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

Everything, all at once!

Just a quick post to the CGB Blog to let you all know that I am thinking of you during this busy time, and that naturally everything we’ve been working toward is happening all at once. My goal is that it all be coherent, connected, and successful – so our book releases, exhibitions, fellowships and directions for the future are being birthed together. All pre-orders are closed until we finalize the first release with the press.

Here is the current timeline:

Books: Pattern Book and CGB Vol III: October and November (it will take us a full month to get them all shipped out, I suspect- we are filling pre-orders, and then stocking the bookstores and distributors.

Hardback Fine Art Book: Spring 2023

Paper Textbook: Summer 2023 (digital version available Fall 2022)

We are running the Pattern Book and Vol III at once, along with a few specials for the pre-orders (like the fat booklet of origami patterns and blank graphs, the CGB Colouring Book) and they also will be packaged as a boxed set for the stores in addition to shrink-wrapped single copies.

Pre-orders will not ship before October 1. As ever, just let me know if you are on our pre-order list and want off, otherwise sit tight. Retail copies probably won’t be on the shelves until December.

Patterns: SUMMER
I have a neat release of patterns (including a few advanced challenges) from the new book coming up this summer, and we are still perfecting them. They will be free to all pre-orders, no matter what book you ordered, and we will use their delivery as an opportunity to have you confirm all of your addresses, so our database is current for shipping. As soon as it’s ready, I’ll post the news here at and on Facebook, Insta and Twitter, so wherever you follow us (or even if you don’t) don’t worry, we’ll find you. Additionally I already have most of your email addresses up to date.

FELLOWSHIPS / Graduate Curriculum
Kathryn Shriver is over halfway through the first year of her living-wage fellowship year from CGB/UnLAB ($60,000 + fully paid medical/dental) and we intend to start the second one (a sabbatical year for Sam Norgard) this fall. It’s been a huge success not only for Kathryn, but her work for our team has been transformative. Imagine, suddenly adding the input of a talented, educated, forward-facing beader full steam, full time. She poured new ideas, new twists into all of our tactics and techniques, and thanks to this collaboration we have a lot of really fresh work to show. My camera has been busy.

Amazingly, after six years of winding our way through industry (the Lockheed Skunk Works) science funding (DARPA and the Office of Naval Research) and academia (the science team) we decided that the simplest way to fund the work of our teams is with ethical employment elsewhere, and when Charles took a job leading the engineering teams for the spaceflight company Momentous, we used his signing bonus to buy a tiny dollhouse in DC that we will be donating to the UnLAB and the beadwork team.

YES! We finally made it happen, after many years of effort. We have a physical structure, a little house on a big corner, and this will be our permanent gathering and meeting space, lecture space, and beadwork gallery. During parades and protests, we will be highly visible, as our location is on East Capitol Street between Lincoln Park and the Capitol Dome. How did we pull this off? Because it’s TINY. 1000 sf. Which is perfect.

We will use every inch of our space to connect, and take every advantage from our visibility.

This is going to be an amazing thing. Our first exhibition will be in coordination with our book release, held during the entire month of October, and ending with a magic show for the Hallowe’en madness that annually fills the entire 12 blocks of East Capitol Street. Here come our ideas for structures that are aware, bookboxes you can form a relationship with, and of course having a physical space means better support for interns, students, visitors and academic fellows.

To help this all happen, Charles and I are moving from Savannah back to DC in the fall. I’m excited about it; I have loved our time down here but even more I love walking to everything, and the energy of the city. I’m grateful for the time spent in the flowers, sunshine, the gentle winters.

What I really am right now is swamped in details and have no time for much else. Please know that I am happy, healthy, working hard and thinking of you all with love. It’s my 59th birthday tomorrow, and that marks 11 years in a deep dive on the CGB project; I embrace it all and it will be my pleasure to lay this all on your table, and we can all walk into the future, whatever it holds.

with love,

About katemckinnon

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

43 comments on “Everything, all at once!

  1. (Lillian) Jane Tyson
    November 23, 2022

    I am very excited to see the new book. I do so hope it comes in time for Christmas. I’ve been waiting for a few years it seems for the next book. What a herculean effort you and your team have put in. So many people have been working of different projects to show the intersection of beadwork and geometry. Congratulations to you and your team.

