Knolling – the process of arranging related objects in parallel or 90 degree angles as a method of organization (Wikipedia)
A good artist-friend of mine once remarked I am a knoller, like him. We were working in my sculpture studio located in a beautiful brick tower in a 19th century mill. I am a stone carver and my friend is a furniture designer. He explained the term, linking it to our common RISD background, and an instructor he loved…
I am a knoller, I’m also a ruminator, and the two go hand in hand. Carving is inherently intuitive to me, so I often pause and seem to see where forms are going inside my head…seeing but not seeing, leading to the soft, repetitive nature of lining up the hand tools, listening to the music, chisels with chisels, points with points, sorting, assessing, thinking…until the next move is ready.
I am a direct carver, which seems rare. One enters the stone from a side, rather than trapping a fixed form. The backdoor is left open to allow the freedom and versatility one needs when exploring such a fixed medium. Forms shift like water under the stone’s surface, constantly changing, reliably drawing me into the collaboration: sculptor: one vote, stone: one vote. We’re equal. I prefer this approach to the whole “freeing the form from the stone” idea. Stones don’t hold anything hostage- they are beautiful with or without the interference of an artist.
Knolling- an attempt to distract, to loosely organize, but mostly to think- to give the mind just enough to do to clear words from the thoughts, and to vaguely imagine where the next angle will begin and possibly end. Maybe, maybe not- it’s a dance.