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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Knot Here, and Knot There

Junior Block Project #4 is composed of a found wooden chair, an old walking cane, and many yards of cotton cord. This piece was inspired by a clever book I found titled "Why Knot?" written by the famous tightrope walker, Phillipe Petit. Monsieur Petit discusses and demonstrates the how's, why's, and histories of 80+ knots in a very entertaining way. He apparently knows how to tie hundreds.  I used about 20 different types of knots on this piece, with some of my favorites being repeated several times. I don't think I ever really counted how many total knots there are; but of those only nine are functional, and actually hold the chair together.

In these modern times of ours, knot tying is fast becoming a lost art. The tying of knots has been largely replaced by: Duct tape, Zip-ties, twist ties, Super Glue and so on. There are kids I know who grew up never knowing how to tie even a simple knot because their shoes had Velcro straps instead of laces. There are only a few professions remaining that still require knot tying. These usually involve livestock or boats of some kind. I'm hard pressed to think of any leisure activities that make regular use of knots. Camping perhaps? Mountaineering and sailing, for sure. This is indeed a sad state of affairs. However, there is still hope. Perhaps such films as "50 Shades of Gray" could spark a new public interest in "recreational" knot tying. But a mere hope is all that it is.

The multiple non-functional knots I used in this piece to represent our society's loss of it's general knot knowledge and usage. There is also a certain pathos and a bit of irony in the idea of using a cane, designed to aid and support a human body, to repair a chair which is another structure designed to support the human frame. There is a little obsessiveness in the abundance of the non-functioning knots.

I felt I had no other choice than to title this piece as, "This Is Knot Your Seat".

The dramatic lighting effect was both loved and hated by my classmates. What do you think? 

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