Thursday, April 11, 2013

Presentation at the San Diego Bead Society, April 20

I've been busy getting ready for my presentation and classes at the San Diego Bead Society on April 20 and 21. I made several changes from the version of this talk that I gave at the Northern California Bead Society last fall, but it will still have two main sections: math and science!

Inspirations from Mathematics

As a big geek, I sometimes get a little too carried away with my descriptions of the different kinds of geometric structures. To make these concepts easier to grasp, I recently wove some prisms, dipyramids, and the Platonic solids out of bugle beads so that I can relate several more complicated beaded designs to these basic versions. (Gerlinde Lenz pioneered this style of beaded beads with bugles, and made a much more impressive collection of them that you can see here.)

Can you tell which two Platonic solids are depicted below?

I'll also talk about some of my design philosophies, such as how changes in symmetry can lead to several different variations on one beaded bead...

...and how the interplay between flat and three-dimensional elements can lead to different designs altogether, or even a matched set of jewelry.

I'll give many beaded examples for the five Platonic solids as well as the prisms and dipyramids, as several wonderful bead artists have again graciously allowed me to use images of their work in this talk. I'll also have plenty of examples of my own work on-hand to examine in person.

Inspirations from Science

The second half of this talk is on science-inspired beadwork, which has grown considerably since the last time I gave this talk. Not only will I discuss topics such as beaded DNA...

...but also chemical structures such as this beaded molecule of caffeine... well as several other science-inspired beadwork designs that I haven't previously discussed online.

Bead Dreams News!

On that topic, I'm pleased to mention that one of my latest beading designs has been juried into the finals of the Bead Dreams Competition! I had been debating exactly when to post about this piece, as it's been taking up a lot of my design time, and I have more to say about it than can fit into one blog post or even a series of posts. But I'll have to continue to delay discussing it until the Bead Dreams winners are announced in June.

However, if you attend my presentation on April 20, you might get to see a sneak peak ;)

My presentation will be at the monthly meeting of the San Diego Bead Society, which meets at 10 AM on the third Saturday of every month in the Mingei International Museum in beautiful Balboa Park. Parking is free but can be tricky if there's an event in the park, or if it's just a particularly sunny day, so give yourself plenty of time. I'd love to see you there!


  1. A fascinating topic. Wish I could be there, but I'm so glad some of my pieces will be in the talk. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Emilie! And a very big thanks to you too for so kindly letting me use images of your work. It's shaping up to be a great collection of geometric art, and I'm very excited about it!

  2. This sounds amazing and I LOVE the beaded science. I would love to see a whole series of science related beading patterns from you! Science and Math are big loves in my family!

    1. Thanks Jennifer! That's the plan at least. Stay tuned ;)

      Do you belong to your local bead society? I'd love to talk to other bead societies about math and science too! So far, I've only given this talk in California.


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