Musings on Macrame

Original Date: Feb 22, 2016

Elizabeth Gilbert shares a concept on inspiration in her amazing book “Big Magic“.  She writes that we are not the creators of ideas, but that they exist in their own time as their own entities and they seek us out for their manifestation. What a wild concept. All these ideas and inspiration are floating about like mayflies in the spring. When they see the perfect vehicle for their expression, they inhabit us until we create them. She goes on to add that if we don’t give expression to their needs, if we don’t make whatever it is they beckon to us to create, they will move on to find another person who might give their expression.

I have been thinking on this idea recently in regards to my new passion of knotted rope. One day, I was perusing Instagram hashtags for #wallhangings. I happened on several images of macrame. I was stunned. There was such simple beauty. Elegant knots expressed through beige organic cotton rope, an expression of minimalist art that harkened to my days of fascination with the artist Eva Hesse. It seemed to me that this expression called “macrame” reached out of the tiny screen and possessed my very being. I had to begin learning knots, and experimenting with whatever fiber I had at home. I discovered fine organic cotton rope, and ordered it by the hundred foot lengths. I was consumed with making knots and creating wall hangings in a way that I hadn’t been in years. A passion was ignited inside. This was the event I had been waiting for… or perhaps it was waiting for me? Waiting for the events in my life to line up to create the space for creation. For inspiration to find me.

Macrame of today is not the chunky knotted jute pieces so many people remember from the 1970’s. There is a beautiful elegance in a simple line carried out in these plant fibers. Modern artisans around the world are creating fine wall hangings in this style that will make you think you were never really working with macrame as teen in the 70’s. Modern macrame is a whole new world of fiber art of elegant minimalism.

For myself, macrame is another form of cellulose fiber needing an outlet for expression. It might be in microscopic fibers binding in water or long fibers twisted into rope. I will do these fibers their bidding as long as is needed. I hope you enjoy the results.