Art in the Nets. Photography and Text by Keith R Wahl

July 09, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

A practical art show at the waterfront

Spliced and Served

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Spliced and Served 20220618 850_9492Spliced and ServedSpliced and served on netting stored on the waterfront of the Port of Galilee in Narragansett, Rhode Island

Netted, Spliced, and Served

Netted, Spliced, and Served 20220618 850_9490Netted, Spliced, and ServedNets with a splice and well served on the waterfront of the Port of Galilee, Narragansett, Rhode Island

Everyone who encounters the shoreline in summer knows about those knotted bracelets. They have various names including Sailor's Bracelet and Turk's Head Bracelet. They are all based on the Turk's Head knot.

The Turk's Head bracelet has a basis in practicality. The decorative knot is also used to mark midships on a ship's wheel. It is where practicality and artistry meet. The art and practice are "Marlinspike Seamanship". The same comes from the marlinspike too used to ease the braid in lines and break knots.

I am one such practitioner, a Marlinspike Sailor. I have practiced ever since I can remember. My father was an old boatswain turned captain and I learned from him. A Marlinspike Sailor takes equal pride in the effectiveness and aesthetic appeal of their work.

Here in the nets along the waterfront of the Port of Galilee, we find rough examples of marlinspike work. The net leads have splices and serving as keepers. While rougher than some work, it is serviceable and useful. It is a practical art show on the waterfront. 


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© Keith R Wahl, Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keith R Wahl and Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery with appropriate and specific direction to the original.