an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators
To accompany the releases of our new books, we’re crafting a series of pieces and bead kits to help illustrate the ideas of colour theory, and show different combinations, effects and tricks.
The two Exploding PodCast Sets below were beaded by Kathryn Shriver. I have them stacked in these photos, but I’ll show more of them soon. One set features only Arrows, a form designed and developed by Kim Van Antwerp, and the other is a series of geometric explorations answering questions Kathryn had about things that might also grow from tips.
It is a deep and intense time for all of us right now. For me, I have joy at the beauty in our hands, and a happiness at the privilege of being the one who is tasked with bringing our work to fruition.
But also in my heart continues a great grief at the state of the world. Each time I reach out to write here, the news outside is worse. I wish that everyone was vaccinated, everyone was housed, fed and that we could all rejoice in fellowship, abundance and generosity. Our beautiful Earth is flooding and burning, we must embrace again the ancient ideas of stewardship and personal responsibility, and leave smaller problems at the door.
In beadwork, accomplishments are lovely (and we have had plenty) but the practice is the holy thing, the important thing, and the thread that connects us all. To me, it is sacred and I treasure each person who has shared their time and energy with us in exploration. No one of us owns any Thing, whether an idea or a tree, and in a way that is a very restful concept, I think. Our job (or at least my job) is to share what we know, and celebrate discovery.
This week, I am working on the continuing process of returning beadwork to makers (thank you, makers), finishing our book pages (there have been quite a few changes in structure) completing our new colour kits, and on crafting the announcement and press release for our 2021 Research Fellowships. I’d like to thank everyone who has expressed support for the academic team, including Heather at Caravan Beads, and Carmi Cimicata and Daniel John of John Bead in Toronto.
Together we will make history in support of the study and practice of beadwork.
I’ll leave you with the piece that inspired me to begin investigating geometric work, the Power Puff bangle by Jean Power. This single piece of geometric rope (and the cycling structure it makes when connected) drove 100% of my first questions. It’s still my favorite beadwork structure, and if it was the only thing I had left, I could keep studying it until the end of time.
Surely it must be a model of the true nature of the built world.
Be well, be safe.