Sunday, February 21, 2010

Elegant Knotted Jewelry by Becky Meverden

I recently received Elegant Knotted Jewelry by Becky Meverden. I follow Becky's blog closely, so I was extra excited as I opened the package containing the beautiful book. I think I flipped through it about ten times before I actually read any of the text. The pictures alone are that great.

The book is about maedeup, the art of Korean knotting. It's something that most people haven't even seen before, never mind tried. That's why this book is so cool. It's the result of Becky's maedeup classes (in Korean, just going on translations from her Korean friend), hard work, and her passion for Korean crafts. There are even photos she took herself in South Korea, accompanied by little stories and explanations that make the book even more interesting.

The patterns are amazing. They are all beautiful and tasteful. I know I own some craft books that I bought because I liked a few of the patterns. There are always some filler patterns that are just "meh." Not with this book. You can tell that each pattern was carefully designed by Becky, and there is even a paragraph with each one that tells you where her inspiration came from. There is also lots of room for personalizing the patterns...choosing your own cord colours and beads, for example. The instructions are very clear and seem easy to follow, although I have not tried my hand at it yet. But I can tell you that I'm very excited to give it a go.

I really recommend getting this book and learning about maedeup. You can buy Korean cording at If you're in Korea, you can buy the cording in Dongdaemun (I haven't tried finding it yet, but I will update this post when I do with directions, or maybe Becky herself can let me know and I can post it). Or, you can order it online, which I am probably going to do at first. I found this site,, where you can buy the cording in sets of coordinating colors (and it's cheap!), as well as other necessary supplies.

Elegant Knotted Jewelry is really inspiring to me. Becky took her love of something so obscure to others in the world and wrote an instructional book on it. That is no easy feat. I've often thought about cultivating my own love for Korean crafts, but nothing ever got off the ground. I once tried to seek out a traditional ink painting class and couldn't find much. I even went to Insa-dong to try to find a private teacher, and it would have been possible, but pretty expensive. It's actually very hard to find classes on Korean crafts available to foreigners. I guess you have to do what Becky did and go with a Korean friend. Myself, I would love to take a maedeup class, and some others: ink painting, embroidery, hanji crafts, Korean patchwork, and lacquerware. It's too bad I'm leaving Korea soon. I think my time is running out to try these wonderful arts.

I will update when I actually try my hand at maedeup, probably some time next month after the Olympics (Ravelympics) are finished. I'm really excited about it.

Thanks for writing such a great book, Becky!
Edited to add:
Maedeup cord can also be found on Gmarket. This stuff is 1.5 mm width and comes in sets of coordinating colours. Is there anything that can't be found on gmarket??


MommyCha said...

That looks amazing! I would love to try it!
I also am interested in Korean patchwork, I read a great article on it.
Khutchis studied traditional ink painting and has a beautiful framed piece in her home. You should ask her about it, she may be able to give you a good resource for it!

Mama Seoul said...

There is a Korean Knot class at Hillside in Hannam.

Looking forward to your next creations!

Sarah said...

MommyCha, I'll let you know how it goes. We've been putting off our craft date for soooo long.....

MamaSeoul, thanks for the tip. If only I had known about a class like that when I lived in Seoul. Looks like SJ will have to do some searching for me. I'm itching to take a crafty class!

Becky said...

Sarah! Thanks for your wonderful review of my maedeup book. Here is a link to the maedeup shop: I always went with a Korean girlfriend which made it a lot easier. They teach classes too.