Fishbone Fold and Fibonacci

After posting about the Fishbone Fold here and here, I got a comment from reader Susan J, who mentioned a book about Fibonacci numbers "and, among other items, their relationship to botany." I asked the members of my household if they had heard of Fibonacci numbers. Both had. "Any elementary school kid interested in math and science knows about the Fibonacci numbers." Well, okay. That hadn't been me.

Fibonacci numbers are a sequence, published in a book for Western European audiences by Fibonacci (Leonardo of Pisa) in 1202, although a version had appeared earlier, in Sanskrit (200 BC). Apparently, you can see the pattern in ferns, pineapples, and pine cones. 

The next number in the sequence is created from the two preceding numbers.
1  1(+1)  2(+1)  3(+2)  5(+3)  8(+5)  13(+8)  21(+13)  34(+21) 55 89 144 233 377

I began with the image of a nautilus shell and with the inspiration of John Zurier's work fresh in mind as I painted 37" wide paper. If the nautilus shell doesn't actually contain the sequence, it appears to.

This one has the sequence used on the pages, with 1/2" backbones.
1/2   1/2  1  1/2  2  1/2  3  1/2  5  1/2   1/2

This one, about 21 inches wide when closed, 
has the sequence used on the connecting backbones, with 3" pages. 
1  3  1  3  2  3  3  3  5  3  8  3  1

I liked the long one as a paper sculpture, but decided it needed covers for storage. Hard covers would have made the outside appear heavy and would detract from the delicate colors and lightweight paper inside. If I'd wrapped boards in painted paper there would be no point to the inner painted paper; it would give away any delight or surprise too soon. I settled on soft folded covers to echo the folds of the inner structure and that could be arranged like waves as well. White seemed the right background. I cut window slits in the same sequence for the front cover, so I knew which way was up. Leftover pieces of the painted paper were glued to the inner cover layer to show through the slits. Gluing them there allowed for more dimension: the shadows could fall through the slits as well.

Wishing you a serene and creative new year!


Cricket said…
Happy New Year to you too! Thank you for sharing so much art, craft and inspiration with us. :)
Mary said…
It's lovely. It looks Elvish.
Velma Bolyard said…
these are so nifty, alisa. i might have to play with it a bit.