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Gwen Fisher's Profile

About

I create artwork to appeal to people's affinity for organization in design. I use mathematics, including geometry, symmetry, and topology, as an inspiration for the structure of my creations. Across cultures and continents, humans show a natural affinity towards the aesthetic of pattern and order, and my art appeals to this aesthetic in a tactile, tangible form. I have found that people often recognize the repetition and order in my pieces, and so my art appeals to their sense of discovery of the familiar in the unfamiliar.

A remarkable feature of bead weaving is its scalability, and my incarnations are worked at the small end of that 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 the individual beaded beads that I make are under 5 cm long, their designs…

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  • Female
  • Joined December 8, 2008

Favorite materials

Seed beads, gemstone beads, silk, fine merino wool, faux fur

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About

I create artwork to appeal to people's affinity for organization in design. I use mathematics, including geometry, symmetry, and topology, as an inspiration for the structure of my creations. Across cultures and continents, humans show a natural affinity towards the aesthetic of pattern and order, and my art appeals to this aesthetic in a tactile, tangible form. I have found that people often recognize the repetition and order in my pieces, and so my art appeals to their sense of discovery of the familiar in the unfamiliar.

A remarkable feature of bead weaving is its scalability, and my incarnations are worked at the small end of that 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 the individual beaded beads that I make are under 5 cm long, their designs can be scaled up to the size of large sculptures, so within their miniature frameworks is the potentiality of skyscrapers, or so I like to imagine.

I design patterns, or tutorials, so that other people may enjoy reproducing my bead weaving designs. These patterns are intended to be beautiful objects in their own right. The drawn lines that represent the thread, the placement of the beads in the drawings, the colors, the photographs and layout, these are all important components of a beautiful pattern. Moreover, a pattern should be readable. I want the viewer to gain as much enjoyment from just reading the pattern as from executing it with real beads. The culmination of my written patterns as an art form comes when a viewer, or more precisely, another bead weaver, creates a real beaded bead from the pattern. In this way, the viewer of my artwork is not merely passive, but becomes an active participant in it's creation.

Art Publications
* "Pentagon and Square Links" 1000 Beads, Lark Jewelry & Beading, Kristina Logan, Ed., 2014.
* " " Beaded Fantasies by Sabine Lippert, 2012.
* " " I Can Right Angle Weave: From Basic Stitch to Advanced Techniques, a Comprehensive Workbook for Beaders (I Can Series) by Mabeline Gidez, 2012.
* "Using Tiling Theory to Generate Beaded Angle Weaves" coauthored with Blake Mellor, Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, vol. 6, no. 4, 2012, pp. 141-158.
* "Cluster Bead", Beadwork Magazine (Feb/Mar 12)
* "Lotus Necklace" Firemountain Gems Advertisement, Bead Style Magazine back cover, March 2010.
* "Harvest Jewels Necklace" Firemountain Gems Advertisement, Beadwork Magazine back cover, Oct/Nov 2009.
* "Deco Fan Earrings", Beadwork Magazine (Oct/Nov 09)
* "Archimedes Star Bracelet", Beadwork Magazine. (Aug/Sept 09)
* "Amethyst Elegance", Beadwork Magazine, (Dec 2008/Jan 2009)
* "Woven Beads", Mathematical Imagery, American Mathematical Society (April 2008)
* "Inspiration from an Octahedron," Mungbeing Magazine, Issue #16, (Fall 2007)
* "Three-dimensional finite point groups and the symmetry of Beaded Beads" including cover, coauthored with Blake Mellor, Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, 1(2), June 2007
* "Mathematics Goes High Fashion" Math Horizons (September 2007)
* "Dahlia Flowers in Mathematics, Nature, Art and Design" Math Horizons 13(3), February 2006
* "A Method for Illustrating Border and Wallpaper Patterns" Proceedings of the 8th Annual Bridges (Mathematical Connections in Art, Music and Science) Conference (July 2005)
* "The Quaternions Quilts" including cover, Focus: Newsletter of the MAA (January 2005)
* "Inspired by Snowflakes: Constructing, Folding, and Cutting Regular Paper Polygons to Create Art with Dihedral Symmetry" coauthored with Nicole Silkton, Proceedings of the 7th Annual Bridges (Mathematical Connections in Art, Music and Science) Conference (July 2004)
* "On the Topology of Celtic Knot Designs" coauthored with Blake Mellor, Proceedings of the 7th Annual Bridges (Mathematical Connections in Art, Music and Science) Conference (July 2004) Electronic Journal Quilt
* "Serendipity" including cover art, Quiltmaker Magazine (May/June 2004)
* "Quilt Designs Using Non-Edge-to-Edge Tilings by Squares" Proceedings of the Joint Meetings of ISAMA 2003 and the 6th Annual Bridges Conference (July 2003)

Articles about Me and My Work
* Gutina, Zoya. "Beaded Beads by Gwen Fisher" Gem and Beaded Jewelry, July 19, 2008
* Kingsley-Heath, Heather. "Maths and Beads (Bio of Gwen Fisher and Florence Turnour)" United Kingdom Bead Society Journal, July 2008, pp. 10-11
* "Internet: Tresors Mathematiques" Cosinus, #91 (fevrier 2008) p.4 (In French)
* Peterson, Ivars. "Symmetries of Beaded Beads" The Mathematical Tourist, August 16, 2007
* Gray, Shirley. "Cayley Tables and Quilts" National Curve Bank, #48, Spring 2005.

