an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators
Good morning all! We are finishing up the last two of the series of our free tutorials- the Star Spiral is coming up next, along with an easy lesson on making and using a Casting Spine. We’ll complete the series with the groundbreaking Foolproof Kaleidocycle pattern I’ve been working on for so long. These stand-alone beginner patterns are to me the soul of the new books, and it’s been our tradition to release our free patterns first, before the books are off the press.
I’ll explain a bit more about this below, for those who are interested.
Once the beginner tutorials are complete, we will publish the Pattern Book and the CGB Colouring Book (which is a collection of blank graphs, origami patterns and more that comes free with all existing pre-orders) and shortly after that, we will produce the beautiful book of photographs (CGB Volume III) that we like to call the “Cocktail Book”.
After that, we’ll complete our work on the college-level textbook, and with that my part in the project will come to an end. When we are ready to ship the first books, we’ll be in touch with all of our pre-orders to see if they want to add or subtract to their order, update their address, etc., so until then, sit tight. You will have the option to add whatever you like (including some gorgeous posters, card sets, and more) when we are ready to ship.
For those who don’t know, The UnLAB and CGB are open-source research teams, and we are an official non-profit 501(c)(3). Our team is all-volunteer except for our research fellow, Kathryn Shriver, to whom we are paying a full living wage plus benefits, and while we wait for the books, this funding comes from our (also non-profit) science team. Our book sales will be our own reward for our hard work; we can’t wait, it will be incredible to have funding to share through royalties, stipends and grants, and to be able to gather as a team again as we used to do.
The spirit of giving has been how CGB has operated since the very beginning. Our YouTube channel is not designed for making money, instead it’s our Explorer’s Notebook, the place where you can find a record of our discoveries as we made them, and always for free. We do not sell endless stacks of patterns for variations, instead we explain what is possible, and encourage people to use that information for their own advancement. Many pattern designers have made a good living writing patterns for CGB discoveries, and we celebrate that.
Our web site (which is where this post is coming from) is also designed to be a record of discovery and a free sharing of techniques, nothing more. Our tradition has been to share information with all as soon as we have found it; the slick packaging always comes later, and for the past 12 years, everything we have learned has been given fully, without anything held back.
Nothing will change our team’s priorities. I shiver to think of how much money we could have made if CGB had published the first Kaleidocycle patterns (as we had the full opportunity to do) but I chose not to do that, but instead to let everyone else have at it until I felt that I personally understood the gift and its structure before I wrote about it, or more importantly before we profited from it. It shocks even me that it took me five years of study to feel that I had it, but there it is. I don’t think the Cycle has ever been written about accurately before, whether by engineers, mathematicians or beaders, and I hope that my contribution will connect the dots and stand the test of time.
I don’t regret the time that I have spent on the project, but I do regret the unpleasantness that has been directed at me for taking the time needed, and once again I am repeating the statement that the simple solution to anyone who is upset waiting for our books is simple: not to wait for them. As all of our pre-orders are always fully refundable, no questions asked, anytime, there is no call for anyone to be rude about waiting for us to finish, rather the correct solution is for them to get off of our list, and get on with their lives. No one has cause to complain when they are welcome to remove their reservation.
Under no circumstance is the solution to be unpleasant or unkind to me, as that is silly and also hurtful; people have said some really shocking things to me both in my email and on social media, including quite recently, and it is completely unnecessary as I am doing the very best I can do to manage our flood of discovery. I would rather be late than incomplete, and my sole and single priority in these publications is to make them accessible to beginners, and that is harder than it sounds, for sure.
We have a crack team on the job, all of us but one are volunteers, and to be honest the right thing to say to me, or to any of us, is “thanks for your work!” As you can see by all of our releases, the work we do is groundbreaking, it is excellent and there has been a steady stream of game-changing contributions from all of us to the field since 2011. I am so proud that I can finally say that all of my questions have been answered, and I know how to explain the answers. This is my dream come true, except for the unkindness; that is my sadness. There is enough of that in the world already to go around; let’s be gentle with each other, and celebrate the beauty and expansiveness of giving.
I regret having to mention this again, as I feel once, or ten times should have been enough, but recent instances have caused me to speak up for myself once again; I am a feeling being, and I care.
Love to you in this tricky time,