Review - Tim Whitten & The Marlinespike

by - Thursday, October 19, 2017

On the sea there are only lines.
The lines of the horizon, the lines of the sea, the lines of the waves, 
the lines of your journey out … and your journey back.
The lines of the sails, of the rigging, of the mooring, and the anchor.
If the knots in these lines are not fast when they need to be, all will fail. 
All mariners have an admiration for a well-tied line and a distain for sloppy rope work. Trust is a currency not easily measured, but the trust in a good knot and the person who tied it was not lightly given. 
It is from this culture of lines and knots that Tim Whitten arrives. Since 2002 he has run the Marlinespike Chandlery: online at first and, after 2008 when he relocated to Maine, as a workshop - studio - retail space. 
Objects that get close to the gravitational pull of Tim’s space tend to emerge with some portion of their surface covered with corded rope - braided and enclosing, changing the nature of the object or even the nature of the cord itself.
Tim came to his awareness of knot work as child and was give a book showing how such items were made. The seed was planted but it did not sprout immediately. First Tim studied mechanical engineering and took it to the doctorate level. Later he came back to the book and it resonated with him on a more profound level. 
And now Tim’s work resonates with a larger audience but especially with textile artists. What Tim does is a kind of weaving without a loom, embroidery without a surface. What Tim does crosses the barriers of art and craft, for he is reviving and preserving techniques that have been displaced by mass-produced goods. What stands between a length of cord and a bell-rope, a bow fender, or a becket, is the naked ingenuity of a culture of making. 
Tim McLaughlin's introduction to Tim Whitten October 18, 2017

You can find Tim Whitten at his instagram feed contains excellent photos of his works in progress at @marlinespikechandlery


As of this posting (9am October 19) there are some tickets available for John Gillow's lecture on Kantha Quilting (if you are reading this in an email feed this lecture may have already passed).

There are also tickets available for Eric Broug's Lecture on October 26th Marvels and Wonders: Geometric Design in Cairo During the Mamluk Sultanate. Tickets for both events are available online, in our stores or at the door.

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