The Natasha bead evolves

Claire Maunsell’s experiments with polymer Natasha beads provide us with some brain teasers to start the week. (Iris Mishly offers an easy-to-follow .pdf tutorial of the basic Natasha technique here.)

Watching the symmetrical patterns emerge is mesmerizing. Beginners are often introduced to the wonders of polymer this way and the technique can make wonderful use of a scrap pile. But, as Claire points out, it leaves you with a squared off brick.

Claire began by pulling on a Natasha block. Bullet forms appeared. “I started in earnest at this point to etch and scratch away at the emerging and disappearing lines, the remains of the original perfect mirror images,” she says. “Then, the corners of the Natasha ‘brick’ began to move outwards, and the bead to shorten – they became propellers and pods and mostly maintained their symmetry.”

Her results are fascinating and she explains her process in detail. Try it! What can you come up with?