Monday, October 12, 2015

Math? Who Needs Math?

Math?  Many a kid will ask me why they need math--well, it use to be hard for me to give them a logical answer because when I was their age, I was asking that question too!  But, now I can give the perfect answer!
You use math in every day life--and as a fiber artist, you certainly make good  use of your math skills--just wish I had studied harder in those younger years.
What many of these individuals fail to realize is that math is an integral part of design. In fact, concepts such as patterns,symmetry, positive and negative space, arrangement, and sequence that are so important to design all have a basis in mathematics.  Fractals are repeating geometric patterns that combine to form a whole. In nature, fractals make up leaves, snowflakes, geological structures, and ice crystals. You can even slice open an orange to see the repeating shape of the fluid filled pulp. These are also fractals.

I rather like to weave using this Fibonacci technique--Let's play a quick game. Take a look at the following sequence of numbers and try to determine which number comes next. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55...
If you guessed 89, you are absolutely correct. The pattern in these numbers is a Fibonacci sequence. Take a look at the numbers again. Each number after the sixteen is the sum of the two numbers prior to that. To begin a Fibonacci sequence, you just need to 'seed' the sequence with a starter number and then double that number to start the pattern.
Designers use fractals in everything from clothing design to website backgrounds. Zigzags and paisley are two examples of the ways in which fractals can make their way into design. Here is an example of fractals used for design purposes.  So, you do need MATH!  It can make lovely art pieces!

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