Cow Parsley seed head
I really love the form of the plants in the Umbelliferae family, I’m entranced by the upward sweeping negative curvature of the flowers (inflorescence), which resembles the inverted circles found in hyperbolic geometry.
Wild Carrot seed head
They are found in the British Isles as the native plants Wild Carrot (also known as Queen Anne’s Lace), Cow Parsley, Hogweed and many others. Inhabiting the woodland edge, hedgerows and areas of rough grass in the inner city.
So next time you go for a walk, look out for the tell-tale upside down umbrella shapes of this very common plant.
I think I’m especially drawn to them due to their illustration of a type of geometry known as Hyperbolic, this natural form can be seen in anything from holly leaves, bracket fungi, corals, kale and sea slugs. It has even been modeled in crochet by Daina Taimiða.
You can also make a model of hyperbolic geometry by joining 7 sided heptagons to form a non-flat surface.
The fabric of space is thought to be hyperbolic expanding infinitely via the folded negative curvature of non-euclidean geometry.
(The Cow Parsley seed head image is available to download as a desktop calendar here)
Some time ago I was shown this video of ‘circles dancing in a rhomb’ by
At the time it inspired me to create some interesting patterns with crochet, based around the negative space within the structures and the rhythmic dance of the circles within the shape.
But it was the cellular structure of plants that the video reminded me of most, cross sections of plant stems show similar patterning due to the negative spaces created by the vascular bundles, cork, cambium and pith.
The video below is a rough edit of a sort of conversation between Gelada’s computational realisation and forms found in nature and captured on my new microscope :)
I used to crochet a lot in the past so when I saw this video http://vimeo.com/23772888 the first thing I thought of was plant cellular structures, then it reminded me of the open work found in crochet doilys.
I decided to make a few which will eventually be joined to form this wonderful lampshade
Most of the doilys are based on old patterns, some of which I have adapted.