The Short Bio
Windy Chien makes art that activates space and crafts objects that elevate the daily rituals of life. She is best known for her 2016 project, The Year Of Knots, in which she learned a new knot every day for a year. Her work ranges in size from a knot that can fit in the palm of a child's hand to majestic, room-sized installations that are sought after by private collectors. Following long careers at Apple/iTunes and in the music industry, she launched her studio in 2015. Her work has been covered by Wired, The New York Times, Martha Stewart and more.
I’m a Chinese-American woman who grew up a US Army ‘brat’ and lived all over the country, including a decade in Hawaii (where I attended the same high school as Barack Obama!) Due to my ethnicity, love of fringe culture such as punk rock, and uncommonly audacious attitude towards life, I’ve always felt like an outsider. Indeed, I’ve embraced outsider status as a means to self-define, rather than let the world tell me who to be.
I owned an independent San Francisco record shop (Aquarius Records) for 14 years, building community and evangelizing the music I loved. My music knowledge is encyclopedic and infectious -- I can easily sell your grandmother a heavy metal record. Then, I spent many happy years at Apple, where I joined a fledgling iTunes and shepherded it through the ensuing eight years of explosive growth as iTunes product manager, producer, and curator, and then App Store managing editor. My passion is firmly focused at the intersection of art, design and tech. In addition to full-time art making, I consult for iOS app developers and consider virtual reality and video games to be two of the most exciting art forms of the moment.
I’ve cycled across Southeast Asia (twice), toured with Lollapalooza, presented my undergraduate thesis film at Sundance, am a certified yoga instructor, and teach classes in wood spoon carving. I rescue greyhounds.
I wrote about my journey to creativity, navigating life transitions, and giving myself permission here.
Do you take commissions?
Absolutely. Working with collectors, architects, interior designers, and others on large, site-specific work is my favorite thing to do. Commissions are welcome. Let's collaborate on something for you to love. Contact me.
Can you make custom versions of the Helix lights?
Yes, I love making track lights and ceiling fixtures in a variety of lengths and colors. To discuss, contact me.
Where can I buy your products?
McGuire Furniture - San Francisco and New York City
Danish Teak Classics - Studio West, Santa Barbara, California (Fat Bottomed Girls Wood Spoons)
Food52 - Exclusive collaboration: "Navy Rope & Brass Pendant Light"
Satellite of Love - 766 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California
Veer & Wander - 6 Brady Street, San Francisco, California (Badass Brass Rings and Ringbolt Necklaces)
Urban Scout - Reno, Nevada
Themes+Projects Gallery - Minnesota Street project, San Francisco, California
7 On Locust - Mill Valley, California
The Gardener - 1836 Fourth Street, Berkeley, California
Golden & Pine - 633 E. 63rd Street, Kansas City, Missouri
Do you wholesale?
Yes, the Helix Light is available for wholesale to selected retailers. Please get in touch.
How long will it take to receive my order?
All my items are hand made, therefore they will ship within 2 weeks of receiving your order. Within the US, I ship USPS Priority. Faster shipping can be arranged by request.
International orders take longer and cost more. With these, I will work with you to find the least expensive option.
Where can I find a replacement bulb for my Helix Light?
The bulb that comes with your order is a standard incandescent globe bulb available at any hardware store. It's a 40w G40 bulb with a standard base. Here are Amazon links to incandescent and LED bulbs. The fixtures can take any type of bulb up to 60 watts.
Do you teach spoon carving?
Yes, within the Bay Area, I teach public and private spoon carving classes at the Handcraft Studio School. I am available to teach outside the Bay Area and have the tools necessary for up to a 12-person class. Let's set something up. Contact me.
Are you available for speaking engagements?
Yes. I'd love to come to your company, institution, or other space to present my creative journey, share images of the work, and lead knot tying sessions. Contact me.