Knot art

Knot art represents strength in unity. And puns aside, it truly is an incredible form of art. They are widely used in a multitude of professions from sailors to surgeons and for a multitude of applications from safety to shoelaces. Knots are mathematical, functional, decorative and symbolic.

This weeks focus on knot art is inspired by artist, Windy Chien, who says “knots are artefacts of human ingenuity.”

This activity guides you through the process of making an Ocean Plait Mat, a versatile and functional knot for the home. It can be useful as a coaster, table mat, door mat or heat pad. For a range of other useful knots, we recommend visiting Animated Knots for simple how-to’s.

Ocean Plait Mat

Images and activity by Jasmin McNeill


  • Rope (type and size dependant on how big you want your knot art)


Starting off is the tricky bit but once you get going it will come together nicely. Loop a knot that looks like two loose bunny ears. Leave a little bit of rope length free on the bottom piece of rope.

    autumn flora sculptures

    Monet, The Galette

    Step 2 

    Twist each bunny ear in a clockwise direction
    and cross them one over the other.

    Step 3

    Take the bottom end of rope (the shorter end) and loop it through Ocean Plait in a weaving pattern of under, over, over, under. Do the same with the top end of rope (the longer end) and loop it in a weaving pattern of over, under, over, under, over.

    Monet, The Galette

    Monet, The Galette

    Step 4

    You now have your skeleton plait which will guide the pathway of your rope as you weave in and out of the Ocean Plait. Keep going with the same rope end (the longer one) and loop it back through the Ocean Plait Mat until you have used all of the rope. Tuck the ends in on the bottom side and your Ocean Plait Mat will hold itself together.