Handmade lace, beads, and science. All cool stuff.
When tatting a 6 shuttle pattern like my "atom", that's when the lesser used shuttles in a tatter's collection feel needed :)
The reason for 6 shuttles, is to allow the "orbits" of the "electrons" to cross over each other. Each orbital path is tatted as a separate chain. Only 1 pair of shuttles is in use at any one time. To minimize tangling, I've learned to keep the threads not in current use wound up onto their shuttles. I hadn't yet learned that trick at the time when I wrote up the pattern :)
The "atom" pattern is definitely not for beginners, but experienced tatters may enjoy the challenge. It's in my Up and Tat 'Em book.
By the way, it's supposed to be a Lithium atom.