Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Hyperbolic Crochet Reef workshop

After a squishy journey on the train with all the Ireland and England rugby fans who were travelling to Twickenham (Skein King was ever-so slightly disappointed with the result), we grabbed a quick lunch and split up. I had twenty minutes before the workshop began and I was determined to visit I Knit London on their opening day at Lower Marsh, Waterloo - unfortunately, by the time I found it, I had all of two minutes for a quick shifty round where I saw shelves and shelves of yarnie goodies, but no time to buy (I was ever-so slightly disappointed with that result.)

However, my spirits lifted when I met up with the lovely Sue and Lisa from Knit-Happens-in-Newbury and we headed into the Artist's Entrance, no less, of the Royal Festival Hall. After settling into our seats, Inga who I'd met through blogging and who was helping organise the day, came over to say hello. It was so nice to meet her in person.

Inga who demonstrated a quick way to make yarn from plastic bags

The lecture was by Margaret Wertheim of the Institute for Figuring and she took us on a whirlwind journey from maths to science to nature to craft.

She was an excellent, fluent and passionate speaker who actually made maths interesting and we learned so much ranging from Euclidian planes and negative curvature to the plight of reefs and the structure of coral. She succeeded in explaining the relatively complex mathematical concept of hyperbolic space to a lay audience, though I must say I wasn't one of those in the crowd shouting out the answers!
Lisa liked to try out all the crocheted coral as fashion accessories!

Margaret emphasised the organic nature of the crocheted coral that we would be adding to the exhibit. She didn't want to tell us what to do, but to let our crochet evolve naturally and see what we came up with. We could contribute to the colourful, pretty reef which represents the past, the way coral reefs were; the blanched reef - all in white to represent struggling reefs affected by global warming or the toxic reef made out of plastic representing the future of reefs if we don't cut down on our consumption of plastic.

So we got to work:
Sue chose some rather elasticated yarn and immediately regretted the decision after wrangling with the spaghetti-like substance!

Here's a little sample of what we were trying to achieve:

There are a lot more examples on the IFF website (linked above).

All-in-all, a thoroughly enjoyable and informative day and I'm looking forward to seeing the London section of the reef being displayed at the Hayward Gallery in the summer. I've ordered a new set of crochet hooks in preparation...


alabama whirly said...

that looks and sounds amazing, do you have any shots of what you made?

Skein Queen said...

We didn't get much time on the day to make anything but am saving what I'm making to do one big corally shot as my individual pieces look a bit insignificant and lonely on their own!

justclaire said...

Sounds like you had a really good time. I can't wait to see your "big corally shot"!

Happy Easter :)

machi said...

sounds like a really interesting project..and they Hayward is my favorite gallery, so I will look it up. I hope you don't mind....tagging you...
The rules are:
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2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
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