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

hyperbolic transitions

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.

KC Ursula Raymann webKaleidocycle, Ursula Raymann, Switzerland

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 Triple Rick Rack Ingrid Wangsvik web

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.

Podcast II 2 web

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.

Hyperbolic pentagon shedding pods

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.

standard and hyperbolic linkagesStraight-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.

Butterflyhedra web

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

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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.

30 comments on “hyperbolic transitions

  1. Terry
    December 8, 2018

    So Excited ! It is near fruition! Now it is much like a surprise present,Ohhh the anticipation

    • katemckinnon
      December 9, 2018

      That is a kind thing to say! Some people are quite impatient, which I also understand, but my God, this is a huge mass of information, all of it new. It’s so hard to push down into final form, some other ear sticks out. Just this week it was the Warped Hex – we found two new easy ways to make them while doing the final BatCycle shoot.

  2. Marie-Pierre
    November 29, 2018

    Superbe j’adore
    Vos œuvres sont vraiment très belles et j’adore les formes géométriques
    Dommage que je ne trouve pas vos livres même en format PDF en France

  3. Ann Rascenet-Cole
    November 29, 2018

    Hi Kate and team, just loving the extra avenues you guys are discovering. Exquisite beadwork. Truely inspiring. Hope you have my current email as I did pre-order books near the beginning. Very happy to support the explorations that is CGB.

  4. Cheryl
    November 22, 2018

    Kate do you have a cancellation list? Would like to add my name is a cancellation happens. Thanks

  5. Gorgeous work. Maybe when the new books are out, you might have time to do a workshop with us?

    • katemckinnon
      November 19, 2018

      It would be a pleasure, Naomi! The team is scheduling in 2019 and 2020 now.

  6. Rose Mary Martin
    November 18, 2018

    The email with which I purchased the books is no longer valid. Will this affect the shipment in any way? As of this moment there is no way to communicate with me. Thanks, Rose Mary P.S. My physical address is the same.

    • Rose Mary Martin
      November 18, 2018

      You have my new email now…it was required for my post.

    • katemckinnon
      November 18, 2018

      Thanks, Rose Mary! We are happy to hear from you, and you are on our list.

  7. Evelyne
    November 16, 2018

    Très beaux bijoux

  8. smacklem
    November 16, 2018

    I am so looking forward to your new book or books!

  9. Leslie Russell
    November 16, 2018

    CGB will probably get tired of me saying this…”You are the beading geniuses of the universe”. WOW!

    • katemckinnon
      November 16, 2018

      Lemme tell you – sometimes it’s pretty isolated, doing this work. We always love it when you notice we solved something!

      • Patricia Wren
        November 17, 2018

        Just trying to wrap my brain around the solutions!! Mind duly boggled.

  10. Peggy Houser
    November 16, 2018

    This is so exciting! Thanks for the update and I so look forward to come.

    • Peggy Houser
      November 16, 2018

      Oops….looking forward to what is to come.

  11. Beatrix
    November 16, 2018

    Ich liebe es 💖

  12. Michele Eisenberg
    November 15, 2018

    Thanks can’t wait !

    Sent from my iPhone


  13. Mary Alexander
    November 15, 2018

    Oh Yay!!

    So good to hear from you and the team, Kate!  Can’t wait to see what is next.

    Best, Mary

  14. Cheryl
    November 15, 2018

    Definitely mind blowing!

  15. Savita Persic
    November 15, 2018

    I think there are going to be more wonderful books in the future

  16. Michelle
    November 15, 2018

    OMG, this is sooooo much information! I’ve had several customers at our LBS asking about a class on just the basics. You can imagine the jaws dropping when I went into a full on diatribe about The Pod. I showed them pictures and my pod. Well, they were having a hard time visualizing all this and asked if I could just do a class on it. I am so excited to pass on all your wonderful ideas and instructions. Thanks for all you and your group have done.
    Many hugs, Michelle

    • Jennifer S. Fulks
      November 15, 2018

      PLEASE Someone in the Portland, Or. area teach one of these basic classes for we who are struggling. I’ve done kaleidocycles and tetrahedrons, but would like to move into more complicated work. I am a member of PBS (Portland Bead Society). Thanks in advance.

      • katemckinnon
        November 17, 2018

        Hi Jennifer! Our team is ALWAYS available to come to a bead society and give classes and a talk. We have several people on team who love to do this, including me, and all any of you have to do is ask, and give us a choice of a few different times in the future. We will surely choose one and come knock your socks off.

      • Cheryl
        November 17, 2018

        Hey Jennifer and Kate, let us know date and time, would love to venture over from Canada to learn as well!

  17. Renee Good
    November 15, 2018

    It’s too much to take in! Will need much time and energy to devour these concepts and translate them into gems with a physical presence.

    Renee Good, Ontario Canada

  18. Naida
    November 15, 2018

    So exciting, mind bending, beautiful!

  19. Jill Weinman
    November 15, 2018

    OMG OMG OMG Cannot wait. ❤️❤️

  20. Trisha Gray
    November 15, 2018

    Incredibly cool new images. Worth the wait. These last three are shattering!!!!

    Trisha Gray

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