By George J Barth, 218 pages
Destined to become a classic on this intriguing subject, this work is “the most complete and thorough treatment of the subject of traditional Indian beadwork techniques yet to be seen” (from the Foreword by Bill Holm). The result of years of tedious and dedicated research, both in the literature and in actual practice, and with considerable time studying in the field and in collections, this new book holds fascination for the novice and the experienced scholar and craftsman alike. It brings together with amazing clarity and detail all of the nuances of designs and techniques of historic works in this medium. Although it does not pretend to be a definitive work in the areas of form and style, it does present interesting insights into these related subjects, but its main contribution is an incredibly minutely detailed and comprehensive analysis of this medium so irrevocably related to Native American culture, past and present.
Besides the painstakingly intricate drawings, the text is amplified by over fifty photos, many of which will be new to New World audiences, for Barth has searched not only American sources but has included examples from fine European collections. Also for the scholar, there is an exhaustive bibliography. And for the dedicated bead crafter, five pages of graph papers, including original and unusual three-dimensional graphs for gourd-stitching are appended.