Archived Workshop

Informal Opportunities: Knots

Knots as open-source hardware


Saturday, June 8 2024


12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Eliza Axelson-Chidsey


Pay what you wish, $15 Suggested Donation

Max # of Participants:


About Host

Eliza Axelson-Chidsey is a designer, artist, and curator based in New York City. Her interest in material culture is manifest in explorations of form, value, and ephemerality. Excited by research and concepts, and informed by her senses, she is regularly reminded how much learning is found through doing.

On World-Making

By Nomi Stone

To love is to tell the story of the world.     There was

an ocean with a boat     mountains     a meadow     too painful to stare

at directly. Haven’t I been here before? Yes.     No:     not quite here.


“It is not as if,” the philosopher writes, “an I exists

independently over here and then simply loses a you over there.”

In the mist, a man rigs the Suzelle, little red boat.

Loved labored for months, learning to tie the right knot. The exact


and only knot that will keep the vessel tethered. She rehearsed

for the worst possible thing. “The attachment to you,” it is written,

“is part of what composes who I am.” I know/knew

those hands, hers. I watched her dust the sourdough with flour


at midnight a moon between her fingers.     Gone

went Loved. But the half-world of her in me

was me.     It was lit by the moon.


Knots are ubiquitous—they play a role in almost every industry or trade. In this workshop we’ll explore knots as a form of open-source hardware—clips, hinges, stoppers—that can mantle and then be dismantled for purpose. Together, we will think about the possibilities of ropes, when knotted, to assemble, connect, and bear weight. What is the most aligned approach we can take when building to make full use of the potential of materials—rope, string, cord?

We’ll be learning some knot-tying basics, and then focus on three more complicated knots that demonstrate the scope of knot-tying possibilities:

  • Quick Release
  • Slide and Grip 
  • Lashing (tripod) 

In this three-part workshop, designer and artist Eliza Axelson-Chidsey explores ways to create form for purpose, connecting the line between the structured, academic discipline, and the informal opportunities that we encounter all the time. Using found materials—whether they are naturally occurring or salvaged/repurposed—we’ll extend the same principles of form making.

What's Included

  • Materials for knot-tying

What to Bring

  • Lengths of rope, string, cord you’d like to explore (optional)