Laura Shea

Colorado, USA

My work explores complex polyhedral structures and polygon formations stitched with beads and thread. My repertoire includes classic geometric forms, whole and partial frame polyhedra, regular tilings, and tessellations. I connect the component forms at contiguous polygonal faces and edges to create chains, sculptural polyhedra and tilings. The open networks of tilings and frame polyhedra provide a magical space for light to play with crystal and glass beads scattering refracted light and creating intriguing substantial and insubstantial patterns.

One Hundred and Eight Mini Mandalas
49 x 45 cm
Beadwork: Triangle stitch using size 15 seed beads and Nymo thread

A compilation of one hundred-eight regular triangle tilings within hexagonal outlines. The triangle stitch consists of three beads per side/edge. None of the patterns repeat. Most are symmetric in at least 180 degrees. One pattern is not centered in its hexagon. I left it as a God bead. Can you spot it? I experimented with a few patterns. And the project took on a life of its own. I chose a limit of one hundred-eight as a stopping point. (One hundred-eight faces of God, one hundred-eight beads to a mala.) The hexagons required three or more hours of work each and another six weeks to outline and connect them. The piece is intended to hang as a tapestry.

Three Margarita Transformations Bangles
11 x 10 x 3 cm
Beadwork: Three Dimensional Angle Stitiching

The bottom bangle consists of 4mm beads/edges. The bead frame polyhedra (8 dodecahedra, 8 truncated icosahedra) are regular. On the middle and upper bangles the polyhedra become Margarita Transformations. "Margarita" means pearl or bead in Latin and Greek. The polyhedra share pentagonal faces. With varied edge lengths, the polyhedra morph or transform. The relation of edges to vertices and the locations of the pentagonal and hexagonal faces remain the same as the bottom regular bangle. The middle and top bangle are duals of each other with some angles now irregular Where one bangle has 3mm beads/edges, the other has 4mm beads/edges and the reverse. The three bangles have a total of 48 distinctly different, connected polyhedra.