CONTEMPORARY GEOMETRIC BEADWORK

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

It’s time to wrap it up…

Good morning, beaders. It’s a soft, sunny morning here in Savannah. I am busy getting ready for a solid six months of giving and delivering. It’s an intense time of work for me, and I regret my continued absence from social media and society, but it’s all I can do to keep up.

May I ask you to join our new email list?

Our first digital book releases will be the CGB Pattern Book, The CGB Coloring Book (lots of graphs to colour in) and CGB, Volume III. The downloads will be delivered to you via the mailing list, so please sign up by clicking above. Paper books will not be printed until at least January of 2023; it is not possible to manage a press run in the pandemic; it takes too many people and it simply isn’t an option for me to do it on my own.

To simplify the process and our accounting as we deliver, I will be encouraging pre-orders to choose to receive digital downloads + Delica bead kits instead of waiting for the paper books. It will be so easy to pick up the paper books when they come out – they will be literally everywhere, and the absolute ONLY reason to have a pre-order on file with us is to support the team working. So consider choosing a bead kit instead!

I’ll be back here in a week or so to show all of the beautiful options available – we will have Kaleidocycles, colour kits, Exploding PodCast kits, hot flower bangles… so many things to choose from. Our studio is overflowing with neat little snap-boxes of Delicas.

One of our upcoming bead kits – a glorious Kaleidocycle by Sam Norgard

I do need to mention that I had a bit of a shock as this early August, as there were several instances of bullying for credit from previous members our discovery team directed outward in the community. This was very sad for me, and absolutely not in spirit of CGB. Because of these instances (and also because in one case this disruption began in summer of 2019) changes to our pages were necessary, and this has occupied/stolen much of my time in the past month.

CGB has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying of any kind, and I can promise you that we will never claim design credit for your design if you use our techniques, nor will we ask you for financial compensation if you teach a class or a pattern that uses our discoveries. In fact, we will defend you, so please let me know if you ever need this help.

In addition to that, it should be clear to all that CGB was self-inspired, driven by my own curiosity and mentorship, and was created solely in response to questions Dustin and I had about the nature of geometric ropes. Because of these recent instances, there is a community agreement now in place that will need to be signed by every artist represented in the books. This agreement describes the nature of our open-source work, and what it means to release our intellectual property claims on the pieces we publish in our technical manuals.

I made some neat history pages for the opening of CGB, Volume III, and it’s really something to see the discoveries tumble along, year by year. This is a summary of just the first four years – 2011- 2014. Wow.

I can’t wait for you to see all ten years of discovery laid out like this.

As you can see, one of the changes made was that there are no longer names by each piece in our technical manual. Instead, each work will have a number that corresponds to an academic-style reference which includes architectural and historical credits.

For example, a beaded Kaleidocycle will first credit French mathematician Raoul Bricard, who was the first to publish the linkage (1930s) move forward to origami artist/designer Walker & mathematician Schattschnieder (1970s) and then the credits will begin in beadwork, with the artist’s name coming last in the time progression as the colour designer and craftsperson. The books are fully indexed, so it’s easy to look up each artist and original creator we feature. This is one of the changes I made to emphasize the practice of beadwork, which is a sacred thing, and the long history of discovery in geometry, origami, and beadwork. We honor the practice, and all who have come before us, and all who will follow after, and seek only to add to the quota of knowledge.

Thank you for ​signing up to the new mailing list, and also, if you are waiting for beadwork to be returned to you from photography, and we have not been in touch this month, could you please email me at kate@unlab.us and let me know what I have from you, along with your current mailing address? All beadwork will be sent home by October 31.

If I still have your piece(s), it is either because they were so brilliant as to still be in study, or they represent work that was eclipsed by further discovery, and is being saved for our photographic art book, coming at the very end of the book line.

Best to you, and please be kind to others and stay safe out there.
Kate

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better.

