an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators
Greetings, beaders and friends.
I am happy to say that our three new books are almost done, with amazing revisions to some of our first ideas (wait until you see where we ended up with some of our questions and projects) and it won’t be long now before they will tumble out in paper form. It’s an exciting time of transition, and we thank you all for coming so far with us on the journey. What a time this project has treated us to.
I wish I could be in the room with all y’all when you see the crazed things we found and try them for yourselves. It amazes me that there is still so much to see, so many fundamentals still to explore in this glittering medium.
I’ll open the shop again soon, and we will have some outrageous beadwork from the team for sale as well as the new books and reissues of the first two volumes. We will be sending our old books out in future with a little booklet, showing all of the new starts and how to do Deconstruction (snipping).
As usual, though, you don’t have to wait for us to publish to begin trying the new techniques. We will begin sharing them all immediately, here on the blog – one of the first up will be the fabulous Cat Burglar Of Edges – one of three all new ways we’ve found to build straight, irregular or slanted Rick-Rack Bangles exactly to size, every time.
Like this magnificent piece from Ingrid Wangsvik:
Slanted Three-Layer Rick-Rack Bangle
Ingrid Wangsvik, Norway
Cat Burglars can either throw out loops to get to the next levels, or they can pirate an existing edge. Ingrid did this one with Helix Loops, a technique from Christina Vandervlist from the first CGB book. As Joy Davison pointed out when we were all working together in Boston, once you add a loop to a piece, you can place a row of increases at any point in the loop. Why not off-center?
As it turns out, though, the simplest possible Rick-Rack Casting Model is just 5 or more loose triangles, which I am sure you have kicking around in your beadbox right now. I’ll show you how on the blog next week. I just put my head down on the table when we realized. After all this time…
At least the mighty PodCast Bead is still the Carpenter’s Rule of the Universe. Rick-Rack is only one of the many things it can spit out.
Our team is moving forward also with Hyperbolic Geometry, which is a beautiful place to be. When we gathered in Boston this summer, Joy (Jay Dee on social media) shared with us some of her favorite increase counts for growing warpy circles and polygons.
The ideas started bouncing around the worktable between Claudia Furthner, Joy, Karen Beningfield (our lead illustrator) Ingrid Wangsvik, LeAnn Baehmann, Sarah Toussaint Franklin Martin and myself, and everyone was off and running, making linkages, pods, and fabrics.
We have so much to show you.
thrilling Hyperbolic Pentagon Pods, inspired by a vase of nasturtium flowers
Karen Beningfield, Capetown, South Africa
We’ve begun to realize that hyperbolic forms (like Warped Squares and Warped Pentagons) can easily grow on or partner with more standard straight-line geometry; this is leading to deeper thoughts about how to do insertions, and also make morphing, aware fabrics and skins.
Straight-line and Hyperbolic Geometric bangles
Pat Verrier, England and Claudia Furthner, Linz, Austria
Although I would also badly like to dive into the Hyperbolic World, I remain with the Pattern Book, managing the finish.
As you know if you follow this blog, or our YouTube channel, back in May, another thing we learned this year is that six peyote triangles can come together to form a hexagon (or a butterfly) and fold over to form a working set of Mirror Tetrahedra.
The fourth faces of the tetras are almost never necessary to make Machines, but with the simple addition of an extra row of join beads at the center hinge, receptors are always available for a fourth set of triangles to easily Zip in or be decreased in place.
A 6-Triangle Butterfly Assembly folded into a set of 3-Sided Mirror Tetrahedra
ready for assembly into a Kaleidocycle
Kate McKinnon, Boston
Thinking of the fourth face of the tetras as optional changed the way we decided to teach Machines like Kaleidocycles, because there is no reason to make people deal with 24 triangles and shared joins when they can make 18 triangles and have dedicated single joins instead.
Our team met again in October, in France, and I had a chance to run our new thoughts through another set of expert team beaders, including Susannah Thomson, Pat Verrier, Marca Smit, Nathalie DeLesse, Monica Doser, Ursula Raymann, Ina Hascher, Brenda Day and Vee Pretorius.
More shocking ideas were had, more pieces begun, and a deeper understanding of the Fibonacci sequence was begun for me after an innocent exploration was started by some of the above…
Please stay tuned to the Bead Blog here if you would like to participate in our upcoming BeadAlongs to demonstrate the new techniques. And thank you for your continued patience as I wrangle thousands of images and hundreds of pages of text into the simplest, most beautiful set of books we could dream up.
Excitingly, we will be at MIT again for the January term, and this time, look for Nico Williams to join us as a new team member. There will be a couple of public lectures, and a few private classes available with our team. HUGS, Kate