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Nat Friedman


"Coiled Figure Eight"

3/8“ copper tubing, wood dowel, gorilla glue, 13" x 10" x 9", 2008.

Copper tubing comes in a coil so is naturally “rounded”. A knot diagram is coiled if the diagram can be traced in a constant clockwise direction. A coiled diagram is also referred to as being in a braid configuration. The typical diagram of a figure eight knot in a knot table is not coiled. The diagram of the figure eight knot shown above is coiled. A coiled diagram is suitable for forming a corresponding copper tubing knot since the natural rounded curvature of the tubing can be maintained as the knot is formed. I form copper tubing knots by hand. One must be careful not to "crink" the tubing. The ends are joined using a wooden dowel and gorilla glue.

Nat Friedman, Professor Emeritus, University at Albany
New York

Knots are ideal mathematical forms for sculptures since a knot is completely three-dimensional with no preferred top, bottom, front, or back and can look completely different from different viewpoints.