Maker Carol Wang of the International Guild of Knot Tyers – Pacific America Branch has been exhibiting at Vancouver Mini Maker Faire since its inception with her wide array of knots. As both tool and art, knot tying is one of humanity’s oldest skills, and Carol shows how it continues to feed, clothe and bind our world.
When did your love of knot tying begin?
When I was 10, I visited family in Taiwan and was given a book on Chinese knots, probably as a way to occupy my time. This was very successful.
Knots are can be both functional and aesthetically-pleasing. Can you describe the aesthetic styles and where the inspiration for these styles originated?
The major decorative style known to the West is probably macramé which developed independently in Egypt, China and Peru. The word “macramé” is Arabic in origin. Macramé takes a fairly small set of knots and ties them repeatedly in different patterns to give you anything from a friendship bracelet or a plant hanger to baskets or three dimensional sculptures.
The major decorative style known to the East is Chinese knotting. Stylistically distinct variations have evolved in both Japan and Korea. Chinese knotting in its basic form takes a single cord to tie one fairly involved knot. The basic knots can be combined into even more complex compound knots. Adding more decorative touches in other colours, of course, require more cords.