    • katemckinnon
      November 28, 2022

      Definitely some of it by Christmas! Our first patterns are almost ready to gift you with, paper books will follow rapidly. It’s thrilling to be so close after so long. Hugs! Kate

  2. Bernadette (Bunny) Sorchevich
    August 12, 2022

    Dear Kate, It is great to hear from you. Please be aware that my details have changed in the last 3 years. I will list my new address here. My old address was in Naples, FL I am now at 5470 Calder Dr. Melbourne, FL 32940. Happy Birthday!!!!

  3. joan ochroch
    June 6, 2022

    wonderful and exciting news! And a very happy birthday.

  4. Lois
    June 4, 2022

    Wow! You go! I loved living in DC in the late 1970’s. I found it so boosting and inspirational for my life’s creative journey. Wishing you all the best.

  5. lnapacomcastnet
    June 2, 2022

    Happy Birthday, Kate! And, thank you for all the exciting news – books a house in DC (!) and abounding joy! In gratitude for all you do, Laurie

  6. Valerie Alsbrook
    June 1, 2022

    Belated birthday wishes! I’m so happy for you! Your future sounds exciting, bright and beautiful!

  7. Janet Sherman
    May 30, 2022

    Oh how wonderful. Have a happy Birthday.

  8. Mary Vastola
    May 30, 2022

    Looking forward to receiving the books!

  9. Lorraine W
    May 30, 2022

    Happy Birthday!
    Thanks for the update.

  10. Sharon Marchant
    May 30, 2022

    Wishing you the happiest birthday with so much life, energy, and progress to celebrate!
    Sharon Marchant

  11. Dana
    May 30, 2022

    Happy Birthday Kate! So many exciting things in this post, wonderful to hear what you’ve been up to!

  12. Lisa Brenner
    May 30, 2022

    Happy Birthday, Kate!

    Your news is wonderful. I’ll look forward to seeing the new space, hopefully, in 2023.


  13. Cheryl Hall
    May 30, 2022

    Exciting news! Happy Birthday!

  14. Catherine Glover
    May 30, 2022

    What about us overseas people? When might we be able to purchase the publications over here in Europe (and the UK, which is apparently not in Europe)?

    And do I remember correctly that you said you were going to reprint CGB volumes I and II at the same time?

    By the way I know where that house is. My husband had a fellowship at the Folger Institute and we spent 3 months of 2014 living in East Third Street, in a similar house. It is indeed wonderful being able to walk everywhere! I miss Eastern Market. Perhaps you will call your house the CGB Institute.

    • katemckinnon
      May 30, 2022

      We will be stocking the whole world, so you can buy in your own country, and I decided to simply incorporate all of the essential info from the first two books into CGB Volume III, our official technical manual. The older books just could not be brought up to today’s standards photographically, they were shot with something like an 8 megapixel early digital camera in 2010-2012…. too long ago.

  15. John and Gail MacKenzie
    May 30, 2022

    Happy Happy 59th Birthday Kate!!  We appreciate you!!!Love, Gail (MacKenzie)  

  16. dollmakerhotmailfr
    May 29, 2022

    HI , I would like to know how can I preorder the new pattern book III ? Thank you very much .


    Peggy ________________________________

    • katemckinnon
      May 30, 2022

      Pre-orders will open again in our shop once I have confirmed submission with the press. September?

  17. sewfastdesign
    May 29, 2022

    Yes, totally fabulous news on all fronts! The tiny house looks divine, it reminds me of a mini Frida Khalo and we all know what an artistic mecca that house is in Mexico City. Yours will be a beaders’ mecca and haven. Waiting to celebrate October with you and the team! Yay!!

    • katemckinnon
      May 30, 2022

      I’d like to think that this particular house will persist as a home for study, because we are giving it to the UnLAB (our nonprofit science foundation where CGB lives) and the UnLAB will empower the house itself to dig into the past, find all records about its history, so that it knows what to do with itself when the time comes. DC was built by slaves, on land taken from Indigenous peoples, and while the issues are very complex, we hope to be able to pass our assets on with that in mind. A permanent space for beadwork would be something I would vote for, for sure. It encompasses critical parts of the history of people, and crosses cultures. It’s shamanic, persistent, vitally important.

      It kind of blows my mind that as sacred as glass beadwork is to the Indigenous peoples of North America (whose memories and family records here go back thousands of years) the colourful glass beads were brought just a few hundred years ago by the Europeans. I am still trying to absorb the many realities of this. There are so many cultural claims on beadwork itself, and that speaks to the power of the bead. The more I learn, the less I know.

