Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fiberoptic "Egg" Beaded Bead

As a full-fledged science and math nerd, I like to explore many possible geometry variations in my beadwork. Along these lines, I recently wove a new variation of my Fiberoptic Duo design:

The beaded bead on the left is an original Fiberoptic Octahedron, one of two beaded beads described in my Fiberoptic Duo pattern, while the beaded bead on the right is the variation; a Fiberoptic Triangular Bipyramid.

Octahedron vs. Triangular Bipyramid

While their names sound nothing alike, the octahedron and triangular bipyramid (aka triangular dipyramid) are actually fairly closely-related polyhedra. Both have sides made up only of triangles, and when the sides in the triangular bipyramid are equilateral, these polyhedra make up two of the eight deltahedra. This is a special class of structures where all of their sides are made up of equilateral triangles.

You can think of a triangular bipyramid as two tetrahedra stacked up against each other. I also like to think of it as an octahedron that's just missing two of its sides. A triangular bipyramid has six sides instead of the eight in the octahedron, and nine edges instead of twelve.

A Geometry Variation

Because it's so closely related the octahedron, the triangular bipyramid makes for a straightforward variation on an octahedron beaded bead design. I wove this variation by skipping just one repeat of a step in the original pattern, and by substituting the seed beads in the core of the beaded bead with 15° seed beads. The tricky part is the seed bead overlay: I had to use quite a bit of thread tension to get this overlay to fit right without too much thread showing through. 

The resulting beaded bead is oval-shaped, and slightly taller than the original octahedron. Maybe it's because Easter is coming up, but it looks a little like an egg to me:

I had some fun balancing this beaded bead on its precursor:

Even one of my tiny paper cranes got in on this balancing act:

Fiberoptic Egg Earrings

Finally, I incorporated this beaded bead and another into a pair of earrings. Aren't they cute? I'm beginning to prefer oval-shaped beaded beads for earrings compared to round ones... What do you think?

The Fiberoptic Duo Beaded Beads pattern is available exclusively at if you'd like to make your own!

What's your go-to method for a beaded variation?


  1. Oh wow - these are very very kool - those colours are divine!

  2. Thanks Caron! I like working in black and silver pretty regularly; you can use the silver beads to brightly feature a particular part of the beadwork, plus this color combo goes with any outfit :)


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