i must have been absent that day



allo mes chères!  i hope you’re having a great night. it’s pretty quiet here for the first time in a long while so i’m finally sitting down to write. i’m not sure how my latest obsession started but it’s got me hooked. isn’t it weird when you discover something that everyone else seems to know about? maybe it’s OCD or maybe i just needed to get out of my own head tonight but an ancient concept has captivated me for the past couple hours. it’s known as the ‘fibonacci spiral’, and i’ve only skimmed the surface. as i’m winding down i just read that it’s become about religion or evolution and there are even comments on blogs that are almost angry with its existence. anyway i adore it and  hope you enjoy my little unbiased observations of it!


i seem to be the odd woman out but i’ll try to explain what i’ve gathered. it’s a principle known as the fibonacci numbers, also known as the golden ratio, golden mean, sacred geometry and phi. it’s both simple and complicated  but basically it’s a geometry term used when a spiral grows outward in perfect proportion mathematically. it can be used to observe everything from a flower to a galaxy. it was a concept brought to life by italian mathemetician, leonardo de pisa fibonacci in 1175.



i’m not sure  i can truly express its depth so below is a quick overview on TED:


‪GOLDEN RATIO Renaissance: TEDxEast Talk by Matthew Cross‬

or if you’d rather see a kid explain it, this one really knows her stuff:

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 11.04.48 PM




i’ve always been obsessed with spirals and my prized possession is my shell collection. what about you?



i find the whole concept fascinating and it’s opened a new world of exploration and contemplation.





not only does it point to mathematics in everything from nature to art and the human form


Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 11.39.38 PM



but it’s been philosophized about since ancient greece



Vatican Museums Spiral Staircase 2012


maybe we’re walking on a giant spiral every day between man’s creations,



unexplained phenomena,


the earth’s rotations,




and our own dna



spirals spirals spirals!



and our ancient ancestors were fascinated with spirals too! some of the things i stumbled on said they were in touch with cosmic forces that could generate energy and move objects in ways we can’t conceive



tribes like the hopi indians, sioux, and incas have spirals in their history and on early cave drawings

Dart_Ahand-holding human figures & spiral




what was going on?


Atlati Rock, NV flickr-rwolf







well whatever it is about spirals, i can’t get enough



i didn’t find any hidden meaning in all of this, but i did come away with a sort of universality that was kind of comforting. maybe there is some rhyme and reason to the world, not just mad chaos. maybe through spiral power we can see we’re all exactly alike. maybe even a whole that united could change the world!


well that’s enough from me tonight. time for bed. sweet dreams!

July 3, 2013. Fibonacci, Italy, Life, Living.


  1. Connie* replied:

    Fascinating. I’m a spiralphile myself. Thanks for this. I could listen to the pine cone kid all day. Gotta love a nerd.


  2. MJH Design Arts replied:

    You have me hooked.


  3. Wills replied:

    Worth pointing out that some of those pictures are of Archimedian (coiled rope) spirals rather than the equiangular one of Nature.


    • Jerry Rhee replied:

      Yes, it’s important to emphasize that second bit of the thinking process in which one is asked to compare; ask whether different types of spirals are different, and if so, what makes it so.

      Still, this selection of spirals show off Claudia’s beautiful artistic sensibility!


      • Jerry Rhee replied:

        I apologize for taking up your space but I think the following quote from Cook’s “The Curves of Life” is extremely relevant to emphasize the two connected parts of the thinking process. Here’s the first part:

        “It has been often pointed out that the spiral is a conventional term by means of which the human mind can classify and describe certain formations in Nature, or even certain processes in thought…

        The spiral is merely an extremely useful heading or
        formula under which certain phenomena can be grouped and their common characteristics examined….

        But few facts are more significant than a similarity which may be proved to occur in things that are apparently quite different; and they present a curious analogy with the theories of the ultimate constitution of matter.

        indeed, it must always strike an unprejudiced observer that there may be underlying all these cases the working of some still more fundamental law which finds expression in a similar mathematical form, in that same spiral which seems naturally assumed both by growth in living organisms and by energy in lifeless things, such as the nebulae.”

        And the second:

        “If a nautilus were put before me which exactly reproduced
        a logarithmic spiral, I should remain unmoved, because
        a machine can make me such a shape if I desire it. For precisely the same reasons a photograph or a tracing would leave me cold. What I want to see, after comparing a given nautilus with a given logarithmic spiral, is a statement of the difference between the two; for in that difference lies something which I cannot make, something which has never yet been defined—the mystery of life, in the shell; the immortal spell of beauty, in the artist’s rendering of his masterpiece.”


  4. Colette replied:

    Thank you for packing all this info into one handy spot! I’ve always been fascinated by the ancient spirals like those found at Newgrange in Ireland.


  5. Anne White replied:

    I visited Newgrange years ago and thought the spirals fascinating. The official tour commentary was that they had no idea what the significance was of this shape.
    Paris is calling my name! Can’t wait to go – and maybe stay longer than originally planned.


  6. Sheila replied:

    This explains why I loved Spirograph as a kid!


  7. egb233 replied:

    Fascinating! Thanks for putting this together.

    Emily @ Town And Country Shuffle


  8. Peggy Braswell replied:

    Adore shells especially the spirals + wonderful! keep lovin those spirals. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com


  9. Nikon replied:

    I’ve always been in awe of nautilus shells and spiral staircases – their beauty and complexity (in appearance, anyway).
    You’ve thrown in quite a few fabulous stairways, and the whole post is just loaded with staggering visuals.


  10. Karen Albert replied:

    Dear Claudia this too has me fascinated. I have heard some about it however not in this kind of depth. We will have to talk more and later I will certainly check all of the links, It is miraculous to me.

    2013 Design Series


  11. Mom replied:

    We learn something new every day!


  12. Jayne on Weed Street replied:

    I have to admit, despite my advanced years, I have never considered the spiral! Thank you for the introduction!


  13. Rebecca Grace replied:

    Claudia, this is fascinating! Your blog photos always inspire me, but this time you’ve outdone yourself. Of course I immediately thought of the spiral quilting patterns I’ve been diligently trying to master. That geometric diagram for the “perfect” Fibonacci spiral is going to be my Godsend — I’m going to practice drawing spirals on that grid and see if that doesn’t help my proportions improve. And the sunflower spiral? That looks just like the Giant Dahlia quilt pattern, like this one: http://fabrictherapy.blogspot.com/2011/05/sauder-village-2011-quilt-show-part-4.html

    I love how everything in the Universe is connected to everything else. :-)
    Have a great weekend!


  14. richradbarrett replied:

    Wow! Same here, I’m very fond of shells too! When I was younger, everytime we go to various beach resorts, I would always collect different kinds of shells and stones. I mean anything I find and my brother would even call me crazy but I didn’t mind him coz’ I’m very fascinated with them. I thought I was the only weird one, I’m glad to know that you are too. Just kidding! Just keep it up!

    <a href="http://online-phd-uk.co.uk/online-phd-uk-online-phd-in-engineering/&quot;Online PhD in Engineering


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  17. J-0n Flavor replied:

    For years now i have been intrigued with the Nautilus shell to come up as design for a House of Worship or Temple.


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