This post is going to be full of eye candy, so if you’ve a mind to skip something so image rich, please do so now.
For some time the beading world has been taken with kaliedocycles. I first came across them through the great photography and design descriptions over on Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. Beady sculptures containing energy and a basis in science…where did this come from?
What is a kaliedocycle? Good question. What they remind me of are those folded paper puzzles we used to make in grade school, where each face had a name or number on it, and you’d generate sentences or find answer to questions or any number of things. Anyone remember those? I think they were called fortune tellers or chatterboxes. So, a kaliedocycle is sort of like that, except with beads; tetrahedra that fold and bend.
The colored faces and engineering intrigued me. So, of course, I had to try it.
This cycle was made with 10º delicas. The standard is to make them with 11s or 15s, but I wanted something a little larger. I think it’s 9 beads on a side for each triangle, then they’re joined (the little white beads) and hinged. The whole piece is about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.
The fact that there are joins as well as hinges took my old brain a while to decipher. Thankfully Kate McKinnon provided some wonderful videos on how it all works.
Now that it’s all done, I find I’m a bit disappointed. While the whole structure moves, it feels floppy in the hand, not substantial as I thought it would. Could be because I used larger beads, or because I made larger triangles, or both.
I have a mind to try again with smaller beads or smaller triangles, but that’s a project for the future. For now, we stare at each other going “Hmmmmm.”