Norman Sherfield

Norman Sherfield

Eureka, CA, United States

About Norman Sherfield

I make textile sculptures using waxed linen and found objects. I create small sculptures using a basketry technique known as knotting. It is a simple overhand knot which is knotted around a core of waxed linen threads. With variations of this simple knot, which is repeated over and over, I am able to create a variety of shapes, textures and color patterning. The simplicity of the basic knot, combined with the repetitive nature of knotting, is meditative and allows me to immerse myself in the work. As each knot is tied, it is as though a pulse is added to the form, as though I am breathing life into the weave. The sculptures grow as I work on them, forming baskets or containers of potential life in symbolic form.Two major influences running through my work are that of biological science and the automatism of surrealism. Natural biological form is alluring and fascinating to me, and defines the basis for my exploration of form. Building on the forms of the natural world, I combine instinctual and imaginative impulses with dream imagery to explore the boundaries where mind and nature meet. I feel my work is most successful when the viewer finds understanding of the piece in being intrigued with the unknowable. The content of the work is for the viewer to contemplate and complete, only becoming whole with the intellectual and spiritual contribution of the viewer.I used found objects, both natural and man-made as the beginning point for my knotted sculptures. I like to use stones which sometimes are removed from the finished sculpture and sometimes left as part of the sculpture. I also find plastic toys and dismantle them to use the parts in my sculptures. I like the idea of having a reference to the stone or toy objects and what they mean to enhance the meaning of the final sculpture.


I have been working with waxed linen and knotting since 1989. I have shown my work in Japan, France, England as well as numerous shows throughout the United States. My work has been published in 4 major books as well as other show catalogs. I have also taught the techniques I use ,


Future Shows: First Street Gallery, Eureka California January 29, to March 3, 2007
Recently awarded the Victor Thomas Jacoby Grant Award for 2007