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Pittsburgh Satellite Reef

Now Open in the Charity Randall Gallery at the Carnegie Museum of Art!

View the Satellite Reef November 4, 2023- January 25, 2025!

The Pittsburgh Satellite Crochet Coral Reef project is a unique community initiative that encourages people to come together and create something beautiful. The project involves many people creating hyperbolic shapes using crochet and combining them into a singular coral reef that will be displayed in the Carnegie Museum of Art. It is an amazing opportunity for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.

The project has been gaining momentum since its inception, with more and more people joining in on the fun. By participating, individuals can not only contribute to the beauty of the reef but also learn new skills such as crocheting and working with others as part of a team. This project is an example of how community participation can bring about awareness of environmental issues and create positive change in our society.

Kid Ewe Knot is thrilled to partner with The Carnegie Museum of Art on this Satellite Reef in cooperation with the Institute for Figuring. In addition to community based workshops, we are offering times to gather in shop and work collaboratively with other enthusiastic crocheters.

In shop workshops are scheduled:

  • Friday, August 25, 6-8pm
  • Saturday August 26, 9:30-11am
  • Friday, September 29, 6-8pm
  • Saturday, September 30, 9:30-11am

Trace Brewing in Bloomfield, Sunday, 1-3pm dates:

  • July 23
  • August 20
  • September 17

Participation forms are required and filled out when dropping off your contribution(s) with Kid Ewe Knot. You must be 18 years old to complete the participation form, anyone less than 18 must have a parent or guardian also sign the form. Kids are strongly encouraged to participate! Everyone who contributes to the reef will be listed by name in the museum material.

Your hyperbolic shapes will be accepted in shop at Kid Ewe Knot until September 30, 2023. Possibly in October only by prior arrangement with Kid Ewe Knot. 

The reef will be constructed at the museum during October with the opening of the exhibit set for:

Nov. 4, 2023

Find further details here. There are gatherings at the CMOA, Trace Brewing, Kid Ewe Knot, the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, and more. Join in where convenient!

More of Your Questions Answered:

What skills are necessary to crochet Hyperbolic Shapes?

If you can chain and single crochet, you are golden! If you do not know the basics, we do offer private, one hour lessons to get you started. Unfortunately, due to the wide variety of skill levels and the amount of people at our larger workshops, we do not offer beginner lessons at those times.

What Materials Should We Use to Crochet?

This is a great project for using up all those pesky leftover bits in your stash! Novelties are wonderful additions to your creations. Use acrylic, wool, cotton, rayon, any weight, any color. Use the appropriate hook for the yarns you choose. Don't be shy, experiment! Hold yarns together for fun texture and color outcomes. Make an environmental statement, incorporate plastic or other ocean trash into your coral. 

How to Crochet Hyperbolic Corals

Read more about the Crochet Coral Reef project (we have pamphlets in shop with all the information you need) and learn how to make your own hyperbolic crochet.Try the shapes in This Guide.

Any style, material, or color of yarn can be used, and creativity and experimentation are encouraged! If you are brand-new to crochet, we recommend purchasing medium-weight (4) yarn and a 5.5mm (or I/9) crochet hook.

What other types of shapes can be crocheted for the reef?

Plenty! Would you like to make Brain Coral? Tube Coral? Sure! What is not included are animals ssuch as sand dollars, starfish and Nemo or Dory. (That would be fish in general!) Inspiration images from

 orange hyperbolic coral shapes    coral reef display  freestanding coarl display

About the Crochet Coral Reef Project

The Crochet Coral Reef is a research-oriented project by sisters Christine Wertheim and Margaret Wertheim of The Institute For Figuring. Residing at the intersection of mathematics, marine biology, handicraft, and community art practice, the project responds to the environmental crisis of global warming and the escalating problem of oceanic plastic trash by highlighting not only the damage humans do to earth’s ecology, but also our power for positive action. The Wertheims’ Crochet Coral Reef collection has been exhibited worldwide, including at the 58th Biennale di Arte aka Venice Biennale, Helsinki Biennial, Hayward Gallery, London, Science Gallery, Dublin, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. The project also encompasses a community-art program in which more than 20,000 people around the world have participated in making 50 locally-based Satellite Reefs—in New York, Chicago, Melbourne, Ireland, Latvia, Germany, UAE and elsewhere. The Pittsburgh Satellite Reef on display here is the latest addition to this ever-evolving wooly archipelago.

About the Artists

Margaret Wertheim is a science writer, artist, and author of books on the cultural history of physics. Christine Wertheim is an experimental poet, performer, artist and writer, and former faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts. Margaret and Christine conduct the Crochet Coral Reef project through their Los Angeles-based organization, The Institute For Figuring, an interdisciplinary practice dedicated to engaging audiences with the poetic dimensions of science and mathematics though materially embodied activities. The Institute For Figuring is at once an art endeavor and a framework for innovative public science engagement