Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More on Puff Beads, a design for the beaded bead connoiser who loves right angle weave

I finished a new tutorial last week, called Puff Beads.  The Puff Bead technique is shaped Super Right Angle Weave (SRAW) with some embellishment to make it stiff.  I'm pretty sure that puffs are not the most visually beautiful jewelry I've ever created, but structurally, mathematically, they are quite nice... fascinating, really.  If you are a connoiseur of beaded beads, and enjoy making them as an intellectual activity, I think you will really enjoy making this design.  I think what makes Puff Beads interesting is that you bead the surface of a shape made out of cubes, in particular, a torus. I mean, who doesn't like doughnuts, right? 
But seriously, most beaded tori include the whole doughnut, including the volume on the inside AND the surface on the outside: the cake AND the frosting.  Puffs are just the frosting.  Certainly there are peyote stitched tori where you only bead the surface, like my Nuts and Washers below, but with peyote stitch, the beads sit so close together, you can't see through the beadwork.   

In comparison, when you bead just the surface of a doughnut with SRAW, you get a square lattice of beadwork with holes that let you see inside the doughnut, like right through the side. 

In particular, you can see the big hole through the little holes from all different directions, and I think that makes this technique rather unusual. Thinking further, one could apply this technique to cover all kinds of crazy surfaces made out of cubes, like these pink cuboids, for example.  I just learned that a shape assembled out of cubes placed face to face is called a "cuboid."
My tutorial is designed to teach you the theory behind bead weaving cuboids with SRAW, and I chose the torus as my explicit step-by-step project because I like the idea of beading a hole through the center of a sphere.  At the end of the tutorial, I also show examples of beaded beads using the structure in figure C above, with some discussion about how to apply the techniques to this cuboid design, but I don't give explicit step-by-step instructions for how to do it.  My goal is that after you learn how to build a torus, then simpler shapes will be easy for you figure out how to bead without me telling you every step.  That's my hope, anyway.

... because there is so much cool stuff you can build with cubes.  For example, you could use the Puff technique to bead weave the surface of a trefoil knot, like this beautiful wooden puzzle by Tom Longtin.

I'm not saying it would be easy, just possible.  (I just thought I'd throw that challenge out there to see if I get any takers.)  Of course, you could also build this knot with cubic right angle weave, like I did for my Highly Unlikely Triangle. That would also be nifty.  

So if you really love cubes, and you want to learn the Puff Bead technique, you can find the tutorial here:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/210844618/
And for those of you who just want to look at pretty pictures, or want some beads but don't want to make them yourself, I put this pink necklace up for sale, you know, just in case you like pink.  Thanks for looking.

1 comment:

  1. You are such a fabulous nerd- must be why I keep coming back to read and learn more. Thanks Gwen.


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