring an old piece back to life and make it last many years. I found that to be a much more practical answer than telling the beader that her customer is being unreasonable, and to avoid repair work at all costs. (which I once saw in a beading book)
Every new beader will get so much information out of this book that she will feel that she's gotten a whole course in beadwork out of one read through. More experienced beaders have seen many of the answers in this book, but never in one place, nor in such a friendly format. Both will enjoy this short, fat tome, and it will find a permanent place on every beader's work table, ready to be thumbed time and time again.