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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef by the Institute For Figuring
photo © The IFF - by Alyssa Gorelick

The IFF describes the Crochet Coral Reef as a "testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world," but it is so much more. A beautiful work of art, it is not just raising awareness of the impact of climate change on normally invisible marine landscapes, it is inspiring others to create marine art. This is done not just through an ambitious exhibit schedule, but through workshops where one can learn the handicraft of crochet--with a dash of the science and mathematics necessary to create the hyperbolic shapes that evoke marine creatures.

Now there are crochet reefs in Chicago and New York, and if you can't make it to London to see the current exhibit, you can see the Crocheted Reef and Anemone Garden created by the 7th graders at Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School in Palo Alto among the current exhibits at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.

Want to get involved? No reef project near you? Information on involvement in the IFF Project is at the bottom of the reef's online gallery page, and the workshops page includes links to an introduction to hyperbolic crochet and to publications on the topic. It's a great time to get started, since the reef will be exhibited in its entirety in Los Angeles in 2009, along with other crochet reefs from around the world, in a show entitled, “I’ve Got A Coral Reef Too!”

And while you're thinking about human impacts on the oceans, have you heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? The impact of plastics on the oceans? Ever considered diverting plastics from the waste stream by using them in art works?

Above image used with the kind permission of the IFF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, that welcomes members and donations.

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