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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014


Gualala Arts Workshop
Knot This Way:
Learn to create knotted waxed Linen sculptural objects
Instructor: Norman Sherfield

Friday - Monday
September 9, 10, 11 and 12, 2011
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

To register
Call Gualala
Arts Center

Pinball Dervish
Register by:   August 26, 2011
Tuition:   $260 members, $295 non-members
Materials fee:   $20
Materials list:   Knot This Way materials information

Sculpturer and basket maker, Norman Sherfield is teaching this class for those interested in learning to create sculptural objects using a basketry technique known as knotting.

Beacon Sticks And Stones Contemplation Beginning with a small Styrofoam object, students will first learn the knotting process. Once students are comfortable with the process, they will learn more advanced techniques. Information covered will include preparing forms for knotting, thread preparation, starting the knotting, increasing and decreasing the core, adding colors, finishing, edges, and creating textures.

Students will also learn to add embellishments such as additional threads, beads, charms, buttons, shells and how to use found objects - as you can see from the artist's work, anything goes! The object of the class is to learn the techniques and finish the small Styrofoam object, thereby learning how to create a sculpture from beginning to end.

Contemplation Norman Sherfield learned to knot in a basket making class in 1989 and has been making knotted sculptures since then. He taught a workshop at the Midwest Basketry Focus for Judy Dominic in 2006 and studied with Jane Sauer and Patti Lechman. He has exhibited his work in France, England, Japan and the U.S and has also had his work published in numerous basketry books. His work is in museum collections in the US. and France. He was recently awarded the 2007 North Coast Cultural Trust Victor Jacoby Award for his work.

Artists Statement

Button Bug I create small sculptures using a basketry technique known as knotting. It is a simple overhand knot which is knotted around a core of waxed linen threads. With variations of this simple knot, which is repeated over and over, I am able to create a variety of shapes, textures and color patterning.

The simplicity of the basic knot, combined with the repetitive nature of knotting, is meditative and allows me to immerse myself in the work. As each knot is tied, it is as though a pulse is added to the form, as though I am breathing life into the weave. The sculptures grow as I work on them, forming baskets or containers of potential life in symbolic form.

Two major influences running through my work are that of biological science and the automatism of surrealism. Natural biological form is alluring and fascinating to me, and defines the basis for my exploration of form. Building on the forms of the natural world, I combine instinctual and imaginative impulses with dream imagery to explore the boundaries where mind and nature meet. I feel my work is most successful when the viewer finds understanding of the piece in being intrigued with the unknowable. The content of the work is for the viewer to contemplate and complete, only becoming whole with the intellectual and spiritual contribution of the viewer.

Stone Spores Waxed Linen Boll Weavers

See also: Gualala Arts Workshop Registration, Payment & Cancellation Policy.

Gualala Arts 50th anniversary logo

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Join us in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Gualala Arts, 1961 - 2011

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.