42 comments on “It’s time to wrap it up…

  1. Jill Cheatham
    September 20, 2021

    I WILL TAKE THE BEAD KIT…..DO YOU NEED A COPY OF MY PD INVOICE FOR THE PRE-ORDER??

    Jill Cheath

    • katemckinnon
      September 20, 2021

      Hi Jill! That’s great, and we will be delivering them all (including the full digital downloads at the end of October. I have some really stunning kits available so let me get them all finished up here in the next few weeks and we will be in touch with you. Best! Kate

  2. J Degen
    September 20, 2021

    Hi, I am a little confused as to the status of everything. I did pre-order volume 111 or the pattern book I don’t recall which at the moment. Do I have to do anything further right now or will you be contacting me again concerning bead kit choices? Attached is a picture of my first ever bead sculpture that CBG helped inspire. You should notice that the tail looks very much like the serpent tail bracelet and his body is covered with horns! Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Joan

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • katemckinnon
      September 20, 2021

      Hi Joan! I just would like everyone to sign up for the new mailing list, if you don’t mind! Email me the photo at kate@katemckinnon.com, because iI would love to see it!

  3. Cris Reeser
    September 7, 2021

    How do I place a pre-order for bead kits?

    • katemckinnon
      September 7, 2021

      We’ll have them for sale (and immediate shipping) in the shop soon – please watch this space.

  4. Aina Ferris
    September 7, 2021

    Hello Kate,
    I have been following your journey with these books the last few years and I eagerly await the digital versions. I also intend to purchase the print copies when they come out. Looking at those beaded beauties you have shown us is total eye candy. I am delighted to hear that you will be selling kits, as this is a great way to make something true to the colours of the design, and ends up being cheaper than buying all the beads individually unless you have unlimited funds, or have a supplier that will sell by the ounce. Carry on the great work. Having digital connections has been a life saver over this Covid time. Thank you for all your work on this.

  5. Ruth Moncrief
    September 7, 2021

    I signed up for the email, and I thought I was already on the list. I will wait for the books please. I appreciate your work. Maybe in the future I may change my mind but for now I will wait.
    Thank you
    Ruth

  6. Maureen Boylan
    September 7, 2021

    Kate, I will be happy to accept the same value in bead sets as what I pledged for the book, then purchase the book on my own when it comes out in 2023. Thank you for you very frequent updates, even when they have been about delay and disappointment. It is good to get a peek into the workings of your creative endeavors!! What a journey this has been! Thanks for including me/all of us on it.
    Be well!
    Maureen

    • katemckinnon
      September 7, 2021

      Excellent, Maureen, that is lovely. Buying bead kits and books are each good for the team, and I really hope for people to make gorgeous things with the bead assortments that then get photographed and end up in the final fine art book. That would be EXCELLENT. Kate

  7. dianabendall
    September 7, 2021

    Dear Kate Thank you for your latest post and all your others that have kept me and all the other beaders out there going through the last 18months. It’s been a funny old time here in the UK and I know things have been hard there in the US too and your updates have made one realise how much we are all interconnected by those tiny little objects of desire beads. Jean Power has also been a great source of inspiration too. Like many other beading groups ours has kept going through the wonders of zoom and having between us added 4 new grandchildren have been more preoccupied with ‘baby’ beading, such as teddies and names plates, so I was thrilled to hear that the digital edition of book three is in the pipeline with more inspiration for all that geometry. I can’t wait. Bets wishes and thanks for all you do Diana

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • katemckinnon
      September 7, 2021

      Jean’s geometric rope was my entire inspiration, she is a genius. Thanks for you note!

  8. Janet Sherman
    September 6, 2021

    Waiting for the books. What about the text book?
    Bullying was ungracious and uncalled for. Glad you are safe in Savannah.

    • katemckinnon
      September 7, 2021

      Hi Janet! Yep the paper books are so exciting, I also am waiting for them with great excitement. Nothing can compare…

      The textbook is the fourth of five things, and is what the upcoming academic fellowships will be funding – I will be completing it this winter and testing it in classrooms in Spring with Sam Norgard , SCAD professor and two brilliant recent MAs who did beadwork for their masters- Nico Williams and Kathryn Shriver. We will pass out digital copies freely for people to play with, review, and test (and of course to all pre-orders).

