Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beaded Eggs

Last week I wrote about a truncated hexadecahedron, or "The Egg," made from modular origami units. As you might imagine, this polyhedron can also be made with beads.
This beaded egg is made from potato freshwater pearls at a diameter of just under 4 mm, and measures just over an inch long. Unlike the origami egg, the beaded egg has one bead on each edge of the polyhedron, instead of one on each corner. This means that I needed to use 72 beads, instead of 48 origami modules, to create the completed structure.
It's hollow and sturdy too, which is always a plus in my book. 
This one is made from 3 mm aventurine rounds for a slightly smaller overall structure.
Finally, I used irregularly-shaped potato pearls at a size of about 5 mm for this beaded egg. The result is a little bit irregular but it's an interesting effect.
Do you enjoy seasonal beadwork for the springtime? 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Origami Interlude: "The Egg"

Continuing with the themes of springtime and the rebirth that comes with it, today I thought I'd share some origami that I've had kicking around for a while. The modular unit used for this piece is the triangular gyroscope module by Rona Gurkewitz and Bennett Arnstein, which is made out of paper cut into an equilateral triangle. Multiple units can be pieced together to make a number of polyhedra, particularly structures including 5- and 6-sided faces, including the dodecahedron, truncated octahedron, and truncated icosahedron, with each unit sitting on an edge of the polyhedron. However, one of the more unique examples shown in Gurkewitz and Arnstein's books is the truncated hexadecahedron, fittingly referred to as "The Egg."
"The Egg" is made from 16 hexagons, 8 pentagons, and 2 squares. You can think of it as a soccer ball that's lost about 1/5 of its faces, and wrapped itself up to compensate. While it certainly has symmetry, it's considered an irregular polyhedron because the shapes that make up this polyhedron are not regular, meaning that the edges of each face have slightly different lengths. 
The great thing about origami, and beads too, is that we can can still construct such almost-regular polyhedra from regularly-shaped modules. The Egg uses a total of 48 triangular gyroscope modules, and I for one can't tell that the finished structure is irregular.
Twenty modules, made from foil paper, make a shiny little dodecahedron.
What's your favorite kind of egg? Origami? Beaded? Fabergé? Chicken?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vernal Visions Challenge Entries

The deadline to enter the Bead Mavens' second challenge is midnight tonight. The theme for this challenge is "Vernal Visions," which is all about the vernal equinox and the start of spring. For my first entry, I thought of the cherry blossom trees that always bloom right around the start of springtime. I sought to mimic these little flowers with Czech glass lentil beads and Japanese seed beads, and came up with a satisfying little flower design which is self-supporting and holds its shape quite well. 
Collected together with bronze bugle and round seed beads for the stems and branches, we get a long, blooming branch of a Sakura tree:
For my second entry, I thought of another special event that takes place right around the start of spring, my mother's birthday. When I think of my Mom I always think of pearls, and I was itching to work with some lustrous keshi freshwater pearls that don't really fit into my usual geometric style. They became the fringe on some round beaded beads, which I complemented with pink Light Clusters beaded beads. Since both beaded beads can be strung through multiple openings, I strung through them using two lengths of beading wire in a crisscrossing pattern, with additional pink and peach freshwater pearls:
A little detour gives the necklace its focal, and an overall Y-shape:
Thanks to the Bead Mavens for putting on this fun challenge! Check out the rest of the challenge entries here

What's your favorite springtime design?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucky Clovers Pendant

I made a little ball of 4-leaf clovers:

It's in the shape of a cube, with six clovers total, one for each side. I strung it corner-to-corner for this pendant, which makes for a nice touch of prairie green on this St. Patrick's Day. 
I'm hoping that it will make me successfully pinch-proof today. 

Are you wearing green today? What shade of green do you prefer? 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Balloon Box Beaded Bead Kits

Two new kits are now available for the Balloon Box beaded bead at beAd Infinitum. The first is in this gorgeous deep blue palette which I've named Pandora Sapphire:
The second is in a Turquoise Patina palette, because, even though the beads are glass, everyone can use a little turquoise: 
Both kits can be found on the beAd Infinitum Patterns and Kits page, and include the full pattern, a needle and plenty of thread, and all the beads necessary to complete the project. 

Finally, a special thanks to everyone who commented on my Winter Illuminations Necklace. I'm happy to report that my sister is well and relatively far from the disaster area in northern Japan. If it is within your ability, please consider donating to the American Red Cross to help with the disaster relief. 
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