My Cypress Knee Collection
I became attracted to cypress knees quite a few years ago when my parents brought one home from an estate sale. I had never seen one before and thought it was the neatest looking piece of wood.
A cypress knee is actually part of the root system of the cypress tree. Because the cypress tree lives in a swampy area, its roots are mainly submerged. The knees are the parts of the roots that stand above the water level and they help bring oxygen to the tree. Cutting them off is now illegal because it will kill the tree. The knees I have were cut in the 1950's or before. They were really popular around that time, especially for things like lamps (which you can still find on E-bay!).
I have often thought about painting them with a surrealistic scene, like some of my artwork. However, it is also very interesting to just observe them with different lighting effects. I see different things on different days with some of the knees I have. I tried my best to photograph them so that you can see what I've been seeing, but it doesn't always work because of the glare (they have a shiny finish after being boiled and having their outer bark removed, and unfortunately, some of the knees in my collection are also varnished with some type of lacquer).
Some of the most interesting cypress knees ever created were often helped along in the process by a man named Tom Gaskins, now deceased.
Click here to see my Tom Gaskins Collection, containing most of my favorite cypress knees.
Here are pictures of other cypress knees in my collection so far. I hope to get many more. Click on the thumbnails to see enlarged views of each.
|The knee that started my collection, given to me by my parents Resembles Indian Chief's face at the top 32 1/2" tall Lacquered||
28" tall knee
Wizard with long beard
15 1/2" tall
Man's face with beard
First picture shows knee in normal location.
|Three-pointed knee with intricate details 30" to tallest point Natural finish||
Mother and child
|4-Breasted Alien 16 7/8" tall Natural finish||Knee with hole 10 1/2" tall Natural finish|
17 1/4" tall
I'll let you use your imagination to determine what the first view resembles.
25 1/2" to tallest point
12 1/2" tall
|5-pointed knee 18" tall Natural finish|
|Pointy knee 26" tall Natural finish||Double-necked giraffe knee 21 1/4" tall Natural finish|
|Cave knee 16 1/4" tall Lacquered||Multi-pointed knee 9 1/4" tall Natural finish|
|This is the longest strip of knees I've ever come across. 22 1/2" to tallest point Natural finish||Wide, flat knee 15 3/4" tall Natural finish|
|Camel 13 1/2" tall Natural finish|
|This is the most unique specimen of all. This knee has 39 drawers (counting the drawers inside of other drawers) carefully carved into it. 22" tall Lacquered|
Other interesting wood pieces:
I was told this is something called peroba, but I'm not positive.
know differently, please drop me a line.
|I believe this is a peroba root, pictured from different angles. 15" wide, 10" tall|
Carving of a woman's face
Given to me by my parents
See more knees on my Tom Gaskins Page (if you haven't seen them already)
Here's an interesting website with pictures of hundreds of exotic woods.
Go to Collections Main Page
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