CONTEMPORARY GEOMETRIC BEADWORK

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

Bright colours to carry us forward

Colour is an amazing force, and just experiencing clear and positive colours can help people feel strong, spirited and creative. Below in this post are some joyful pieces made from our bead assortments, and a nice bundle of complimentary word charts at the end. Feel free to share!

My warmth flows to you through our work, and I think of all of you often, out there in the world, doing your best, holding your beads, and perhaps like me, if you have been careful during this time, you are also longing again for the time when we can laugh and hug and travel and gather. What a world it could be, again.

Wisely the MIT campus has locked down again due to the current COVID surge, and our IAP session will once again be virtual. This is not how our bead team works, so although I will be attending the meeting, CGB will not be participating, not exhibiting the Black And White Together piece on campus, once again we are not doing the things we had hoped and scheduled. It’s a great sadness for me, I admit. Each time we lose an event, an exhibit or a chance to meet, we lose the momentum we would have gained from it, not just the income or the happiness, and so each cancellation asks us to once again draw deeper from within in order to move forward.

When I do this, draw from inside myself, what I think about is you.

Bead Assortments and Giving

The sale of bead assortments is half of what funds our fellowships, and so I really want to emphasize them in this period where we are waiting to have our paper books to support us. It’s been an intense time for me (and for the UnLAB) funding CGB through the pandemic, when all of our shows, conferences, exhibits and even our paper to publish evaporated, and I deeply appreciate all of you who have stepped up to participate with workshop signups, fellowship donations, book pre-orders and bead purchases. I’m not sure exactly how I’ve pulled it off, to be honest, but what I do know is that I could never have done it without you.

Through a combination of science funding, volunteer work and sheer perseverance, we are strong, our material is now comprehended, animated, illustrated and it’s just excellent work. Since last summer, we’ve been funding a full-time fellowship (with benefits) for MFA bead wizard Kathryn Shriver and we are about to teach AI to bead and to start a second academic fellowship this summer.

It’s going to be a very sweet moment to be able to have our years of work in our hands, in the form of this set of gorgeous books, and then those books will fund our work, our giving and our projects for many years to come. This week we’ll be reviewing the contracts from the press, placing the downpayment for the print run (a shocking sum of money, tens of thousands of dollars) and planning for our next academic fellowship – a sabbatical year for design professor and bead wizard Sam Norgard to complete the CGB Textbook with our core research team.

Our goal remains consistent, and I think I have been personally consistent on this as well: we have not done our job unless we have understand our material properly and then provided that understanding to everyone in an accessible way, with the technical aspects free to all.

Exploding PodCast of Arrows by Kathryn Shriver

Create the Shapes and Forms

The colour assortments that we used to create these variations can be found in the CGB Shop. I just added two new bright colourways, each a somewhat limited edition, and last week I added Hot and Cool options for the 9-Bead Heartbreakers. These also make knockout flowers, but we also thought they would make perfect complex Warped Squares, in the style of Ingrid Wangsvik. See them in the shop.

Geometric Flower Face (above) and a lovely flower brooch (below) each built from Kathryn Shriver’s Brilliant Posy Bead Assortment in the CGB Shop
(See the end of this post for our free Word Charts)
Geometric Flower Faces built from the Nova Scotia Sunset Bead Assortment in the CGB Shop.
Of course feel free to plunder your OWN bead stash too! These beauties above and below are our interpretations of Complex Warped Squares by Ingrid Wangsvik, using beads from our own working libraries. These beads appear frequently in our Heartbreaker Bead Assortments, curated colourways with maximum impact. Beadwork by Kathryn Shriver and Kristen Ho.


Warped Square designs by Ingrid Wangsvik. Charts by Kristen Ho (not yet in our new format) and Illustrations by Karen Beningfield.

Complimentary Word Charts

Please feel free to share. Direct link here and the bead assortments we used to build them are in the Shop here.

About katemckinnon

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

2 comments on “Bright colours to carry us forward

  1. Janet Sherman
    January 11, 2022

    Just curious if a textbook preorder can be exchanged for a credit towards a bead assortment.

  2. Debra Schwartz
    January 11, 2022

    Thank you for the word charts! Such beautiful bright designs. So happy to see one of the Bead assortments is called Nova Scotia Sunset.

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