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See the coral reefs Discovery Canyon students crocheted

Published: January 6, 2014, 2:23 pm, by Debbie Kelley

coral reef photoStudents at Discovery Canyon High School used a crochet hook to weave a bridge between the time-honored handicraft and geometry and marine biology.

“The Crocheted Coral Reef Project” by fiber art students of art teacher Elizabeth Stanbro, is a demonstration of the disappearing wonders of the underwater world.

Students uses a technique called “hyperbolic crochet,” discovered in 1997 by Cornell University mathematician Daina Taimina. Her method enables the forms loopy “kelps,” fringed “anemones”, crenelated “sea slugs” and curlicued “corals” to be modeled using crocheting.

The basic process is a simple pattern, or algorithm, which produces a mathematically pure shape, but varying or mutating the algorithm results in endless variations and permutations of shape and form.

Students constructed coral in both vivid colors and bleached versions to depict what happens to coral reefs when they are under environmental stress. White and cream yarn helped mimic the effect of actual coral bleaching, which happens when reefs encounter toxins or rising water temperatures.