Al Canner - "Mid-Century Modern Pictograph"

I’m Al Canner of Boulder, and this is my piece “Mid-Century Modern Pictograph.” 

This work suggests a nexus between early drawing—ancient pictograhic forms— and the mid-20th Century modern style.  And not by chance.  Summer hiking took me to New Mexican canyon walls with breathtaking pictographs; winter travels included an equally breathtaking Stuart Davis show at the National Gallery of Art.  What’s a knotter to do with such inspiration?  

This piece is made solely of the double half-hitch, using 1 mm cotton and hemp cord as weft (i.e., the exposed cord) with a 2 mm cotton warp core.  It began with the perimeter shape pinned to a corkboard, onto which the weft cords were mounted.  Then, the knots were tied in courses along the perimeter, and the structure rose in much the same way that baskets are coiled.  I’m particularly satisfied with the manner in which the three rising panels, each with its very distinct pictographic form, come together to close the top.  

As with almost all my work, it involves no supporting infrastructure; rather, it relies on the strength of the knots themselves.  The piece is approximately 13” x 8” x 8”.

“Mid-Century Modern Pictograph” won the third place award at the Handweavers Guild of America’s “Small Expressions 2017” juried exhibit in Houston.   

Please visit my website at

Big Draw Colorado
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