Windy Chien


Makers Manual #51: ⁠Good Luck Knot

Windy Chien

Makers Manual is a collaborative project between exciting makers and STORE STORE. These downloadable manuals are a practical guide to making at home for beginners and experts.

I make art that elevates the vernacular forms of knots to inspire awe and understanding. Knots are artifacts of human ingenuity: an ancient technology predating the wheel and use of fire. There are almost 4,000 documented knots (mathematicians tell us there are theoretically an infinite number!) and most of them come from maritime culture. In some sailors’ knotting manuals, this knot is titled the Shamrock. It appears in chapters covering “fancy work”, which is the sailor’s term for decorative knots that have no functional purpose. Because I learned it from Chinese knotting master Lydia Chen, I use her name: Good Luck Knot.

San Francisco-based artist Windy Chien is best known for her 2016 work, The Year of Knots, in which she learned a new knot every day for a year. Her work ranges in size from a knot that can fit in the palm of a child’s hand to room-sized installations that are sought after by private collectors.

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