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

Illusion Faces

I love to see illusion faces on Kaleidocycles, especially when they are also marvelous colour explorations.

The Magic Triangle

This is a neat one because the look of the face is quite like the look of a Kaleidocycle midway through a rotation. I’ve seen triangles divided into halves in a lot of different ways, but when Dara Ollman sent us a message about how to construct a Kaleidocycle, and included a photo of this pattern face, I was really moved by how much the simple extra line of colour changed the game.

The top example below (the pink and violet) is done from Sam Norgard’s Nova Scotia colourway, in an opaque cotton candy pink (DB1371) a hot matte red (DB757) and an opaque shiny duracoat violet (DB2138), but it is powerful in pretty much any grouping of colours you might imagine. The green and grey are a green mix I have around, 24K DB501, and the translucent grey DB749, a bead we named Soul Stealer because of its tricky nature.

Please find a downloadable word chart at the bottom of this post, and a chat about how to lay out Kaleidcycle faces below.

I really encourage you to make a couple of different colour combos of the Magic Triangle, because it’s fairly shocking what a kick that line is in the finished puzzle-patterns.

Kaleidocycle Face Layouts

For each pattern face in a Kaleidocycle, six triangles are needed. The minimum number of faces for an assembly net is three, which means you need eighteen triangles. Each group of six will make its own hexagon pattern

The triangles for each face can all be the same, like the Magic Triangle, or they can each be different. For this discussion, let’s keep it simple and use all of the same triangle. First, I beaded six of them. Then I arranged them on the table in the illusion pattern (lefer left) and then in the inverted version (lower right).

I noted which triangle tips must cycle to center to achieve this, and marked those two tips (the pink tip, and the tip where the red and purple meet) with black dots, as below.

One I know which tips I want cycling to center, I can choose what kind of an assembly layout I want to use to make the cycle.

Each of these below make the same structure, but the Jellyfish makes a closed, four-faced cycle, and the Flower Face and the Butterly make three-faced cycles with one open face.

I can lay my six pink and purple triangles out as Face 1, 2, 3 or 4, and the only difference it makes is the way one design fades into the next as the cycle turns. You may want to control this, or you might not mind if it is random. As you can see below, you can always see more than one cycle face at once… sometimes you will want to plan the transitions.

The flower cycles above were beaded from the Nova Scotia bead assortment, and the pop of that egg-blue DB725 just slays me next to the hot pinks and the bright yellow (DB1152 and DB721 are each perfect here).

Assembly Layouts

The top assembly method on the chart below, the Jellyfish, is just like the net assembly that so many of you made in 2016 and later, but ours is separated into three sections, so we can add hinges. This makes for a really well-moving cycle and a much easier sewn assembly. The easiest method of all is the Flower Face, and I recommend that to beginners.

Once you have all three or four triangle sets made, you can place them in the layouts in any of the four positions, following this guide for how to orient them in each case. Tomorrow, I’ll show how we create our assemblies with minimal stress and maximum flexibility.

Enjoy this beautiful triangle, and thanks to Dara for sending it in, and to Kristen Ho for all of our word charts.

About katemckinnon

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

10 comments on “Illusion Faces

  1. Lynn M. Kordus
    February 24, 2022

    Thanks for both messages!! Do you have any black matte 15/0 seed beads I could buy until mine are delivered whenever?

    On Wed, Nov 17, 2021 at 1:47 PM CONTEMPORARY GEOMETRIC BEADWORK wrote:

    > katemckinnon posted: ” I love to see illusion faces on Kaleidocycles, > especially when they are also marvelous colour explorations. The Magic > Triangle This is a neat one because the look of the face is quite like the > look of a Kaleidocycle midway through a rotation. I’ve” >

    • Lynn M. Kordus
      February 24, 2022

      Posted in error…please disregard.

    • katemckinnon
      February 25, 2022

      No, I could use some more too!

  2. cbeadz
    December 6, 2021

    On this chart I find that being Left handed I should do Row 1: B A B, then follow each row from right to left.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • katemckinnon
      December 6, 2021

      Thanks! All of our charts are written in one direction, and it would be nice to have quick workarounds for lefties.

  3. Alex Ehlert
    November 19, 2021

    loving this, thank you Kate

  4. Lynne Jacobs
    November 17, 2021

    I was able to download it, so thank you 🙂

  5. Christi Bell
    November 17, 2021

    What a great post, illusion faces! Thank you! Thank you!

  6. quilterbeaderweaver
    November 17, 2021

    Dear Kate, Lovely work but I cannot get the last diagram either printing it for my notebook or storing it in my downloads. I have preordered all the new books where I assume these diagrams will be. However, in the meantime… Thanks, Eda Lee Haas P.S. I wanted to come to your workshops so bad but between the prohibitive airfares from Seattle and the pandemic, it was not possible. Have you ever considered having a West Coast class? I would gladly help you find a place to hold it and a place to stay. I have performed these services for many other teachers in the past. Please let me know.


    • katemckinnon
      November 17, 2021

      Actually I just re-uploaded it as a PDF, just to make sure people can get it. Try again?

      I don’t really travel to teach at this time, but I’d love to see you here in Savannah when you yourself feel comfortable flying again-

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This entry was posted on November 17, 2021 by .
November 2021
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