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

A beautiful gift of beads


Deb Moon Wave Bangle

The Contemporary Geometric Beadwork project has something special on the way – an entire pallet of beads donated by the John Bead Corporation from Canada. Here is a link to their blog about the donation.

John Bead donation

The materials are for the team to create a series of global exhibits exploring the way beads connect us to knowledge, and relating what we know from contemporary science and beadwork to the messages and understanding stored in ancient patterns and structures.

This summer, as we transition from a team making books to a team making new work, we will be reaching out to ancestral beaders from all over the world to share this gift, and create new work.

Page from new books

This donation was conceived in a time of plenty, but given during a time of uncertainty and instability, and that’s impossibly beautiful. Many of the artists on our team have lost their incomes and some have lost their studio spaces, their ability to buy beads. Jobs and classes and talks and exhibitions have disappeared into thin air. It’s a tough time.

A huge thank you from our team to the entire John Bead company – Mike and Daniel John, Carmi Cimicata, and the packers in the warehouse who put this together for us.

Wave bangle up top beaded by Deb Moon, 2019

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.

24 comments on “A beautiful gift of beads

  1. scar467
    May 15, 2020

    Kate and team,
    Such a fabulous demonstration of recognition of the talent and achievements made in this ground breaking project. This gives me an excuse to visit Singapore for you exhibition!!!
    You might be interested in looking at the designs of Tomoko Fuse in her book Spiral origami.
    Like you she is a pioneer in her field of transformation
    Well done team Kate๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

  2. Marjan Torie
    May 12, 2020

    Great to see this happen!

  3. Miriam
    May 12, 2020

    Hi Kate,

    Would you mind letting me know how one could donate to the project? Should we get in contact with you?

    • katemckinnon
      May 12, 2020

      Hi Miriam! We have a few shop items listed that are meant for funds to support stipends for working artists and students, and materials grants as well. You can find them here:

      We are an official nonprofit now with the IRS, as so as soon as we get that sorted we will also have a “donate” button on our site. Please be in touch personally if you would like our tax information for your donation records.

  4. Anna M Parsons
    May 11, 2020

    Cannot say enough about how great they are

  5. kch1983
    May 10, 2020

    Hi Kate,

    I’d love to order the CGB Pattern Book. How would I go about it?

    Thanks, Karen ________________________________

  6. Kathryn R Moore
    May 10, 2020

    A huge shout out to the John Bead Company, and to Canadians in general! How spectacular!

  7. facs50
    May 10, 2020

    The gift and your thoughtful words brought tears of joy to me on this special day. Thank you, Kate, and John Bead!

  8. Manuela van der Wouw
    May 10, 2020

    Wow thats amazing, have fun.

  9. Sheila Prosterman
    May 9, 2020

    This is a splendid gift and you are making good use of it. I can’t wait to see what happens

  10. Susan Blessinger
    May 9, 2020

    Congratulations! This donation is the best thing I’ve read about in a long time. Well deserved.

  11. phylart
    May 9, 2020

    Another shout out to the bead world – inspiration and sharing can be contagious.

    Phyllis Dintenfass


  12. Martha Martin
    May 9, 2020

    wonderful!!!! I and adding joins and hinges to complete my first Kaleidocycle!!!!

  13. Terri feltey
    May 9, 2020

    What a wonderful gift

  14. Robin Judd
    May 9, 2020

    Looking forward to all of this new activity! God bless you all.

  15. sewfastdesign
    May 9, 2020

    WOW ….just simply amazing

  16. Carolyn Sinclair
    May 9, 2020

    huge thank you for such a generous gift.

  17. wisebeading
    May 9, 2020

    WOW. What a great gift for creative people.

    May 9, 2020

    Thank you to the John Bead Co., to Kate and all beaders who have been involved with one to tens of thousands of stitches weaving wonders in glass. I am grateful.

  19. judge55
    May 9, 2020

    Wow, amazing generosity. Happy beading!

  20. Gemma Williams
    May 9, 2020

    What joy these beads will bring and some wonderful creations, please keep us posted

  21. Julie Weinstein
    May 9, 2020

    How awesome!!!

  22. Sandy
    May 9, 2020

    WOW, how generous. Now let the creativity commence! Thanks to the John Bead Company! โค

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This entry was posted on May 9, 2020 by .
May 2020
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