It takes a community to make a coral reef? Yes! And the Indiana Satellite Reef of the Crocheted Hyperbolic Coral Reef is truly a community art project. In partnership with the Indianapolis Crochet Guild are library groups, a Brownie troop, The Caring Place (an adult day care facility), musicians from the Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra, Girl Scouts, staff and volunteers from the Conner Prairie fiber and textiles group, the Franklin Weavers and Spinners, Fishers High School knitting club, Riverside Junior High School, homeschoolers, Avon Junior High School, Indiana State Museum patrons, staff and volunteers. All together, more than 100 people from ages 6 to 92 are crocheting for a cause!
Recently, 16 inmates of the Indiana State Women’s prison, under the supervision of Anna Brown, joined our efforts. These women have made hats and blankets for the community, as well as many of the volunteer scarves for Super Bowl 2012. They seldom receive credit. Cindy DeCamp and I proposed the reef project to this group in June and these women were thrilled to show what they can do. The excitement was palpable! Three weeks later, Cindy and I were brought to tears by the beauty of what these women had done. A mermaid, a treasure chest filled with gold and jewels, trees, fish on dowel rods “swimming,” a dolphin, a sunken ship, an angel fish complete with a fish hanging out of its mouth. They created tree-like structures by coiling paper and then covering them with yarn.
We gave them some coral patterns, but most everything they made was done without a pattern and no special instructions as most everyone crochets in prison. Plastic hooks are the norm. All supplies are donated. Their workroom is an old home economics room, overflowing with projects. Each time we go we take extra supplies for these women. They made us feel so at ease as we crocheted together. We talked about our families, and the things we like to make for them. We heard many positive comments about this unusual project. So much inspiration came from these women dressed in beige!
Margaret Wertheim, the creator and founder of the hyperbolic crocheted coral reef, sent a box of brochures showing other reefs and the women were thrilled as they saw what is being done worldwide and knew they are now a part of it! I only wish these women could see the exhibit! We’ll take tons of photos and make a DVD for them. Their names will be on the donor banner with all the rest of the crocheters!
On our next visit, we’ll take additional booklets from the Institute for Figuring showing the math behind these amazing spheres.
Filed under: culture, museums, science | Tagged: Conner Prairie, coral reef, Franklin Weavers and Spinners, Indiana Reef, Indianapolis Crochet Guild, Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra, The Caring Place, women inmates, women's prison |