    May 29, 2022

    Happy Birthday! I am so glad you are moving back to DC. I hope to be able to meet you someday and see all these beautiful things in person. I live about an hour away. Will the new site eventually hold classes?

    • katemckinnon
      May 29, 2022

      yes, classes, meetings, research gatherings for both the art and science team.
      Thank you, Sally!

  19. ME Ross
    May 29, 2022

    Happy Birthday Kate! Enjoy your day!!

  20. sjknauss9963
    May 29, 2022

    So much is happening! Happy birthday to you. Cheers, Sarah Knauss

    Sent from my iPhone


  21. missannyl
    May 29, 2022

    Hi Kate

    Lovely to hear from you and thanks for the update – how exciting that you are nearing the end of the book release and that GCB have found a home 😊

    Looking forward to the book My updated details are

    Anny Wray/Limbek PO Box 55 Tarwin Lower. Vic. 3956 Australia

    We had to sell our home last year due to losing our jobs etc due to covid – never-the-less we are alive and happy 😊

    Hope you have a lovely birthday – I wish for you many more ahead 🎂🥂

    Kind regards Anny


  22. alice johnson
    May 29, 2022

    Hi Kate,
    Is it possible to get on the preorder wait list if someone ops out?
    Thanks for your time.
    Have a good memorial day weekend.
    Alice Johnson

    Sent from my iPad

    • katemckinnon
      May 29, 2022

      Thanks Alice! There will be TONS of books, no shortage, but yes I will open the pre-order list again as soon as I am sure that we have signed off on all of our files and have a firm press date. So far I am the only holdup, going over all of the material, making small changes to pull all of the material together. I should be done soon! It’s an intense time.
      Best, Kate

  23. Tschirk Margit
    May 29, 2022

    Congratulation -All the best- happy Birthday!!!

    Brgds margit

  24. Beth
    May 29, 2022

    You mentioned a hardback fine art volume…..could you write more about that?!

    • katemckinnon
      May 29, 2022

      Well, there are so many incredible photos that it seems a shame not to collect them into a fine art book.

      Also some bead artists have concerns about the open source nature of our main book series, and are more willing to show their work in a different format and a fine art genre, where there is only a photo, and no discussion of technique. I think everyone knows not to copy a fine art piece in a fine art book and call it their own design, but this does happen a lot in the regular beading world. It’s definitely cost us some talented collaborators and a lot of extra time to cope with that issue. People! Credit your architects and teachers!

      I’m looking forward to seeing the photo collection in print, I’ve worked hard on them over all ten years of our discovery process.

  25. Peggy Kemp
    May 29, 2022

    So good to hear from you! I’m excited that the books will be coming out soon. I selfishly hope to receive mine in the beginning of October, so I can take it up to our annual mountain cabin birthday retreat. I will always cherish the memory of getting the first volume shortly before leaving for the mountains and spending days looking at it, reading every word from back to front. It has been such a major work for you, one that we are all grateful for. Happy Birthday tomorrow – hope you have some lemon cake to celebrate.

  26. Kelley smith
    May 29, 2022

    Thank you for your undying love affair with beads. You are a true inspiration.

  27. sue
    May 29, 2022

    Just plain old ♥! Love to hear all this good news.

  28. Shannon Guzzo
    May 29, 2022

    Exciting updates, Kate! So full of energy!

  29. zannaht
    May 29, 2022

    Exciting news. Happy birthday Kate

  30. Brenda Day
    May 29, 2022

    Happy Birthday for tomorrow dear Kate! I can’t wait to see the new books!

    • katemckinnon
      May 29, 2022

      we are all 11 years older but by God we are still here and beading! I treasure you, Brenda.

  31. Julie
    May 29, 2022

    I’d love to see the bead organization strategy in the 1000 sf space!

    • katemckinnon
      May 29, 2022

      Oh, we don’t need more than a few walls to store them all (we like to see them, in big glass jars). Two walls and a big table. The whole HOUSE is only 1000 sf, in three floors. It is charming and the main library floor is open and perfect for meetings, classes, working… so excited to own a space for the project.

  32. Aina ferris
    May 29, 2022

    Kate, I loved hearing your wonderful news. It must be heartwarming to dedicate yourself to such a wonderful creative effort. It sounds like more and more good news. I so look forward to receiving the outcome of all this wonderful work. All the best, and I will patiently wait until the magic shows up in my inbox.

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May 2022
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