Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tensegrity Sculpture with Seed Bead Weaving

My neighbor Ben brought me a gift of this tensegrity sculpture, made from six pen tubes, eight hair bands, and twelve bobby pins. The blue things are the pen tubes.  The triangles are each one hair band.  The bobby pins are holding the bands and hidden in each end of the pen tubes.

Of course, I had to make one in beads. It took me several tries to finish with this piece above. I tried first with bugle beads, but my results were quite wonky.  Eventually, you see above that I made six separate sticks with cubic right angle weave (CRAW), and I embellished them to stiffen them.  Then, with a seventh piece of thread, I assembled the sticks, using tiny seed beads (where the hair bands would be).

It turned out to be a lot harder to bead weave this piece than I expected.  With the hair bands, the tension balanced everything and the tubes sit in a position of least energy.  With seed beads, I was using a number of beads to determine the distance between the ends of the stick.  I had to get the counts just right or it would sag when I used too many, or bend out of symmetry when I used too few.  I know because I made errors both ways.  "Try and see what happens."  Well, I tried and saw, and in the end, it's still not as balanced as I'd like. Ah well.  I still enjoy a good new beading challenge, even if it doesn't always end perfectly.  Thanks Ben.  That was challenging!  I anticipate that one of you could do better.  Please show me, if you try.  Thanks for looking.

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