Elaine Zukowski


Baltimore, Maryland, United States

9.5 x 4.25 x 1.75 inches

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Photo credit: Zbigniew Zukowski

The choice to render a simple nautical knot in beadwork draws the viewer’s attention to this overlooked but essential form. Tying knots is an early and elemental part of human evolution, one that proves its ubiquitous use to this day. The functional forms are found from our shoelaces to surgeon’s ministrations to fiber optic cables. Knotting in an ornamental fashion has long been part of daily adornment in many cultures. Rendering a humble slip knot in a series of steel knots with glass beads causes me to plan, puzzle, and regard the swooping loops differently than if formed with rope. The focus needed to plot curves and the labor that painstakingly accumulates is an act of observation akin to painting a portrait. Knots are connected with memory, accounting, and the marking of time. The simple act of tying serves as an exercise in material manipulation, the exploration of the possibilities of a single line. My own time and memory are woven and captured in this piece.

Elaine Zukowski is a metalsmith based in Baltimore, Maryland. A member of the Baltimore Jewelry Center community since 2009, she currently weaves adornment with steel wire and glass beads. Her work has been exhibited nationally and is represented in Metal Shop, the BJC's retail gallery.

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