The Beginning of Knots..

The Beginning of Knots..

By Katie Gong

The Beginning of Knots..

I get asked quite a bit how I came up with my bent wood sculpture. At the time, I had been working with wood for many years, when I saw a steamed banister rail... Seeing this was what fueled playing around with steam bending. I was bending spirals around oversized pots that I bought from restaurant supply stores. At the time I thought it was so ingenious to use colanders so that I could wire wood through the drain holes. Then i’d cut up the spirals into ribs or arcs and thread them onto rawhide. I called those works Phases.

 

 

One day I was walking through a farmers market and I saw these gourds. It was completely mind blowing, truly life changing. I know this sounds crazy that a gourd could change your life but it did just that. They were literally a physical manifestation of inspiration behind the works that I was to make. I quickly bought these two pieces and ran to the studio. I had to tie wood into knots. From there it took about a year to troubleshoot the technique and the materials. I went through many different set ups and varying types of wood. I drew inspiration from Ray and Charles Eames, likening my tech quest to their journey bending their plywood chairs. I took many parts from different machines and frankensteined them together to make the first prototype. It’s been about 5 years since those early steaming days and I still can’t stop tying knots in wood.