(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons) [Order this photo]
Two guild members lived near oceans for years: Connie Gloyer on the Gulf coast and Janet Cavna by the Pacific coast.
After moving to Middle Tennessee, both women missed the familiar sea life of home. From there, the idea to bring to bring to Shelbyville the color of coral growths and ocean life was born.
Over a year ago, members began researching pictures of coral and other ocean life that they could create.
"All of the pieces were hand-made, and almost all of the items on display were wrought without the use of a pattern or directions," said guild member Cindy Lindsey, who estimates over 1,000 man hours have gone into the creation of this garden .
Much of the yarn is hand-spun and dyed by the artists.
One coral piece took over a year to complete. Over 400 individual "scrumbles" or elements, were crocheted and then combined to complete the coral.
Children and adults will be treated to a garden of bright, colorful coral and ocean life of all shapes and sizes and may discover sea horses nesting among green sea kelp leaves, a moray eel, a tiny blue octopus sitting on a sea shell, a jelly fish and several kinds of starfish moving over the coral.
One of the more unusual pieces -- a four-and-a-half-foot stingray -- was crafted by Lindsey.
Work on exhibit elements continues, according to Cavna. "I'm still making a loggerhead turtle and a cuttlefish. The only thing missing is a shark."
The guild is seeking display space to continue the exhibit after its run ends at the Fly in July.
The Underwater Garden Reef may be viewed at the Fly Arts Center through the end of July. The center's hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Fleece on the Duck River Fiber Arts Guild meets from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. every second Monday of the month at the Fly. New members are always welcome. Visit the guild's website at fleeceontheduck.wordpress.com