Contemporary Geometric Beadwork

Claudia Furthner, Kate McKinnon
Contemporary Geometric Beadwork
Claudia Furthner lives and teaches in Linz, Austria. On the CGB team she has been one of the explorers at the forefront of discovering the many unique geometries our beads take on with stepped increase patterns.

Kate McKinnon leads the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork team. She has just moved to Washington, DC, is an active beader and solver, and likes to think about the hard problems in every field. She is the author of and photographer for the books in the CGB series.
Unfolding Polygonal Wings
beads, rod, thread, fabric, light
2019
In this proposed piece, a pair of large polygonal wings unfold behind and above the model as they walk the runway.

The wings are a human-scale expression of a disc that we discovered in beads recently, a form so energetic that we named it the HyperDisc.

Hyperdiscs are many-sided -gons with open centers, and like Hyperbolic Paraboloids, these discs have lots of warp and pop. Their spines, like binary switches, can be easily tweaked to one position or another and in that positioning the attitude of the piece is formed. One can make ripples or a sharp zig-zag.

These springy discs are created by placing evenly stepped increases into a central ring. Increase placements are geometrically designed to expand the edge with built in creases, or fold lines. The structure is much like a spiderweb, if a spiderweb could fold and pop.

To expand the central yoke of beadwork, the geometry is extended with flexible rods and sheer fabric.

The garment reveals itself slowly on the runway. When fully folded it appears to be only a line, and then opens to a cloak.

When the model raises their arms, the pleats fly open fully to reveal the 24-gon outline. This outline is the same topological edge we use to cast new work from in the PodCast Bead, but the elements are in a different arrangement.

Lights, like thousands of fireflies, come on when the wings are fully deployed.


Note: This is proposed work and will only be built if selected by the jury.
Kate McKinnon