The man behind the beads
Bob Haven

Needlework and beading have been a significant part of my life for the past 40 years. Learning tambour beading is a more recent path down which I have blindly followed. I first stumbled on the world of needlework and embroidery in 1973 because of the PBS program, Needleplay with Erica Wilson. Who knew that 30 years later I would be at the same Royal School of Needlwork completing the concentrated course in hand embroidery or twice be a guest on a  PBS program ,Fit2Stitch!

It wasn't long after starting to stitch that I transitioned from full scale embroidery to working on 38 count silk mesh to upholster 1/12 scale chairs as well as create rugs and wall hangings for miniature rooms.

When my career transitioned from English teacher to Professor of Costume Technology I was introduced to the art of Tambour beading. In 2008 while on sabbatical from the University of KY, I was able to spend 8 weeks at L'ecole Lesage in Paris where I completed their professional course in Haute Couture Embroidery. Since then I have been teaching the technique in fashion schools in the US and Canada , in classes at the RSN , Italy and Mexico.

Since retiring, I regularly offer classes in my Bead Embroidery and Design Studio located in Lexington Ky. My work has been exhibited at the Berhinger Crawford Museum in Covington Ky, the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario and the World of Wearable art Museum in New Zealand. I have authored magazine articles for Vogue Patterns as well as Piecework. In 2015 I published “Tambour Beading and Embroidery: A handbook of techniques based on the basic tambour stitch”. This publication is supplemented by numerous Youtube videos of the techniques described in the book.

A companion book is is process. This will take the tambour technique to its logical conclusion, that is going from "Frame To Fashion. The text will cover the various methods to combine the skills of tambour beading and embellishment with garment and accessory design and construction.