Barnsley Ferns in the workshop and on the stage

Dylan Thurston connected us with Melissa Freilich at the Ann Arbor Civic Theater, who was directing Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia. Because of the fractal themes in the play, Melissa wanted to create images of large fractal ferns, known as Barnsley ferns, for the set. We worked with her to determine the scale, and after some thinking, came up with the idea of creating a set of chipboard stencils that her set crew could use to paint 24 foot ferns.

The Barnsley fern is actually generated from a sequence of random numbers fed into an algorithm. Here's an example. If you refresh your browser, you can watch it recreate itself.

Here's the completed stencil laid out on our workshop floor:

Barnsley Fern on Workshop Floor

And here's the final product that playgoers got to see. Nice work by the artists!

Arcadia Set with Barnsley Fern

You can find the Barnsley fern in our store, made of thick felt.

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