Wednesday, 15 September 2010


When initially thinking about this project the idea of a fish scale was appealing. I took inspiration from a chandelier of glass blown fish. The way it reflects light, it's movement, and it's color scheme all interested me. I have included a few images of similar chandeliers as examples of the chandelier i chose. A fish scale connects to nature as the culture did during the bungalow house frenzy, there are a lot of great color schemes that can come from a fish scale, there is a kind of translucency associated with fish scales, and many great patterns stem from the formation of fish scales.
Fish scales was too direct of a metaphor so in search for a better concept I further researched the physical features of fish scales and their development. Some of the information i found interested me.Scales vary enormously in size, shape, structure, and extent, ranging from rigid armor plates in fishes such as shrimpfishes and boxfishes, to microscopic or absent in fishes such as eels and anglerfishes. The morphology of a scale can be used to identify the species of fish they came from.

Fish scales are produced from the mesoderm layer of the dermis, which distinguishes them from reptile scales. The same genes involved in tooth and hair development in mammals are also involved in scale development.

Placoid Scales

The outermost layer is composed of vitrodentine, a largely inorganic enamel-like substance. Placoid scales cannot grow in size, but rather more scales are added as the fish increases in size.

Cosmoid Scales

were probably derived from a fusion of placoid scales.

Cosmoid scales increase in size through the growth of the lamellar bone layer.

Granoid Scales

Most are diamond-shaped and connected by peg-and-socket joints.

Cycloid and ctenoid scales

cycloid scales have smooth margins, while ctenoid scales have tiny teeth called ctenii on the posterior edge that give them a rough texture.

In flatfishes, some species have ctenoid scales on the eyed side and cycloid scales on the blind side, while other species have ctenoid scales in males and cycloid scales in females.

Ctenoid scales can be further subdivided into three types:

In crenate scales, the margin of the scale bears indentations and projections.

In spinoid scales, the scale bears spines that are continuous with the scale itself.

In "true" ctenoid scales, the spines on the scale are distinct structures.

Cycloid and ctenoid scales are overlapping, making them more flexible than cosmoid and ganoid scales. They grow in size through additions to the margin, creating bands of uneven seasonal growth called annuli (singluar annulus). These bands can be used to age the fish.

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