hyperbolic crochet coral reef

The Finer Details of Science

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef made it to the Irish Times yesterday managing to capture another one of the hot topics of the moment as I see in the world news section that the Chagos Island is being made a Marine Protected Area. If our Woolly Wonder will help raise further awareness of the effects our lifestyle choices have on our planet, every single tight crochet stitch has paid for itself by the yard.


The journalist, Sylvia Thompson, sums up The Woolly Wonder in the best of ways and she even quotes me and she even quotes me accurately although, the finer details are a bit lost, so for anybody who may be offended by my stating that the project is a very female take on science, I actually do mean that, as crochet is historically a very female occupation. I mean, 3000 women has contributed and three men; the figures speak for themselves.

However, what the quote does not specify is the fact that this project has made it possible for non-mathematical people to approach science from a handicraft angle rather than a theoretical angle. As Margaret Wertheim so eloquently puts it “… an alternative way of doing things: The Play Tank where people can engage with the highest level of computing, maths and logic by physically playing with ideas”. That, is the aspect of this entire project that appeals so much to me but I also must state that I do realize that very many women come to this with their science mind first and their hands second or with the two in unison, I just don’t. The most important aspect is that we are doing it together, in harmony, sustaining each other, just like a coral reef sustains so very many diverse lifeforms.

And now, back to the world of no internet access and corresponding red hot crochet hook!

hyperbolic crochet coral reef

A Dive On The Irish Crochet Corals

Last night we enjoyed the grand opening of the exhibition and everybody that is anybody was at the preview of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef at Science Gallery Dublin apart from Stitchlily, who was very badly missed. I carried her around on my shoulder all night and I did get the warmest hug from her mother which made the connection that was so badly missing!

I didn’t manage to take many pictures, only a few blurry ones…

Section of The Irish People’s Toxic Reef

Curated Irish People’s Reef

Irish People’s Reef

Irish People’s Reef Lady Crochters

A handful of The ReefersTM


The exhibition is magnificent at so many levels and everybody who took part can take pride in it. Every single stitch counts.

I do encourage you to go for a dive into the Science Gallery and submerge yourself in the beauty of maths and fine work by all the fantastic Irish crocheters from all over the country. Take a bow crocheters, you are exhibited alongside two of  Escher’s fine woodcut masterpieces and the masters of Crochet Coral, Margaret and Christine Wertheim. It doesn’t get any bigger than that!

The Science Gallery are to be congratulated on yet another fine visionary exhibition and deserves a great big thank you from all Reef Contributors for letting us in. Dr. Daina Taimina deserves a standing ovation on her findings; I cannot get over the fact that it took a woman with female handicraft skills to crack the hyperbolic code. It blows my mind.
Thanks to Margaret & Christine Wertheim for their generosity in making possible this journey of bringing so many people together and engaging with science in such an accessible way. Although Lynn Scarf at the Science Gallery is the true heroine of this woolly journey, she managed to hold on to all the yarn ends and gave support of gigantic dimensions every stitch of the way! What a woman!!! Thanks to The ReefersTM for the stunning  bouquet
I was presented with which brought a tear to my eye and actually managed to render me speechless. Thank you.
The statistics are that hardly any men have contributed to the crochet reef. I know one man who may not have contributed in crochet but without whom I could not have submerged myself in this woolly wonder, he is my husband. Thank you Dónal for everything.

Relevant links: Origin of the project: Institute for Figuring. Visit Science Gallery website here. Science Gallery Facebook Page; Science Gallery on Twitter. Or check out the Irish People’s Reef on Facebook. Visit the Ravelry Reef Group here.