Handcrafted by DL Lemm

The Story Behind “Nautical Knots

DL Lemm's first work in wire was not in sterling silver or gold, but in 7x7 galvanized wire cable, which she used to fabricate rigging for traditional sailing craft. Her work as a rigger resulted in her meeting Tom Lemm built Le Papillon in Baltimore, where she was launched in 1976. Since 1978 they lived aboard their schooner while sailing over 80,000 NM (40,000 NM without an engine) including a circumnavigation via Cape of Good Hope, three passages to Europe, and many voyages from the Caribbean to the U.S. East Coast and Nova Scotia. DL began to "tie knots in silver" in 1996 and launched "Nautical Knots" later that year. They lived and worked aboard Le Papillon with their son Tavis until April 2004. Le Papillon's home mooring is still in Coral Bay on St. John, USVI but because of the pressing need for space to accommodate a growing boy and a growing business, DL and Tavis have purchased a home by the Sassafras River on Maryland's eastern shore. 

   DL's background in traditional rigging and her love of the functional art of knot tying produce her affinity for recreating "Nautical Knots" artwork in silver and gold wire. Through her work, DL hopes to share her respect for the traditional gear of a well-found vessel and the beauty of a well-crafted knot.


Pinky Schooner Le Papillon


Built by Tom Lemm

26 tons displacement

LOA: 68 feet     LOD: 48 feet

steel hull and masts

Wooden booms and gaffs

30hp Lister air-cooled diesel

Launched in 1976

Picture taken off Moorea, French Polynesia. DL at the helm

(before we had the engine)