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

Publication update

Hello, from a beautiful Arizona springtime day! If you don’t have sunshine right now, I’ll soak some up for you, I have a hundred book pages out by the pool, looking at them in the morning light.


We are moving steadily forward here at CGB HQ on not only the paper books, but on the interactive App that will go with them this Fall, on the poster sets, the postcards, our mailing database, our teaching materials, we are getting thousands of envelopes, boxes, or digital sends ready, making our little packets of extras that go out with the books. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work of course.

Making things is hard.

I got two Kickstarter updates last week in my email. I like supporting new work from creative teams, and currently I’m one of about 2000 people on the list for the production of a beautiful interactive piece of art by Jeff Lieberman, and one of 37,000 people on the list for the first release of a VERY COOL set of flat-pack morphing measuring spoons by Polygon. Each of them have taken much longer to make than predicted, but only because their creators have a vision, and they have standards that exceed the current model.

It’s pretty easy actually to make OK things and send them out. It’s difficult to make transcendent things that change the world. I’m also an inventor, and I work with the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, with MIT, and with teams of engineers and creatives at all levels. When we talk to venture capitalists about funding new work, they always want to make something that’s just good enough not to get returned. I don’t even talk to VC anymore.

I’ve worked as hard on this project as I would have done on an doctorate, and happily the reward has been equivalent; the work has taken our project to lecture at Harvard and MIT, to team with sculptor Ned Kahn, to plan a show at the Met, to win some serious architectural commissions, and it’s introduced me to fields of math and science that I now know that I will never leave.

Kate in the MIT Stata CenterAt MIT, in 2016

I’m deeply grateful for everything this work has brought, but mostly for the people I have the privilege of working with. Mathematicians, beaders, makers and engineers, each of you on team are precious to me, you are brilliant, you are like nothing else on this Earth.

I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve done: new stitches, new architecture, new ways of making that render all cold starts obsolete; sizing that is so easy a beginner can plan a complex bangle without fear. Exploding sets, deconstruction, Lockstitch for peyote, flat-pack architecture… this work is amazing.

I appreciate your interest, your support of the work, and your participation. We’ll let you know when we are ready to ship – please don’t email us to ask, just sit tight – it won’t be long now!


Add the email address:  to your email Contacts list, and maybe check to see if anything from that address is in your Junk or Spam folders.

Email us at that address (not here on the blog) and ask for a resend.
We’ll be on it like orange on a mango.

Dots Face CGB Primary Cycle web

The CGB Primary Cycle, built from Tetraheda, showing its Dots Face.

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon, globe-trotting writer and metalsmith, has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and loves warm weather, nice people, rides in the car, and good books.

3 comments on “Publication update

  1. Christine Drummond
    May 1, 2017

    Being married to a mathematician it’s been amazing to see the world of beading and three dimensional structures come together in such an amazing way. It’s been a privilege to be part of this even in a small way so thank you for your generosity and hard work.

  2. janetgunther
    May 1, 2017

    Amazing work that you are doing. So I’m so excited you gave us this update Kate.

  3. Linda Wahl
    May 1, 2017

    It IS a wonderful beautiful spring day in Tucson. Beautiful light to work on a beautiful project!!! Thanks for all the hard work. I patiently await your beautiful book!!! Linda

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