08 August 2010

I love this: nature+craft.

mineral rainbow
the geology section of the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum has got to be one of my favorite visits in this town of great sights.  can you believe all this comes out of the earth?  I always love seeing other peoples' photos of non-rain-generated rainbows: vegetables, craftsand food.  But this exhibit takes the cake.  The textures, too--who knew rocks could be bulbous and bubbly?  If I were a painter, which I'm not, I would definitely come here for inspiration and color study.  If I were a quilter, which someday I might be, I'd do the same. 

And, it turns out, if you are a crocheter, you can participate right now in creating another array of colors at the museum.  Check out this awesome upcoming exhibit--the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef.

From the Smithsonian's website:
"In 1997, Dr Daina Taimina, a mathematician, discovered how to make physical models of the geometry known as "hyperbolic space" using the art of crochet. Until that time many mathematicians believed it was impossible to construct such forms; yet nature had been doing just that for hundreds of millions of years. Many marine organisms embody hyperbolic geometry in their anatomies, including corals. This geometry maximizes surface area in a limited volume, thereby providing greater opportunity for filter feeding by stationary corals."

Apparently this is an ongoing, worldwide project that uses the mathematic patterns present in both nature and handcraft as a way to think about the connections between the natural and the man-made world--and how the latter can either protect or endanger the former. 

This may be the kind of thing that is old news to the crafting world, but it's the first time I've heard about it and I'm excited that our area will get a satellite project.  You can check out the contributions from local crocheters here and find out how to get involved here.

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