Branch manager Sarah Sledge admires the crochet replica of a coral reef on display at Madison Public Library. (RECORD PHOTO/GREGG PARKER)
Branch manager Sarah Sledge admires the crochet replica of a coral reef on display at Madison Public Library. (RECORD PHOTO/GREGG PARKER)

Archived Story

Crocheted reef at library on loan from Tennessee group

Published 12:12pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

MADISON – “Crochet” is the word at Madison Public Library for the month of April.

On April 11, the library hosted a crocheting class for beginners and will sponsor another session for advanced techniques on April 25. In addition, an eyecatching crochet creation is on exhibit in the library lobby.

“We have an amazing display in the library right now that people are going bonkers over,” branch manager Sarah Sledge said. “It’s a hand knit and crochet replica of a coral reef that takes up both display cabinets and features a five-foot stingray and a mermaid.”

The display has come to Madison, thanks to Diane Klein, a volunteer in the Friends of the Library bookstore. Klein’s daughter, Cindi Lindsey, is a member of Fleece on the Duck Fiber Arts Guild in Shelbyville, Tenn. that made the art.

“Diane thought the display would be a good fit for us. Wow! She was right,” Sledge said. The display required more than 1,000 man-hours during 12 months to create. “The group used crochet, knit and needle felting to make the pieces.”

To start, they researched sea life to conceptualize the appearance of each piece. “Then, they used freehand technique and made the entire thing without a single pattern. Most wools were hand spun and dyed,” Sledge said.

Tim Ames, marine biology teacher at Bob Jones High School, saw the reef “and was impressed with the detail and authenticity,” Sledge said.

For Sledge, the realistic attention to detail on the pieces is its most outstanding feature. “The textures and rich colors beautifully replicate the images most of us only see in print or video,” she said.

“Patrons are blown away by the size and quantity of the pieces. I have heard people say, ‘Extraordinary,’ and ‘Incredible’ many times,” Sledge said. “I think it is best summed up by a toddler walking through with her mother, halting in her tracks, and pointing with a great big, ‘Wow!’”

Madison Public Library is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For information about the advanced crochet class, visit themadisonrecord.com/2013/04/15/crochet-class-goes-in-the-round.

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