Gwen Fisher

beAd Infinitum
Sunnyvale, CA

I weave beads to appeal to people's affinity for organization in design. I use geometry, symmetry, and topology as inspiration for the structure of my creations. Across cultures and continents, humans show a natural affinity towards the aesthetic of pattern and order, and my art appeals to this aesthetic in a tactile, tangible form. I have found that people often recognize the repetition and order in my art. So my art appeals to their sense of discovery of the familiar in the unfamiliar.

A remarkable feature of bead weaving is its scalability, and most of my pieces are at the small end of the scale. I use beads as little as 1.5 mm by 1 mm to build clusters of beads, tiny enough to be worn as jewelry, or just to be carried in a pocket, like a good luck charm. While most of my beaded beads can be held in one hand, their designs have the potentiality to be scaled up to be large sculptures, so within their miniature frameworks is the potentiality of skyscrapers, or so I like to imagine.

Blue Ionic Polyhedra: 12 Beaded Beads in Two Sizes
12 beads, longest diameter ranges from 11 mm to 33 mm
Bead weaving with crystal, glass and metal beads, and thread

The Ionic Polyhedra are part of my larger body of mathematical artwork in beaded beads. A beaded bead is a cluster of smaller beads, woven together with a needle and thread, to form a composite cluster with one or more holes running though the center of the finished beaded bead. To make these beads, I started with inner cluster of beads in two sizes where the larger beads are aligned on the edges of polyhedra. For the larger six beads, I added layers of seed beads, which emphasize the edges of the underlying polyhedra. Although they appear different, the miniature version of each Ionic Polyhedron maintains the same structure and thread path as its larger version, but the beads are smaller, and the embellishment is simpler. Represented are the octahedron, cube, pentagonal dipyramid, pentagonal antiprism, cuboctahedron, and rhombic dodecahedron. This coloring of the miniature cuboctahedron and rhombic dodecahedron illustrates the dual relationship between these two polyhedra.