Archive for March, 2008

Crafty Science to save a Coral Reef

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

29554877.jpgFor months I’ve been carrying around a fuzzy little sea creature, depriving it of a rightful home among fellow reef denizens. I hate giving up the crenulated critter because it was hand made by my mother, it’s beautiful and it feels so good in the hand, like a wooly worry bead.

The blue wool sea slug was created for a community art project, called the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. The project is the brainchild of Margaret Wertheim, a science writer and founder of the Institute for Figuring in Los Angeles. The reef project has been traveling around from city to city, most recently Manhattan where it caught the attention of a New York Times reporter.

Margaret came to the Exploratorium last July to give a workshop on hyperbolic crotchet, a method of creating mathematically complex forms using strands of wool and a crotchet hook. We also did a Webcast with Margaret about hyperbolic crotchet and her coral reef project, which was created to bring attention to the environmental threats facing the Great Barrier Reef in Margaret’s native Australia.

My mother dropped in for part of the Exploratorium workshop and made a few sea slugs, one of which I’m supposed to send to Margaret. Maybe I’ll do that if the crotchet coral reef comes to San Francisco…