Monday, July 6, 2015

Bridges Paper - Highly Unlikely Triangles and Other Impossible Figures in Bead Weaving

I have been going a little crazy saving a surprise for you all, and today is finally the day to share it!  Meet the Highly Unlikely Tetrahedron.
These are photos that I will be presenting with my paper at the Bridges Conference in Baltimore this month.
My paper is called, "Highly Unlikely Triangles and Other Impossible Figures in Bead Weaving." It is now available from the Bridges website. You can download the free PDF file here.  I hope you enjoy it!
Be sure to browse the entire collection of papers in the 2015 Proceedings of the Bridges Conference.  There are so many great contributors this year; it will be impossible to pick a favorite. Seriously, go brew yourself a pot of coffee, start at the beginning and click on any title that looks interesting. Candy for your brain. If you can make it to University of Baltimore on July 29 - August 1, 2015 (Wednesday - Saturday), you can even go to the Bridges Conference and listen to the authors talk about their papers, which is way more fun than reading them because you can meet the people who wrote the papers and ask them questions.
If you don't know about the Bridges Conference, neither did I until about 2003, when I heard a talk at the Joint Mathematics Meetings by Reza Sarhangi, a Bridges founder and generally fascinating fellow. Reza talked about this meeting where people discuss connections between mathematics, science and the arts, including visual art, architecture, music, poetry and theater.  As I listened, I thought, "I think I have found my people." It was a big moment for me, listening to Reza speak.  So, I went home and wrote a couple short papers on quilting and math, and submitted them for review.  Next thing I know, I was presenting my work to a group of like-minded people, other mathematical artists and mathematicians who loved art. They had many fascinating ideas to share, and they educated each other, plus they had interest in my work and opinions about it. I was in math-art-nerd heaven. I went to four Bridges conferences in so many years, and then I left academia to be an artist, and stopped going, and started going to Burning Man instead and doing art there with that community. Then, after last year with the Genie Bottle, I decided to take a year off of Burning Man, and go back to Bridges this year instead. So I wrote a paper on beading impossible figures, they accepted it, and I booked my tickets.

Then, Kelly Delp and the other organizers sent me an email. They thought my paper was so swell that they asked me to give a keynote address to the whole conference.  That means that I get more time to talk and show slides, and there will be no other concurrent sessions while I will be speaking.  I also get a little spot on their website here among the other keynote speakers, including John H. Conway, Ingrid Daubechies, and Alan C. Kay, who all have their own Wikipedia pages, by the way. So, you get that I'm excited to go and see and meet all the people. They asked me to make a mosaic for their website, which you can see here. 
The mosaic includes photos of our jungle gym Bat Country and the Genie Bottle, two Burning Man art projects that I created with the help of my friends in Struggletent.  The beadwork includes a circular Celtic knot, my cover of the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts with an Octahedral Cluster and a Seirpinski tetrahedron, bacteriophages, DNA, a Highly Unlikely tetrahedron from my Bridges paper, and a few photos of cellular automata, which is the project I'm currently working on.  So stay tuned for that. It's going to be cool. You'll like it.  I promise.

I hope to see you in Baltimore!  As always, thanks for looking.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tutorial - Infinity Donut Beaded Bead

The Infinity Donut is a particularly hollow beaded bead woven with just seed beads and drops. It has a huge hole in the center, and lots of smaller holes that are still big enough to accommodate a chain or cord so that you can hang it sideways like a pendant.
Beaded Bead
 We now have the tutorial available as an instant PDF download on our website at a new, lower price!
beaded bead
This pink Infinity Donut beaded bead is available in my Etsy shop.  Thanks for looking!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Highly Unlikely Triangle and Squares

The Highly Unlikely Square and Triangle are based upon the optical illusion known as the impossible triangle of Roger Penrose, made popular by M.C. Escher in the 1950s. The Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvärd drew the first impossible triangle in 1934.
Impossible Square
These little beaded objects look nice strung on a piece of cord or chain to be work as a small pendant.
Impossible Square
I have a tutorial for the Highly Unlikely Triangle, if you would like to learn to make one yourself. 
Impossible Triangle
Or, if you want to just have one and not make one, all of these pieces are for sale in my Etsy shop.  Click on the photos to go to the listings.  As always, thank for looking!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Wisdom Mandala Pendant with Lapis

I sold a Wisdom Mandala yesterday, which means I got to make another one!
Wisdom Mandala Pendant
I've been wanting to make one to match this pair of ginkgo leaf earring for a few months, and so I did. Of all of my designs, the Wisdom Mandala is definitely one of my very favorites to make and wear. It has so much detail and sparkle, and you really get to explore complex color pallets when you weave them.
Wisdom Mandala Pendant
This two-sided pendant is woven from hundreds of tiny seed beads and sparkling Swarovski crystals. It has a natural deep blue lapis in center, surrounded by all tints of silver, gold, purples and black. The mandala hangs from a beaded tube that I strung on a matching piece of silk and cotton cord that I spun on my spinning wheel.