      It and the big photo book (we call the Cocktail Book) will be the last off of the line, summing up. Lots still to do, but I am hoping to be able to do that work without feeling as if I am trying to push a boulder up a mountain. Feeling strong!

  9. Christi Bell
    September 6, 2021

    I will wait for the books!!
    Thank you!

  10. Marilyn Wethington
    September 6, 2021

    Hang in there Kate!!!! …and others!!!! Prayers and Best Wishes for you all for your monumental effort!!!! Thanks you!!!

  11. Amy Fox
    September 6, 2021

    Sorry Kate, I forgot something.
    When I read the email you sent out, it asked us to click on a link to sign up for a new mailing list. When I did, the page it took me to said I was already signed up and did I want to change my profile. I tried this twice. So I am not sure if I am on the correct email list, and also if other people have been confused by this. Please let me know if I am on the correct list, or how to get there, when you have time.
    Thank you,
    Amy

    • katemckinnon
      September 7, 2021

      Hi Amy! A couple hundred people were already on it, which was handy, and that included you – thanks!

  12. tacobama
    September 6, 2021

    Always good to hear the updates. One more clarification please – is the digital version going to be available before the printed version? And is there a date for this?
    Thanks,
    Kate H

    • katemckinnon
      September 7, 2021

      Yes, the digital versions will be released as soon as they are ready. I am working on this full time (which for me is actually seven days a week, it’s beyond difficult). I expected to have them by now, but as I mentioned my time was flat-out stolen this month. One of the hardest things for me as an unpaid full-time volunteer on this is the intense pressure to finish, and I am hoping that when people see the insane timeline of discovery they may understand the scope of the work, and the job to properly catalog it and sort what is important from what is ornament.

      My honest dream is to fulfill the pre-orders of the people who are demanding delivery, and only keep the people who are about the discovery, this will make the next phase of my work so much easier. Each person will be able to decide what they want when the digital versions are finished and released. It won’t be too much longer.

  13. Amy Fox
    September 6, 2021

    Dear Kate,
    First, I am happy that you are safe in Savannah, and not flooded. I had been concerned. And I am so so sorry that you have received ugliness in return for all the generosity you and the team have shown the people who have had the opportunity to benefit from the beauty and creativity you have given us.
    I am excited to be seeing the digital work when it is ready, but I am relieved to read in your earlier replies that you are not actually hoping that we will choose not to wait for the the printed books. I am planning to treat mine like the treasure I know it will be – whenever I get it.
    To bring a project like this to fruition, with a global team separated by a pandemic, presents so many artistic, emotional, and logistical challenges that those who are grumping must have exhausted their empathy resources. But clearly, those who support team CBG have more than enough enthusiasm to outshine the gloomies – so trust us as we trust you.
    Amy

    • katemckinnon
      September 7, 2021

      what a lovely set of things to say. YES to all of it. Hugs, Amy.

  14. tacobama
    September 6, 2021

    Obviously we are ALL so looking forward to these books but can you clarify one more thing please? Are digital copies available for purchase now?
    Thanks, Kate H

    • katemckinnon
      September 7, 2021

      Definitely. Digital copies will come for free to all pre-orders (even cancelled pre-orders) but when the digital release comes (fairly soon I hope) I will place it for sale in the shop, with an instant download. That’s the easiest way for new digital orders.

      I am actually going to give digital copies of every book in the series to all active pre-orders, because I think it’s a lovely thing to do and will cost us nothing.

      One of the things I am most excited about adding to our shop is a series of special colourway patterns (with word charts) featuring innovations from artists on our team. So many individual people have made exquisite patterns and structures that they deserve to be celebrated and paid for as long as people want to keep learning them.

