Culture Art & Media Japanese Granny's Embroidered Spheres Show Nature's Pattern Language By Kimberley Mok Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who covered architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Kimberley Mok Updated October 11, 2018 CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. NanaAkua Share Twitter Pinterest Email Culture History Travel Sustainable Fashion Art & Media Holidays Community From radiolaria to each unique snowflake, pattern is the language of nature. Human-made artifacts expressing these natural occurrences can be riveting, like this collection of embroidered spheres made by an 88-year-old Japanese grandmother, who started crafting these in her sixties. NanaAkua/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 NanaAkua/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Flickr user NanaAkua took a visual record of almost 500 of these balls made by her granny, and posted them up for all to see. NanaAkua/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 NanaAkua/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 The technique originated from China before being exported to Japan in the seventh century, and temari is the Japanese term for this fascinating form of folk art. Says This Is Colossal: The carefully hand-embroidered balls often made from the thread of old kimonos were created by parents or grandparents and given to children on New Year’s day as special gift. According to Wikipedia the balls would sometimes contain secret handwritten wish for the child, or else contained some kind of noise-making object like a bell. NanaAkua/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 NanaAkua/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 NanaAkua/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 These skillfully constructed temari give a colorful glimpse of the role that geometry plays in creating an infinite number of forms and surfaces -- real eye candy that has roots in nature's creativity. To see more check out NanaAkua's Flickr page.