Joint Publications with Florence Turnour
* "Double Daisy Chain" Beading Pattern-a-Day: 2008 Day-to-Day Calendar, Accord, a division of Andrews McMeel Publishing
* "Spinning Top Beaded Bead" Beading Pattern-a-Day: 2007 Day-to-Day Calendar, Accord, a division of Andrews McMeel Publishing November 2006
* "Crystal Suspense" Beadwork 9(6), Interweave Press October-November 2006
* "Color Coded Beads" Bead & Button, Kalmbach Publishing, April 2006
* "Barrel Bead" Step by Step Beads, Primedia Publishing, May-June 2006
* "Spinning Top Earrings" Step by Step Beads, Primedia Publishing, September-October 2005

Invited Talks, Workshops, and Exhibits
* Gathering for Gardner, "Math Anxiety Camp and My New Beads" April 2014.
* Northwest Bead Society, "How I Use Math to Weave Beads" September 2013.
* Gathering for Gardner, "Mathematical Bead Weaving" April 2012.
* Santa Clara Art Association, "How I use Symmetry in My Art" April 2012.
* University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Mathematics Department Annual Pi Mu Epsilon Talk, "How I use 2D and 3D Symmetry in My Art" April 2009.
* University of California, Santa Barbara, Mathematics Department Colloquium "3D Finite Point Groups and the Symmetry of Beaded Beads" April 2007.
* Banff International Research Station, “Innovations in Mathematics Education via the Arts” January 21-26, 2007.
* California Art Education Association Annual Meeting, Fresno CA, “Paper Snowflakes in Nature, Art and Mathematics” October 2006.
* Cal State University Long Beach, Mathematics Department Colloquium, “Visualizing Symmetry: The Art of Symmetry Groups” September 2006.
* Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, “The Quaternions Quilt,” “D Intersect H Quilt,” and the two-sided “Celtic Knot and Squared Square Quilt,” March 2006 to present.
* Mathematical Association of America Regional Conference, University of Southern California, “The Quaternions Quilt” and “D Intersect H Quilt,” Spring 2005.
* California Mathematics and Science Teacher Symposium, UCSB "Workshop: Dahlias Flowers in Art, Nature, and Mathematics" November 2004.
* 3rd Annual Cal Poly Arts Education Conference, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo "Math & Art: Cross Disciplinary Connections" October 2003.


Exhibitions and Shows
* January 2014, "RAW Diamonds Quilt of a Group with 18 Elements" Juried Mathematical Fiber Arts Exhibit of the Joint Mathematics Meetings, Baltimore, MD
* January 2012, "Beaded Star Weaves: Five Bracelets" Juried Mathematical Arts Exhibit of the Joint Mathematics Meetings, Boston, MA
* January 5-8, 2009, "Curvy Three" and "Whitehead Link" Juried Mathematical Fiber Arts Exhibit of the Joint Mathematics Meetings, Washington, DC
* August 25-31, 2008, "Bat Country" Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada
* August 3-4, 2007, "Various symmetric beaded beads" Special Interest Group of the Mathematical Association of America-ARTS Exhibit of Mathematical Art, Mathfest of the MAA, San Jose, CA
* March 2007, Beaded jewelry show, Art after Dark, Naturally Jennifer's Gallery and Beads, San Luis Obispo, CA
* March 2006 to present, “The Quaternions Quilt,” “D Intersect H Quilt,” and the two-sided "Celtic Knot and Squared Square Quilt,” Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, CA
* January 2006, “Symmetric Beaded Beads” American Mathematics Society's Mathematical Art Exhibit, Annual Joint Mathematics Meetings, San Antonio, TX
* January 2005, "Symmetry I" American Mathematics Society's Mathematical Art Exhibit, Annual Joint Mathematics Meetings, Atlanta, GA

Education
Associate Professor of Mathematics at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. 2001-2007

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison (August 2001) Curriculum and Instruction, Mathematics Education (Minor: Mathematics)

M.A., University of California at Santa Barbara (December 1996) Mathematics

B.A., University of California at Santa Barbara (March 1992) Mathematics, High School Teaching Emphasis

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