I’ve been trying out some new colour combinations for the bugle bead Interlinked Tetrahedra! Here’s a new version of the original five-colour one in silver, yellow, green, blue and purple:

And another version in green, yellow and silver:

You can find the tutorials for both the 5- and 3-colour versions here, and I have kits for these new colourways along with the originals in my Etsy store.

Reconfigurable materials are materials without a fixed shape – surfaces with a shape that can be changed to different configurations. They have some similarities to kaleidocycles and folding cubes, as you can see from this video from the Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences:

Here’s another video from Johannes Overvelde, one of the researchers who studies these surfaces:

Diane Fitzgerald recently posted a challenge in the Johnson Solids Project group on facebook to try making beadwork versions of these structures. Lots of people rose to the challenge and before long there were lots of photos of beaded reconfigurable materials!

You can see that it follows the outline of a hexagonal prism, with pairs of squares added to each edge. It reconfigures to a lot of different shapes:

It’s interesting to see just how different it can be made to look! However, it is also however very fragile, as the peyote squares put the corner beads under a lot of pressure, so you need to be very very careful with it (I had a sliver of glass ping off one of the beads while folding it into a different shape!).

If you want to try making one of these fragile but interesting shapes, here’s a brief walkthrough of how I made this hexagonal prism unit. I used the same sized squares as in the Beaded Johnson solid project and used size 15 seed beads for the hinges.

Some while ago I made a decagonal kaleidocycle using irregular tetrahedra based on a paper model of a half-closed decagonal kaleidocycle by Gijs Korthals Altes. Because the tetrahedra have different length sides the different faces you see as it turns are all different shapes.

I drafted a tutorial for this a while ago, and have finally got around to finishing it – and here it is!

This kaleidocycle is made from ten tetrahedrons. Each tetrahedron is made from six peyote ovals. There are two different types of tetrahedra and each of these contains four different types of ovals.

This one is quite a bit smaller than the J68 I made for the US project, but still took me a while to make as it has a lot of components. There are 15 triangles, 15 squares and 7 pentagons in total, and it is made up of a pentagonal cupola (which is Johnson solid number 5) and a pentagonal rotunda (Johnson solid number 6) joined together by a decagonal prism (essentially a ring of ten squares around the middle).

The J68 I made also has a pentagonal cupola as part of the shape (this is a decagonal face made up of a pentagon surrounded by squares and triangles) so I thought it would be nice to use the same colours to highlight the connection between them and the two projects.

The shape is interesting as it looks completely different from different sides. I really like the pentagonal rotunda side (a partial icosidodecahedron made from pentagons and triangles) as well.

I really glad that I got to make a second Johnson Solid for the UK project – it’s been fun making a piece that’s very different to the other shape!

Here’s a variation on my Sunburst dodecahedron from a while back. Unfortunately it wasn’t very sunny when I tried to photograph it though!

It’s made in the same way with Sue Harle’s diagonal tubular peyote technique, but the construction is a bit different. Here it is side by side with the original version:

The difference is where the outward points are on each side – in the original they are in the middle of the edges of the polyhedron, while in the variation they are at the vertices. I really like the contrast between the two shapes!

This technique is so flexible – which means I have a lot more polyhedra like this planned!

The original five colour version of the bugle bead interlinked tetrahedra is available here as a pdf: Five Colour Interlinked Tetrahedra Tutorial. This version uses a different colour for each individual tetrahedron.

Three Colour Interlinked Tetrahedra

A three colour version of the interlinked tetrahedra tutorial is available here: Three Colour Interlinked Tetrahedra Tutorial. This version uses three different colours of bugles in each tetrahedron.

The animations above were made using Stella4D Pro.

Kits

Kits for both versions are available in my etsy shop!

It’s the start of International Beading Week! The week is a world wide celebration of the craft, aiming to bring beaders together and encourage people to try some beading!

There are a lots of events being held this week – you can read about them here. There’s also a wealth of free patterns that have been donated by designers all over the world in celebration – and you can browse through them all here.

This year I’m acting as a Guest Ambassador, and as part of that I’ve written a free tutorial for the bugle bead interlinked tetrahedra design!

You may remember this shape from a previous blog post about it. It’s based on the origami model Five Intersecting Tetrahedra by Thomas Hull. With his permission, and with the help of the brilliant geometric software Stella4D for the diagrams, I put together a step by step guide on how to assemble the beaded version. The pdf of the tutorial is available from the IBW downloads page and is also linked below!

The piece is a fun geometric challenge, and requires very little previous beading experience so is suitable for anyone thinking of trying some beadwork for the first time as well!

A new tutorial is available in my Etsy shop for the Rhombic Mosaic icosahedron! This icosahedron is Not Made From Triangles! Instead it uses peyote diamonds for a new take on this basic geometric shape!

This method of making an icosahedron means than you get distinct triangular faces rather than the diamond shaped faces you get if you use triangles. Here’s a comparison of two – Rhombic Mosiac is on the left and an icosahedron made from peyote triangles on the right:

I really like the effect this construction method gives! I started working on this idea last year with my initial Not Made From Triangles tetrahedron:

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Since then I’ve tried a few other shapes as well – here is a Not Made From Triangles octahedron along with the triangle version:

I really enjoy making polyhedra using this method and have a number of other shapes already planned!

The pattern in the tutorial uses five different colours for the faces of the icosahedron and has every possible combination of each five at each vertex exactly once. Both colourways are in the tutorial too!

A little while ago I wrote about the Beaded Johnson Solids Project set up by Diane Fitzgerald, a project to make all 92 Johnson solids out of beads. I volunteered to make number 68, the Augmented Truncated Dodecahedron. After a lot of time spent making decagons here it is!

I’ve named the beadwork version Reflecting Pool. In total it’s made from 11 decagons, 1 pentagon, 5 squares and 25 triangles. To give a better idea of the shape here’s an animation of the polyhedron made using Stella4D Pro:

Here’s the net of the beadwork shape before it the final assembly. I think it looks like a series of connected pools, which is where the name Reflecting Pool came from.

Before I started joining the beadwork net together I did a trial run with a paper model – fortunately my beadwork skills are better than my papercraft skills!

I really like how the shape turned out. The decagons seem quite sensitive to even the small size variations in the beads and so ended up slightly concave rather than as flat as the ones I made initially. However, I really like how they end up looking when joined together.

I’m tempted to make a plain truncated dodecahedron, with just decagons and triangles, however it might have to wait a while until I manage to make 12 more decagons!

Making polyhedra using round beads and polyhedral angle weave is my current favourite bead technique! Here’s an augmented dodecahedron made using 4mm beads:

This is a dodecahedron with extra dodecahedra added to each face (augmentation). In theory there should be a slight gap between each neighbouring dodecahedron, but with the beadwork you can merge them together to end up with this shape.

It did require quite a lot of concentration to weave but it was still an enjoyable experiment. I’m definitely going to be trying more shapes like this!