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

Project Updates!

Hello, all, and beady hugs from the depths of layout and writing for the upcoming CGB Pattern Book.

Patti Hypar

Hypar / Warped Square, beaded by Patti DeFazio

The stunning Hypar above was beaded by Patti DeFazio at April Seed Bead Summit in Tucson. Shortly after this photo was taken, it was Deconstructed into sections, and Patti built a Voltron Ring out of the parts. (Patterns for Hypars, Deconstructions, and Voltron Rings will all appear in the CGB Pattern Book.)

The recent Summit was the last gathering of the writing team before we go to press with the next three books (the Pattern Book/Colouring Book bundle and CGB, Volume III).  (click either of those links if you want to go to the shop and pre-order your own bundle or copy)

The Summit was also my last stop in Tucson until the end of summer; In addition to working on the production of the three CGB books, I’m in the LA area working with engineers, physicists, and clean energy people to further a project I have going at MIT. You can read about it here if you are interested.

The CGB work will certainly apply to the future work in that the architecture and the energy-gathering sculptures will be informed by what I’ve learned from the beadwork about shape, form, and the structures of creation…everything is ongoing. Everything is in motion.

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 8.21.49 AM.png

A Sixagonal Cube as a Triangle, beaded by Sheila Prosterman

Excitingly, in addition to the MIT campus, we also have the opportunity to fly huge Hypars or other public art at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, at UTEP in El Paso… probably wherever we want to. It’s a humbling and an expansive idea; we can work with museums, or with buildings, or we can sit quietly in the sand and create a beaded triangle and there seems to be very little difference except the visibility of the work, or our social media presence.

The new books are going to be very deep. CGB Volumes I and II seem like primers to me now, yet they once seemed (and were) groundbreaking. Every time in the past two years that we have had a new idea, that idea has blossomed into an incredible universe of possibility, and these ideas have shocked us with their depth. Separating sections or cloning starts has turned into a fifth way of Making; a new way of seeing. Studying edges has led to realizations that apply to the physics of metamaterials, of cosmic structure, of how protein chains break or form. Studying the Warped Square has taught me how a flat piece of paper might impersonate a 3D universe with mirror symmetry.

At any rate. There is much to write up. And these are my last three books in the series. So I must take the amount of time to finish them that is essential to their completion – the Pattern and Colouring Books will be out this summer, CGB Volume III likely shortly thereafter. I can’t be exactly certain of our ship date, nor will I know any more about that until we send the files to the press. Please check the Publication Updates page right here on the CGB Book Blog, and then you will know all that we know.

Included in the soon-to-finish Pattern Book will be: Exploding Sets, Deconstruction, Zigged Sketches, Point Builds (such as the Pierced Arrow), Cloning Models (including the magnificent Podcast beaded beads that make universal Rick-Rack or All-Wing starts) Motion Machines (kaleido- and other cycles) and a whole raft of step-by-step patterns for earrings, bangles, rings, brooches, components, teaching models, physics tricks… you name it.

Naturally, good stuff comes not only to those who wait, but also to those who pre-order.

AND, more good news – we are finally releasing a new set of patterns into the wild; look for a Shop update this weekend. How about some Hypar Swivel Earrings, for example?

Dustin Hypars

Dustin Wedekind, Hypar Swivel Earrings

Bead the earrings in glass, then fold the instructions up into their own wearable paper forms.


Dustin Wedekind and Kim Van Antwerp, Folded Hypar Pattern earrings

Warped Square Earrings.jpg

Kate McKinnon, Hypar Earrings – make them in a fabric of glass, or fold them origami-style


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.

5 comments on “Project Updates!

  1. Bonnie Lee
    June 6, 2016

    Hi I need you to send me a link so I can up date my box/lot number on my address. Thank you, Bonnie Williams

  2. Gladys Dries
    May 20, 2016

    Hello there….when is the Pattern Book coming out???

    Gay Dries 586 469-4402


  3. St Clair, Karen
    May 5, 2016

    I love your descriptive words “fabric of glass”. I always have called it weaving seed beads into “beaded cloth”. Fabric of glass is even more classy.

    Thanks for all your inspiration. If you are ever interested in coming to Wyoming and teaching a class, let me know. I coordinate all the community enrichment classes for Sheridan College.


    Karen St Clair
    Director, Center for Workforce and Community Education
    Sheridan College and Sheridan College in Johnson County
    Northern Wyoming Community College District
    307-674-6446 X4502

    • katemckinnon
      May 5, 2016

      Thank you! I agree with you about the fabric and cloth nature of the work… so elegant.
      Our team loves to teach and we are just thinking about where to go next year. I will put you on the list for places to think about, we appreciate the invitation.

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