  15. Catherine G. Atwood
    September 6, 2021

    I think you have answered my concern in other replies. Since I don’t have any way to get or use a download, I’m happy to wait for paper publication ( whenever that might be).
    Have wondered how a long-ago pre-order could possibly be supporting the project for so long. Is there an address to send a donation? Should a check be made out to you?

    • katemckinnon
      September 7, 2021

      Catherine! Nice to hear from you.

      Money is only one measure of support, and positive engagement and encouragement is worth so much. All of the people beading with us have held such an inspiring space to work in.

      But YES we welcome incoming funding, and will actually be mounting a big campaign to fund our academic fellowship and scholarship program – I’ll be raising $180,000 for three living-wage year-long fellowships and I’ll be doing this through kit sales, book sales, corporate support, and support from the community. Bead suppliers like John Bead and Caravan Beads have already given generously in beads to this push (which means we can make more kits). We will be creating the academic textbook and writing science papers about energetic vs. static edges and our discoveries in surfaces, linkages, and with Hypars.

      We are a nonprofit, also, an official 501(c)(3) with the US IRS, so contributions are in many cases tax-deductible.I’ll be talking about this in the next post. I appreciate your support! Checks should be made out to UnLAB, and we’ll return a donation receipt for tax records.

      The UnLAB / Contemporary Geometric Beadwork
      2701 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA. 31405

      • Catherine G. Atwood
        September 7, 2021

        Your vision is ambitious, yet has been brought to life many times!
        Thanks for info on the non profit.

  16. missannyl
    September 6, 2021

    Hi Kate

    Thanks for the update regarding these books and I’m so sorry to hear of the bullying – what is wrong with people 🤷🏽‍♀️

    As many others, I have been one of those waiting for these amazing books from the very beginning and look forward to receiving them – am I correct in understanding that we will now receive these books in PDF’s and getting a bead kit/S of our choosing rather than hard copies or are the hard copies coming later when printing is available – 2023

    Look forward to your reply and thank you for all the amazing work you and the CGB have done – what an incredible journey you have had 😊

    Kind regards and stay safe 😷 Anny

    >

    • katemckinnon
      September 6, 2021

      You can choose either to wait for the paper book, or trade for a bead kit – digital copies come with all book orders.
      No rush to decide, I’ll post the kits soon so you can check them out.
      Best!
      Kate

  17. Jo Woolnough
    September 6, 2021

    Hi Kate,
    I got your recent email have added my name to your mailing list for the digital download but would still like my pre-order to stay in place for the physical book as I much prefer to look at a physical book than on line – as my internet is not always reliable 🙄.

    Happy to patiently wait for the book to be published as I have waited this long – to be honest I have my fair share of kits – lovely offer though.

    Will look forward to the day the actual paper book is here & hope that you are all well – ignore the bullies life is far too short to let them bring you down & you need all your creative time to make more new & wonderful bead extravaganzas 😃xx

  18. Maggie Hall
    September 6, 2021

    Hi Kate,

    Thank you for the update! I am sorry to hear of the bad behavior you have been having to deal with. Sadly there seems to be an inordinate amount of that going on these days.

    I am thrilled to hear about the release of digital versions mentioned. I have no intention to cancel my preorder as I have no problem continuing to support the CGB project that has drawn me back into beadwork!

    I have been thinking about a workshop with you years ago in Sonoma and a workshop in Pacific Grove with you and Anne Mitchell. Many good memories from both!

    I will go now and put my name on the new Mailing list!

    Maggie

  19. Patricia Wren
    September 6, 2021

    Hi Kate–

    Grumpy? NEVER.

    So exciting to see The Project so close to release! A long wait, but the discoveries along the way have kept it very worthwhile.

    I have a question: If I choose a kit instead of a paper book, does that mean 1 book/1 kit for each book? So having ordered all three back in the day, will I get three kits or just one? And, will the kits also be available separately, by themselves? Just clarifying. I quit holding my breath a long time ago and have just enjoyed the journey.

