knit one, pearl two: crafting sea critters

Check out the creatures crocheted, knitted, and sewn by Wesleyan community members and view objects from the Joe Webb Peoples, George Brown Goode, and Archaeology & Anthropology collections in the Crafting Sea Critters: A Look at Oceanic Ecosystems exhibit, now showing through May 8 in Usdan, in the display case close to the box office. 

Crafting Sea Critters: A Look at Oceanic Ecosystems the brainchild of biology major Lily Rudofsky ‘25, who came up with the idea when looking for a creative outlet that could get the Wesleyan community more involved with the recent coral collection she had been working on at the Joe Webb Peoples Museum here on campus. “While I was looking through all of the coral in the collection I was amazed by the intricacy of patterns that I saw,” says Lily. “I learned how to crochet when I was young and the patterns that each stitch made reminded me of the patterns made by the many polyps that make up a coral. I also really liked the idea of making learning how to crochet more accessible by providing yarn, hooks, easy patterns, and in-person tutorials. To combine the three, I thought of a community-built crafted reef; an ecosystem crocheted by the Wesleyan community.”

Lily hopes the display will raise the visibility of the Joe Webb Peoples Museum and other collections here on campus. “I hope that people get lost exploring the Usdan display,” says Lily. “The museum has so many cool specimens and snapshots of biological history that don’t get enough attention. Though parts of the collection are on display in the museum itself and around campus, not many people know we have a museum to begin with. I think the display has allowed us to not only showcase a reef built by the Wesleyan community, but also to display collections that have been in storage and deserve their time in the spotlight.”