an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators


I’ve been working on a big piece for about a week now. First I built a Zigged Band that was 24 inches long, and it had 24 segments (for 12 points on each side) with 11 beads between each increase and decrease. If I had wanted longer or shorter Double Zig-Wings, I would have chosen fewer or more than 11. Those spaces between become the side count of the Zigs, Zags, or the base of the Zig-Wings.

Zig-Wing in process, Kate McKinnon, CGB Vol II, 2013

This was how it started:

Zig-Wing in process, Kate McKinnon, CGB Vol II, 2013

And this is how I’m making a box-point clasp that snaps together. There will be an update to the Specials For Pre-Orders, Volume II page on how to do the box-clasp, when I’m finished. The ultimate sizing of the piece, of course, will depend on every choice I have made and will make; either I can let it move like an accordion, for flexible sizing, or I can fix it in place with decreases or bead-bridges. A thousand choices.

Box Clasp on ZigWing, Kate McKinnon, CGB Vol II, 2013

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better. Find her at or on some city street, walking fast, smiling at strangers.

3 comments on “Zigged-Wings

  1. Maureen Chin
    May 9, 2013

    Hi Kate,

    I’m glad you wrote about this recently as I have a question. I’ve been reading through the book and understand the MRAW band, how to increase and how to decrease, how to space them out, but I seem to be drawing a blank on how to start a Rick Rack bangle or Tulip (pg 42-43). I would imagine you add 2 spacer beads for the increases, but what do you DO for the decrease? not add a spacer bead at all? Perhaps the info is there but sorry, I’m not getting it, and was hoping you could help.

    Thanks for a wonderful book! Maureen

    • katemckinnon
      May 9, 2013

      Yes, as the book says, a decrease is zero beads. You just add no beads. Instead of placing a spacer in the slot, just put on the three RAW beads, and then pick up another unit with one spacer, and repeat until it’s time for another increase (2 spacer beads) or another decrease (0 spacer beads).

      0, 1 or 2, those are your choices for spacer slots for the scope of work in this book.

      You should watch my video shorts on regular and Zigged MRAW! They are linked on this blog and the book Facebook page, and here is a clickable link right here. : )

  2. Deb Bednarek
    May 5, 2013

    Fabulous; another mind blowing idea. Thanks!!!!!!

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