    We’ve all been through so much, so many changes. When this is all finished you won’t know what to do with your free time!! For a while…

    Keep on looking both ways when crossing streets.

    Patricia

  20. Becky Clay
    September 6, 2021

    Hello Kate,

    Thank you for the update, always looking forward to getting closer to the real thing, the Book along with other items I pre-ordered. Digital is ok, but I’m old fashioned and like to hold the real thing in my hands, not to have to view it digitally. Didn’t the preorder come with the digital version also? If not a fantastic delica kit, which I already have quite a few, I’m still wanting my Book.

    Thanks and carry-on,

    Becky Clay One of your bestest fans!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • katemckinnon
      September 6, 2021

      Yep all pre-orders get digital copies, for sure!

  21. MAXINE LEE
    September 6, 2021

    Hello, Kate: You don’t know me but I have followed you and your CGS’s work since the first book. I’m really in awe of what you are doing. Mostly I just want to say that I’m so sorry you have run into bullying. This is a hard time in our nation with all the division between people, but I wouldn’t have thought it would have extended to the artists in the bead world. I’m sorry that it has caused you extra work and continue to wish you all well with your endeavors. I believe that there are more good people than bad and I feel that you believe the same even though it’s difficult to hold that in mind when we run into those who make trouble.

    Bead On and know that you are making subtle change with your example,
    Maxine Lee

  22. laurie glynn
    September 6, 2021

    Hi Kate

    I pre-ordered in 2015. Do I need to sign up for the new mailing list to get the digital copies?

    Best regards Laurie Glynn

    >

    • katemckinnon
      September 6, 2021

      Yes, I would appreciate that Laurie, because it is through that list that the downloads will be delivered. The books are big files, and we use their servers to handle that fulfillment. I can manually add people, but it’s super helpful if people will sign up themselves.
      Best to you!
      Kate

  23. Christi Bell
    September 6, 2021

    Hi Kate,
    Thank you for your note and all the information. I have a question, are you asking the pre-order beaders to forgo the paper books for bead kits?
    I really need paper books as reading a bead book on line is not for me. All I need is clarification of your note.
    Thank you very much for your dedication to the new CGB books and all the knowledge inside.
    A happy geometric beader!
    Christi Bell

    • katemckinnon
      September 6, 2021

      Hi Christi!

      I am just offering kits (or refunds, as always) as a solution for those who are impatient or unpleasant about the time it is taking to wrap it all up.

      The paper books are the real joy/pain/work and the icing on the cake for me, and I am really excited about them, and want to continue to work on their pages more so that they all match perfectly. I am happy to put out digital editions first, though, so that we can all get busy. Everyone who pre-ordered will get a digital copy, even if they cancel their pre-order.

      My honest dream and goal is to encourage everyone who is grumpy to cash in their pre-order and not send me any more grumpy emails, and everyone who wants to stay and enjoy the rest of the process to stick around and bead with us! There will be such an explosion of joyful beading after these releases…. I want to keep all of the kindred spirits engaged, and make my life more fruitful and pleasant.

      Hugs
      Kate

      • Peggy Kemp
        September 6, 2021

        Oh Kate, bullies and grumpy-pants! Folks can be so mean sometimes. They get little power hits from it, but at the expense of everyone else. I have little compassion for them, as much as I try. I will patiently and happily await the paper books – out here at the end of the supply chain in the middle of the ocean, nothing is easy to pick up, least of all books. I am hopeful that my eyes will improve and one day I can bead with delicas again – until then, the kits are pretty much wasted on me, as I am beading with mostly 8/0 seed beads now. I still want the books, though. I never tire of looking at the first 2. I so appreciate all you and the team have done to expand our boundaries. Take good care of yourself. xo

      • Christi Bell
        September 6, 2021

        I wil wait for the books!!
        Thank you!

  24. Jeanne K
    September 6, 2021

    Cannot wait!!!! SO happy!!!

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