Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ionic Polyhedra Beaded Beads

Both photos above show the Ionic Antiprism.    Even with that large hole, it still holds its shape.

My beading buddy Florence and I have been playing around with herringbone stitch for a couple years now, with a recent focus on herringbone cables with just 3 beads per round.  We like the 3 bead version because you get a narrow cable that has enough detail to be decorative, but it doesn't take too much time to weave.

At beAd Infinitum today, we released our newest pattern for weaving beaded beads, the Ionic Polyhedra using a curved version of the herringbone 3-cable.  The idea for the Ionic Polyhedra was based upon a beaded cube that Florence made first.  Florence sent me a photo of her beaded cube, and when I beaded copies, the two in the above photo (center and right), I refined her design to make the beads fit together snugly, and I added some tiny drop embellishments.  The resulting columns of beads remind me of Ionic columns from ancient Greek buildings.  So I named the technique "Ionic," and I began applying it to a wide variety of different geometric objects, like the octahedron shown above (left).

I started writing this pattern back in April, and I just finished adding the reviewers comments today. (Thank you Florence and Cindy!)  To date, this is the longest beading pattern I have ever written, 24 jam-packed pages, with over 90 illustrations and photographs.   I was surprised and happy to find out how many different polyhedra look good as Ionic Polyhedra beaded beads, so I kept weaving more and more different shapes with this technique.   The pattern is so long because I wanted to include all of the different designs.  In particular, I used seven different geometric objects to weave beaded beads in each of two sizes, for a total of 14 different beaded bead designs. I'm sure there are other beautiful Ionic Polyhedra, but at some point I had to declare the pattern finished.

I wrote and illustrated detailed instructions for the cube and octahedron (see above photo) with advanced-beginning bead weavers in mind.  This part of the pattern includes every relevant detail I could think of, including some of the underlying mathematics.  For more advanced weavers, I include lengthy descriptions of how to create other shapes using this technique (including those shown here) and a three page spread showing the steps for an Ionic Icosahedron. A handy table includes seven different geometric objects that I use to design beaded beads, and I include detailed photographs and written explanations describing them all, including bead counts and sizes so you can make them all yourself.

The pattern ends with photos and a discussion for making Mini Ionic Polyhedra, some of which are small enough for light earrings. Finished bead sizes range from 11mm for the Mini Ionic Cube, all the way to 40mm for the Ionic Icosahedron, and everything in between.
I think the Ionic Pentacluster above looks like a frilly spaceship. 
Check out the Ionic Polyhedra to see links to more photos or purchase the pattern.

You can read what Florence has to say about the Ionic Polyehdra on her blog.


  1. Gwen, your beads are really beyond something anyone could think up! I love the way you select and use various style and size beads. Sometimes, it is easy to get into the artist's thought pattern, when you see more of their work, but you are a new and different 'turn' every step of the way!

  2. Thank you Erin. Sometimes I worry that I'm a little too much "all over the place" with my art, but I just go where inspiration calls.

  3. I really love your work!!! and mix color combination!!! Happy Xmas Time!!


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