The Question Of Art & Knots.


My name is William Elliott, and thank you for dropping by my site.

“It’s Knot Art” or “It’s Not Art”, which is true. Either, both, or neither. Most people define “Art” the way they define pornography. They may not be able to describe it, but they know it when they see it.

Art is thought of as coming from a higher place than craft. This is true if the craftsman is turning out an everyday item for everyday use. But how much forethought, and attention to appearance make the item move from craft to art? There is no definable line. There is a great demand for art of the school called “Primitive”. It seems as if it is almost equally divided between art done in the primitive style by modern sophisticated people, and that done by truly primitive people (a vanishing commodity). If that is art, then carefully conceived and executed knot work done with an aesthetic eye can be art.

Is my work art? I leave it to you to decide, as only you can know it when you see it. I have seen work by others that I think cleared that mark by a wide margin. The reason I started this site so that with your help and critiques I can improve my knot work so that one day others may see it and call it art — at least in their eyes. In the meanwhile I hope you can enjoy my work: call it artistry or craftsmanship as you see fit.

Thank you for your time:
William Elliott

Published on May 7, 2009 at 2:26 PM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. William, I definitely think its art. As an artist myself (I make a prolong knot bracelet that I learned from Loren Damewood) I can attest to the skill and love that go into making a knot. I am learning the Turkshead knot at the moment when I don’t have other commissions. Thanks for a great website and a good blog.
    Richard Carew

    • Richard:

      Thank you for coming by my site, and for taking the time to leave a comment. Sorry I didn’t notice at first, I rarely look at this page. I also feel that at some point the craft of knot tying becomes the art of knot tying. The knots produce by working at this level therefore being “Art”. If you look at the things the art world calls art you will find things that are roughly equivalent to this. You will also not find anything that says that knots can’t be art. There have already been exhibits in major museums and galleries that featured knotwork. Now, if they would only print a rule book. Now, if I could only sell my work for those prices.


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