Zen and the Art of Knots
Celtic knotwork has fascinated me for over 30 years now. It has always been drawn, painted, etched and carved etc., so I set myself a completely new challenge to tie the longest Celtic knot I could. And to my knowledge, nothing like this has ever been done before. Although this type of knotwork is labelled Celtic, it really has roots in all cultures around the world.
"House Of Ancestors" is tied around a handmade wrought iron frame into one single parallel knot using 785 ft (240 m) of 1/4” (6 mm) cotton rope with no joins. The overall size is 48” (122 cm) wide by 72” (184 cm) tall. It crosses itself approximately 2,200 times and starts and finishes at the bottom in monkey fists.
But the most interesting thing about the whole process (that I realised after a few months) was that it mimics real life. Everybody is unique - the decisions you make from day one always have a consequence later on, so when you turn left, right or go straight on, when eventually you come back to that point you will have to deal with that former decision and deal with it. So every hanging is different. In something this large you have 2,200 decisions, so the permutations are endless.
When you start you're tying in 'mid air' it is very easy to make a mistake at this stage. If you either go under or over the wrong way, or turn at the wrong point, mistakes will probably only make themselves clear once you've completed most (or all) of the panel - after a very long time, so concentration is zen-like - for months!!! Also, handling all that rope is a logistical nightmare - it always wants to twist and pull everything out of shape.
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Very cool, Murray. Thanks for sharing it here.
Founding Member Comment by Nollaig 2016 on November 26, 2013 at 11:28am
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Founding Member Comment by Nollaig 2016 on November 26, 2013 at 1:09pm
Murrays Great Game Tara
Murray, how long did it take you to complete this? It sounds like a wonderful Celtic-themed wall hanging. Is it for sale?
Indeed, it took me three months :-) ! And yes, I suppose it would be for sale if the right offer was forthcoming. I'm very attached to it - we used to be able to hang it in our last house, but unfortunately we don't have a space to hang it currently, so it's stored safely at home for now until we have somewhere larger :-) . Having said that though, if there was an offer, I'd look at it.
I have another one too which I'll post up shortly.
Here's the other one.
Founding Member Comment by Nollaig 2016 on November 27, 2013 at 1:19pm
We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning.
Henry Ward Beecher
Murray, a chara, these are both stunning pieces! They will be enjoyed by your family for generations if treated right...
Founding Member Comment by Nollaig 2016 on December 1, 2013 at 9:28am
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Founding Member Comment by Nollaig 2016 on November 16, 2016 at 10:45am