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

bead retreats and deep connections

We had a small CGB retreat here at the house earlier this month, and it was another magical time. I miss the research team meetings for their sheer power, but introducing people to our concepts through teaching and togetherness is another type of forward motion and brings its own rewards. We have a few more of these (with Anvi Shah in town!) scheduled for this summer and fall. If you are a curious and friendly person, and you don’t mind taking some simple COVID precautions, have a look here and see if you might like to join us.

Perhaps some of you who have attended classes here in the past might leave comments telling others of your experiences. I get a lot of love notes when people leave but I don’t really like to share people’s comms like that, so this is a good place to sing the praises of our time together; it’s difficult for me to describe the impact without sounding silly.

Both Georgette Mayo and Wendy Ellsworth were celebrating birthdays this time, and Charles was here to cook for us (we serve a gorgeous lunch every day). Sam Norgard was in town and (as mentioned previously) she and Dawn Peterson brought the Black and White Together portrait over. Kelly Dale, the owner of Off the Beaded Path (a bead stire in Forest City, NC) joined us for her introduction to CGB’s library of techniques, and my friend Qasimah came over to show us her Doll Stories– small, powerful sculptures that sometimes include beads.

Above, Dawn, Sam and Georgette marvelling over the birthday treats. Below, I got to photograph a few of Tammy Alderman’s pieces (her craftsmanship is astonishing) and I especially loved this Eggbox that she made from one of Ingrid Wangsvik’s warped square patterns. The colours are mesmerizing, and the full pattern that the squares is so satisfying. It can be intuited from a single square, but not felt, if you know what I mean.

Brenda Stone was another first-time visitor to the studio, and I had the pleasure of teaching everyone the PodCast Bead, Rick-Rack, the All-Wing, Geometric Capture and Geometric Spirals, MRAW, the Casting Spine, and a bit of everything else. It’s always such a treat to go over our body of work in a retreat; it takes days to see it all, and to hear it explained, and learn the context that connects the different forms and strategies.

I was able to give Wendy Ellsworth back several of her pieces I had been hoarding for years, but she left the piece below with me, as it is a cherished relic in 7 or 8 exciting pieces right now. It was the bangle that quite literally exploded when I handed it to Marty Demaine, at MIT, and is probably the reason we were invited to teach. I offered her a slice of it, like people pass around bits of saints, but she left them all here. Maybe one day I will look into the box and see it has re-assembled…

About katemckinnon

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

11 comments on “bead retreats and deep connections

  1. Tammy Alderman
    June 3, 2023

    Thank you Kate for having me back for my 2nd retreat beading with you…teaching, inspiring, and sharing with all of us the beautiful examples of bead artistry from all over the world! I am in awe!
    I think, I now have all the the Delica bead collections. Love all of the colors!!!
    I see new retreats on your schedule! I would love to be there, I think I can make the September class retreat work so I can get back there and be amazed as always

    • katemckinnon
      June 4, 2023

      What a treat it would be to have you back, Tammy, and there is actually something VERY special happening in September, and so that would be a very good time to come.

  2. Kelly Dale
    June 1, 2023

    I had the best time at this retreat. The other attendees were so fun to meet and Kate is an absolute delight! My beading skills grew leaps and bounds at this retreat. I would highly recommend this retreat to anyone who wants to “up” their beading game. You will get treated wonderfully and you won’t want to go home~!

  3. Lorraine W
    May 31, 2023

    I attended a workshop & was amazed by what I experienced. Kate is a great host & all you have to do is play with beads! There is so much inspiration & creativity that you’ll want to take “it” a step further.

  4. dorismurphy
    May 29, 2023

    Thank you for making all your work open source so we can learn the techniques from other teachers too. I just watched the video with Kelly Dale to make the Six Pointed Flat Star Pendant or Earrings. I also hope to join in her beadalong for the Kaleidocycle which you shared with the Seed Beads and More group but I was not able to join in. I’m excited about that. Again thank you to your group for developing all this and for sharing it with everyone.

  5. P. Credeur
    May 27, 2023

    Hi, Kate. My only comment is…not everyone chooses to be on social media.
    Perhaps it is possible (without too much effort on anyone’s part) to disseminate project information/pics by additional means. Thanks.

    • katemckinnon
      May 27, 2023

      It’s not possible for us to email everyone, unfortunately, as there are too many people and also thousands of responses would come back by email, which is debilitating. Our web site (which is what you are commenting on) is not social media, it’s just a our home online. The site can be subscribed, to so that the updates arrive in your email, and that is just the same as if we emailed you directly.

      We do also post on Facebook, but it’s generally just to amplify what is presented on our own web site. So I don’t think we can really do better than this.

    May 26, 2023

    Magic Moments!!! These events are inspiring and empowering. Kate, I can’t wait for more!

  7. mariecampbell728
    May 26, 2023

    Love this entire message. Every event still excites me. So happy CGB has been part of my beading life and dreams this past 13-14 years. As I make my drive back to civilization I pass over Fortune Teller creek and hollow—love the tweak it gives my body and being.
    I do encourage attendance at a retreat—mine Dec 2021 with Gaye Smith was rewarding in dozens of days. I am always in Awe of K Shriver’s quick mind, sharing, generosity. I enjoyed getting to know all the beaders there. So much value in encouraging the younger beaders who are teaching and sharing all over the world.
    I am grateful.

    • katemckinnon
      May 26, 2023

      Thank you, Marie, that was such a nice time, wasn’t it? I appreciate your comment.

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This entry was posted on May 26, 2023 by .


May 2023
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