an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators
Hello all! Much to report.
First of all, the donation of beads has arrived from John Bead in Canada, and this is what it looks like. Whoa! There are three large boxes of glittering Delica cylinder beads from Japan, and TWENTY boxes of silver-lined clear glass pony beads for a huge gallery installation. This is incredible.
In June and July, I’ll be working on making the boxes of Delicas into beautiful mixes and packages that will fly around the world to our many collaborators so that we can bring our planned exhibits to life. We are so grateful for this opportunity to move forward. Thank you again to everyone at John Bead who made it happen.
I admit that things are a little strange for me now – from mixing and kitting the beads to editing and conforming all of the thousands of book pages, carefully packing and shipping work home to creators, and photographing new work, I could sure use some help here, but we can’t gather as a team. No one can fly, or even come over (for at least another month) and I’m like one of these triangles, longing for my 23 partners in the Great Cycle.
I’m really grateful for those on team that are able to participate remotely – Karen Beningfield is illustrating and editing from Cape Town, South Africa, as she has done since the beginning of the project. Julia Pretl is animating illustrations in Baltimore, Kristen Ho is writing word charts in Virginia, people will edit the final drafts from all over the world.
Nico Williams is in Montreal and Kathryn Shriver is in Columbia, Missouri, and in June, they are working on framing and defining our collaborations with the indigenous and ancestral beaders that we hope to work with this summer and fall. The many talented artists who work with us all over the world continue to create, and they read pages when they can.
I am just burrowing in and working, and together, we’re all making it happen. Much has happened to me (and now the world) during the production of these new books, and still we continue. I know the beads will also continue, as things always make holes and who and whatever we come to be as people, we will always put them on sinew or string, and ornament our clothes and bodies.
Sylvia Lambourg, four Flower Face cycle assemblies worn as a bangle
The Cycles section is the first to birth, coming quite soon, and it will be accompanied by a BatCycle beadalong and followed closely by some Warped Square mania and a huge Call for Work. In September, we expect to be able to ship our first books, if the press is able.
Here are some peeks from Cycles, from the section that shows how basic Kaleidocycles go together.
To make a BatCycle, which is a mind-bending linkage discovered by Claudia Furthner, Warped Hexagons are substituted for some of the triangles. Warped Hexes can be confusing to craft, though, so Julia Pretl is completing the bead-by-bead animation of the little sprite to make it accessible to all skill levels. When we’ve got all of that together and through edit, we’ll start BatCycling.
Thanks to all of you who have shown me such kindness and patience and creativity and fierceness as this project has slowly but surely consumed me utterly, and claimed ten years of my life with its glittering, mysterious questions. You’ll never know what your notes and works and questions an pieces of genius have given me.
Below, geometric beaded ball by Ursula Raymann, Switzerland