Wisdom Mandala Pendant
The design is named for the Five Wisdoms in Buddhism. These include the bare non-conceptualizing awareness, mirror-like awareness, awareness of sameness, investigative awareness that perceives the specificity, and the awareness that spontaneously carries out all that has to be done for the welfare of beings, manifesting itself in all directions.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Tutorial - Solaris Bracelets Made with Beaded Honeycomb Weave

Solaris Beaded Bracelet
This tutorial on honeycomb weave explains how to make bracelets with beads and thread. Honeycomb weave is a flat angle weave that creates a dense but flexible fabric of seed beads with large holes. The wide, lacy bracelet has circular embellishments (the suns) that run down the center of its length, and matching beaded buttons for the clasp. The tutorial explains how to make both versions of the bracelet, with one button or two.


Solaris Beaded Bracelet Pattern
Honeycomb weave is like right angle weave (RAW), but it is denser and is made with other angles. If you like RAW and want a new challenge, you’ll love this. However, you don’t need to know RAW to follow this tutorial. All you need is seed beads, a few bicones and the desire to try something new. No fancy bead shapes required! This is my fourth tutorial with honeycomb weave.  The others are the Daisy Chain Cable, the Delta Queen Necklace, and the Honeycomb Bracelet.

This tutorial is suitable for intermediate bead weavers with enough design possibilities to entertain advanced beaders. Included is a sheet of honeycomb graph paper so you can make up your own designs.


Solaris Beaded Bracelet Tutorial
The tutorial is 22 pages, including over 125 illustrations and photographs. The tutorial is a PDF file that gives complete step-by-step instructions for how to make the bracelets. At the end of this tutorial, I show you a few step photos for a large pendant that uses the same techniques. Click on the photos to go to the listing.  Thanks for looking!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

New Tutorial - Honeycomb Chain Bracelets and Finger Ring

This tutorial on honeycomb weave explains how to make bracelets and rings with beads and thread. Honeycomb weave is a flat angle weave that creates a dense but flexible fabric of seed beads. It has large holes that you can fill with crystals or leave them open for a lacy look. Honeycomb weave is like right angle weave (RAW), but the beads fit together better, and it is made with other angles. If you like RAW and want a new challenge, you’ll love this. However, you don’t need to know RAW to follow this tutorial.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/231972545/
These bracelets are a great way to feature that old favorite button you've been coveting.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/231972545/
This tutorial is suitable for advanced beginners to intermediate bead weavers with enough design possibilities to entertain advanced beaders. Included are lots of variations on the basic stitch and a sheet of honeycomb graph paper so you can make up your own designs with honeycomb weave.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/231972545/
The tutorial is 17 pages, including over 90 illustrations and photographs. The tutorial is a PDF file that gives complete step-by-step instructions for how to make the bracelets. At the end of this tutorial, I show how to make the center medallion into the blue and gold finger ring for when you want a quick and easy project for instant gratification! I also included some tips for making matching earrings.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/231972545/
No fancy shapes required! In fact, you can stitch honeycomb weave with just one size bead in two colors. For the jewelry shown, that one size would be 11° seed beads, but you could use any size you want to scale the weave larger or smaller. All of the other sizes are optional and we use them to embellish the weave and create variations on the basic stitch. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tutorial - Book of Kells Bracelet - The Chunky Version

In the pattern for the Book of Kells Bracelets I show how to weave Japanese seed beads, shank buttons, and thread into a few different bracelets.  Here is the chunky version, made with size 11° and 8° seed beads.  It's very flexible and substantial.
In contrast, this version is made with size 15° and 11° seed beads.  In either case, you can weave it in many different shapes because the pattern repeats like wallpaper.
This is the other side of the chunky bracelet.
With the bigger beads, you need fewer repeats, so it weaves up faster than the finer version. The techniques I used are variations of right angle weave and cubic right angle weave, but you don't have to know how to do those weaves to follow the tutorial because I show you how to do every step.  Here is a link to the Tutorial for the Book of Kells Bracelets if you want to learn how to make your own.  Thanks for looking.

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