Monday, January 30, 2012

Chaos & Order Day 5

I'm intentionally adding some negative space on the left, those two big squares. I also finished the edge on the right. I decided not to have too much of the lacy bits meet the edges. The denser stitches provide a border both visually and physically.

Go back to Day 4. Go forward to Day 6.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chaos & Order Day 4

Here is my Day 4 progress on a commission for a large, flat, beaded angle weave art piece that I showed you a few days ago. I thought I'd try photographing it with a black background.
If it were a bracelet, which it isn't, but if it were, here is what it would look like.
Here is a link to Days 1, 2, 3, and an explanation of what I'm doing.
Or maybe you want to go on to Day 5.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Ring Nebula Kits

We have a new kit colors scheme for our Ring Nebula pattern.  I call it Metallic Rose because it's got some nice warm pink and burgundy beads in it and a whole bunch of silver and bronze.

The first six people who order this kit will also receive a free silver pressed glass ring.  I would have put them in all of the kits, but I bought all that they had.  The color and size matches the Ring Nebula perfectly.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Commission Jan 2012

I started working on a commission do a large, framed piece of flat beaded art. I started with free form hexagon angle weave, but not so free form as to loose the pretty patterns in it. I purposely started with a few odd bits, rings of 5 instead of 6 and a couple of 4mm beads just to make things challenging. Then, I spent hours trying to "fix the mistakes" by making adjustments so that everything will fit and lie flat. What results is a crazy patchwork design that is a combination of order and chaos, where one pattern drifts into the next as do the colors. I keep coming back to this theme. I think there are some nice metaphors there, about working around the problems, and that order and confusion can coexist. It's not done yet, but I thought you might like to see my progress.  Here is what it looked like after the first day of weaving.

Here is my progress, day 2. I included a dime so you can see how big it is.

Day 3: I added some super right angle weave and Kepler's Star. I think I've decided to make it sort of a rectangle shape, working on towards the left.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Night Sky Bracelet Kits

I finally got some Night Sky kits available that I showed in my recent post on bead art at the Joint Math Meetings.  This kit has been a long time coming since I first published this pattern in 2007. The kit includes all of the materials you need to weave the bracelet, including a piece of ribbon to lace it up. 

The kits make a patch of beaded lace as least as large as this bracelet, but you can also use the beads to make a narrower bracelet and have leftovers for a pendant or two, like the Southern Cross and the Greek Cross Pendants shown below.

One of my friends suggested that Night Sky looks like some coloring books she has, and she shared a link to Altair Design.  If you don't want to bead right now, you could look at the pretty coloring book pages instead.  Fun stuff.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tutorial -- Twisted Cubic Right Angle Weave

I just finsihed my newest tutorial on cubic right angle with a twist.  Twisted cubic right angle weave is a just like regular cubic right angle weave, but forms a twisted tube.  The twist in the stitch allows you to color it like a candy cane.  It is suitable for a cable on a necklace or bracelet.  You can also join the ends to make a small donut-shaped beaded bead, which is what I like to do with it because you get nifty torus knots and link designs on the surface of the donut. 

The pattern gives complete instructions for weaving the donut including the use of several sizes of seed beads and different numbers of repeats around the tube.  Of course, I had to make the smallest one I could since you know I'm a sucker for itty bitty beaded beads.  This one is just 13 mm across and 5 mm thick.

I end this post with some happy donuts, because donuts make me happy.  The smile is also a bracelet, because you can also make jewelry with twisted cubic right angle weave, you know, if you're into that sort of thing.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bead Art at the Joint Mathematics Meetings 2012

I just got back from Boston, MA, where I gave a talk on "Using Tiling Theory to Generate Weaving Patterns with Beads (PDF)" at the Joint Mathematics Meetings.  This image shows the basic idea of what I presented. 
I also showed five of my beaded star weaves bracelets in the Mathematical Art Exhibit which I designed using the ideas I presented.  Here I am posing with my bracelets and the handout I distributed at the meeting. 
You might recognize some of these beaded bracelets.  From left to right, they are Kepler's Star, Archimedes Star, David's Star, Night Sky and Snow Star. You can see my beads at 0:57 in this short video about the exhibit narrated by Robert Fathauer, a regular curator of mathematical art.
Someday soon, I'll finish a complete paper explaining all of the details of my talk, with my coauthor Blake Mellor.  Blake and I met at the meeting to review our paper together (version 14), and after years of writing, we are getting close to being done and submitting it for publication.  (You might remember Blake as the mathematician with whom I wrote about the symmetry of beaded beads. He is a mathematical rock star as far as I'm concerned. If you don't want to buy the journal's version of our paper, you can download a PDF file of the pre-print for free here: beaded beads paper.  The publisher's version has undergone peer review and revision by the editors at the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts.  The writers and editors of JMA are many of the same people who spoke gave talks on mathematical art, and showed their work in the mathematical art exhibit.)  Here you can see me with about half of the exhibit.  
I am happy to report that the JMM mathematical art exhibit has been getting noticeably larger every year as more people hear about it, and the organizers of the meetings provide more space to show all of the entries.  This year, there were over 80 artists showing their work, but only three sets by beaders.  In addition to me, the folks over at The Beaded Molecules showed three pieces.  You can see me standing right next to their giant beaded beads above.  Susan Goldstine and Ellie Baker also had a nice set of bead crocheted bracelets, and Ellie let me take a picture of her next to them below.  
Susan gave a slick and elegant talk on how they designed their bead crochet patterns right before I spoke.  It was nice that they scheduled the talks of beading together.  In general, the JMM are amazingly well organized.  Mathematicians are good like that.

Here's a little history of JMM and bead art (and me):  Last year (January 2011) my Ionic Beaded Beads were the only bead art in the exhibit, and the year before (2010) I didn't exhibit, so I got the task of writing an article about it for JMA instead.   The only beads in 2010 were bead crochet bracelets, by you guessed it, Susan Goldstine and Ellie Baker and this time joined by Sophie Sommer.  In 2009, there were no beads, and in 2008, Laura Shea showed a few pieces with triangle weave.  Laura also showed triangle weave and beaded polyhedra in 2007.  In 2006, I showed a selection of symmetric beaded beads, and they were the only beads in the exhibit. Blake and I also presented a talk on our associated paper that I mentioned above.

The first art exhibit at JMM that I participated was in 2005.  There were only 21 artists that year and nobody submitted any beads, including me.  I hadn't started beading yet, but I did paint, and my piece was gouache and ink on paper, called Symmetry 1.  Maybe you can see that what I was doing then with ink and paint is similar to what I'm doing now with beaded angle weave designs.  I believe the art exhibit started in 2004, but that year's exhibit is not posted on line.  As far as I know, there were no beads in the exhibit or contributed paper sessions before mine in 2006.

Here is a link to the complete list of related mathematical art exhibits organized within Bridges and the JMM, just in case you'd like to sit here a while an appreciate more mathematical art.  I know you'll find more of Laura Shea's bead work in the Bridges' conference exhibits there every year from 2006 to 2010, and perhaps a few other pieces of bead work if you search for it.  They've got the eye-and-brain candy if you have the time.  Go make a cup of tea.  Stay a while.
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