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. People have a natural affinity towards pattern and order, and my art appeals to this aesthetic in a tactile, tangible form.

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 pieces can be held in one hand, their designs can be scaled up to be large sculptures, so within their miniature frameworks is the potentiality of skyscrapers.

Infinity Weave Beaded Beads, 5 Pieces
Diameters range from 30 mm to 52 mm.
Bead weaving with glass beads and thread

These five beaded objects 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 sculpture with one or more holes running though its center. These tiny sculptures are physical representations of polyhedra made with Infinity Weave. In theory, there exists an Infinity Weave beaded bead for any convex polyhedron in which every vertex has valence three. Clockwise, from top left, these beaded beads are a truncated cuboctahedron, a truncated icosadodecahedron, a Conway polyhedron dktO, a truncated rhombic dodecahedron (i.e., chamfered cube), and a truncated rhombic triacontahedron (i.e., chamfered dodechedron).

Beaded Hyperbolic Tilings, 5 Pieces
Longest diameters range from 49 mm to 74 mm
Bead weaving with glass beads and thread

These five beaded objects are physical representations of hyperbolic tilings woven with seed beads and thread. These beaded art objects are explorations in form, color, and pattern. They are very flexible and can be bent, fiddled with, and posed to sit in many different positions. A single still photograph cannot capture their complexity. The tilings I used include the snubtetrapentagonal tiling, three versions of the rhombitetrahexagonal tiling, and the order-5-4 quasiregular rhombic tiling. Three of these pieces are topologically equivalent to a disc, whereas the other two connect along some of their edges. Although the beadwork appears organic, every vertex is locally of the same type throughout each piece.