Beads and Mathematics

A couple of weeks ago I was randomly surfing the internet and I was positively shocked by a Facebook page. Thus, I decided to read more about it and my enthusiasm and excitement increased exponentially by the amount of new information.

What I discovered is Bead Infinitum. On their page you will get really beautiful designs and hand-made jewelry made using beads. Even if this is incredibly nice by itself, when I say that there is mathematics is some of those models everything looks even better. Here are a couple of images for you:

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For me, this was love at first site: an interesting cube (left image) and a Sierpinski tetrahedron (right image). But, the mathematics behind everything becomes better. What do you think about the title “Highly Unlikely Triangles and Other Impossible Figures in Bead Weaving”? 

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The paper is free to read and download on the internet ( here ) and it is interesting to read. I will just quote the abstract of the paper to give you all some idea about what is happening:

The impossible triangle and other impossible figures are optical illusions that have inspired much artwork since their discovery by Oscar Reutersvärd in the 1930s. This paper shows how I use the impossible triangle and its variations to create a series of sculptures woven with seed beads and thread, using a bead weaving technique known as “cubic right angle weave” (CRAW). The flexibility of the beadwork eliminates the paradox of the optical illusion by substituting curves for the otherwise straight beams. The resulting “highly unlikely” beaded art objects generate surfaces that twist like Möbius bands around the objects, often making several distinct paths, which make interesting colorings possible. The many beaded examples include triangles, squares and frames. The beading techniques were then applied to tetrahedra and a dodecahedron that generate no corresponding optical illusion.

Hope you got excited about their work as I did. Also check their website ( here )  to find out more about their future projects. Thank you for your help and support. You can find me on FacebookTumblr, Google+,  TwitterInstagram and Lettrs, I will try to post there as often as possible. Don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy! 


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