Simple to complex: Introduction

In the first video, Nina will introduce you to the principals of how she builds up from a simple tie to a pattern that looks very elaborate. You will learn how the layers build up and how it is not necessary to learn a predefined 'recipe' when you follow basic rules and understand when and how to use a few 'ingredients'.

The examples are tied completely free-style so each step involves an evaluation of which ingredient should be used and how. Often, you will see her try one way, reject it and choose another. This is useful because you see why one method or direction is better than another and how the correct version follows the rules. Pay attention to how she uses the rules. You might well spot instances where an even better solution could have been employed or where she doesn't strictly follow a rule. The more closely and critically that you observe, the more you will learn.

Here is a reminder of some of the rules:

  • Follow the direction the rope 'wants' to go.
  • The rope exiting a friction should close, not open, it.
  • Try to keep rope close to the skin. If one direction comes away from the body, it is probably wrong.
  • Close gaps between adjacent ropes
  • Avoid too much bulk
  • Keep repeated frictions consistent in style
  • Keep it effective and efficient

Like all rules, they can be broken. If you break rules, try not to break too many and be aware of what you are doing. The odd one broken can create interest. Think how often the most valuable Japanese ceramics will have a small fault. Faultless beauty can be too anodyne. Think 'wabi sabi':

Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete".

You can read about it more here.

Gaining this understanding will allow you to tie creatively with the confidence that your tie will be correctly and safely engineered. You will no longer need recipes.