Upcycling Project Aesthetic


The aesthetic that my upcycling project falls under is “Chinese Knotting” otherwise known as 中国结. This is typically a hand craft/folk decoration and is used to symbolize good luck. The knots may be made into bigger shapes to represent animals or they may also be just left as knots and/or patterns. I think that it fits the aesthetic because what I want to do for my project is exactly that (make a decorative fixture out of knots) just with old climbing rope that I have that has been retired. While the color used in these knots is typically red, my climbing rope is an orange kind of color and orange in Chinese culture typically also stands for good luck and abundance. While the knots are typically made from rope that is more “decorative looking” than climbing rope, it will still be done with one piece of continuous rope which is also a hallmark of the aesthetic. Also, the patterns and knots will be the same in my project as it would be for a “normal” knot art piece. I initially wanted to do this because of Chinese New Year which occurred in late January and thought that the project would tie in nicely and I would be able to find a use for my old climbing rope.

Also, I do think that there could be a touch of the “crunchy granola” aesthetic here just because of my usage of old climbing rope. Climbers and climbing rope have always been lumped in the outdoorsy aesthetic and reusing old climbing rope for art projects also slots into that aesthetic. So by reusing my old climbing rope for this I think there’s also a touch of that in here.

“Chinese Knotting.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Dec. 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_knotting.

Lucchinelli, Valeria. “Chinese Knots How-to: The Complete Guide to Chinese New Year Traditional Craft.” Art Sprouts, Art Sprouts, 9 Dec. 2019, https://artsproutsart.com/chinese-knots-how-to-chinese-new-year-traditional-craft/.

Webridge. “Chinese Knot.JPG.” Wikipedia: Chinese Knotting, Wikipedia, 11 Feb. 2009, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chinese_knot.JPG. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • I love the creativity behind your aesthetic Cody! Old climbing rope doesn’t really have a lot of use so your idea of turning it into a decorative knot that’s meaningful in your culture is awesome. Have you thought about painting the rope so it looks like new, or do you like the worn aesthetic that the rope has?

  • This looks really cool! It will be interesting to see how the knots translate from flexible silk ropes to much thicker and stronger climbing rope, what sort of design do you plan on pursuing in your project, and how do you think it will be displayed? (Also, do you think you could support a person with one of these knots? You would have to make a lot of safety precautions before testing this but I think that would be interesting.)

  • I love knot work and think this will be a fun aesthetic for climbing rope use. I wonder if you will incorporate aspects of climbing or rocky landscapes into your piece somehow, or if you intend to situate your project into a different setting altogether? Speaking of red ropes, I am going to do my designer presentation on Hajime Kinoko, thought you might find some inspiration here (caution, some of his work is NSFW).


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