Thursday, September 23, 2010

The evolution of a design

Finding an artist that I can collaborate with at so many levels is just amazing. The Ionic Polyhedra beaded bead collection, a new pattern that we are releasing today at beAd Infinitum, is a testament to how ideas can really take off when Gwen Fisher and I work together.

Gwen wrote the (free) Strappy Strip herringbone weave pattern to give our visitors a beaded chain on which to hang the Rivoli Sunflower and other beaded pendants. With it I finally learned the Herringbone Weave, which I had long ignored. I really took to that stitch and made, with it, many pretty and many ugly designs. These include an early version of the Hour Glassy Beaded Bead and the Ionic Cube shown below.
Early versions of designs using Herringbone Stitch

I really liked the look of the Herringbone trim, but both were a real pain to make. There were spots in which the thread peeked through (no! not thread!) and there were parts of the stitching in which I had to work really hard to get the needle into the appropriate beads. I showed pictures to Gwen, but did not tell her how I had put them together.

Gwen made versions of her own and what an improvement! Here's Gwen's version of the Hour Glassy Bead, in the colors we sell in our kits. See the smaller gray crystals near the equator of the bead, and the three little seed beads decorating them? These additions make the inner structure fit together beautifully, and eliminate the needle-breaking corners I was dealing with.
And here is Gwen's much more compact and cleaned up version of the Ionic Cube, which is one of the beads described in detail in the new pattern.
Ionic Cube by Gwen Fisher
Wow, that's pretty. She solve the tight corners problem in my version using shorter (less unruly) pillars of herringbone weave, and by adding the fringe drops at the vertices. She took that idea and ran with it! Check this out:
Ionic Pentacluster by Gwen fisher
This is an Ionic Pentacluster, which is a five fold bicone. I didn't realize unitl I read her Ionic Polyhedra Pattern that Gwen has also improved the threefold Herringbone Weave, reducing the stitching from a true Herringbone stitch to a much quicker and easier variation which still maintains the integrity of the cable. It takes half as long to do; I'm never going back!

The pattern for the Ionic Polyhedra beaded beads that we are releasing today is amazing. It includes 14 different beaded beads, with very detailed instructions for the Ionic Cube and Ionic Octahedron. Here's Gwen's description:

"I wrote and illustrated detailed instructions for the cube and octahedron (see above photo) with advanced-beginning bead weavers in mind.  This part of the pattern includes every relevant detail I could think of, including some of the underlying mathematics.  For more advanced weavers, I include lengthy descriptions of how to create other shapes using this technique (including those shown here) and a three page spread showing the steps for an Ionic Icosahedron. A handy table includes seven different geometric objects that I use to design beaded beads, and I include detailed photographs and written explanations describing them all, including bead counts and sizes so you can make them all yourself."

Read more about her experiences writing this lengthy and detailed pattern on Gwen's blog.
See more example of Ionic Polyhedra in Gwen's beAd Infinitum Gallery.
Buy the Ionic Polyhedron Beaded Bead Pattern from beAd Infinitum. Writing this post makes me want to go make another one!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting story Florence! Thanks so much for sharing your insight on the evolution of this fascinating design.