As a creator and crafter, I find I am in constant pursuit of my next exploration in the handicraft frontier. After my trip to the land of my heritage, China, and a visit among the displays of the Denver Art Museum’s exhibit, Spun, I decide to pursue a long-time interest in Chinese Knotted Jewelry. This venture began when I found a book on Maedup (Korean Knotted Jewelry) amongst the shelves of a local craft store. The book, in particular, caught the attention of my long-time passion for studying and reproducing ethnic clothing and handicrafts. My desire to learn more about the specific type of jewelry only grew and I felt what better way to express it than combine it with inspirations around me?
Using the basis of orange and blue for my color range, I tied the Button Knot (at first a confusing one, but now a favorite) and Flat Button Knot to create this jewelry piece. Button Knots have become quite easy to use and make a great decorative piece.
Taking the red, orange, blue, and gold from this dress print, I incorporated it into a necklace with Prosperity Knots and Double Coin Knots. The prosperity knot looks difficult, but with a little help from straight pins and a corkboard, this knot can be mastered.
In order to avoid a Halloween look, I used the gold and black colors and luckily found a black glass snake pendant with streaks of gold. Ironically I found my favorite knot on this one to be the Snake Knot and found it appropriate to use on this necklace. Here’s a quick tutorial of how the Snake Knot works:
Step One: Loop the black cord under and then over the yellow cord. Make sure the black cord loops over itself.
Step 3: Thread the black cord under the yellow cord and throw the yellow loop. Pull to tighten.
Step 4: Flip the necklace over and thread the yellow cord underneath the black cord and over through the black loop. Pull to tighten.
I’ll have more knotted jewelry and inspirations in the following weeks along with a tutorial for each post. Keep checking to see what will be next!
For more information on Chinese knots, take a look at the following books:
- Chinese Knots for Beaded Jewelry by: Susan Millodot. Search Press 2003.
- 75 Chinese, Celtic, and Ornamental Knots by: Laura Williams and Elise Mann. St. Martin’s Griffin 2011.