Macrame – The Ancient Art of Getting Knotted
I love macrame but must admit my earliest experiences of it were those chunky plant holders and owl wall hangings that were hip in the seventies. I had no idea it could be so fine and delicate until I came across it in its mini form: micro-macrame. As a jeweller, fibre and textiles are as important to me as metal and stone.I love incorporating the one into the other and so micro-macrame is just perfect for me.
Jewellery making is quite a technical pursuit and I spent a lot of time and money in college studying different specialised techniques so it was with great delight I ventured into the democratic arena that is YouTube to learn how to do macrame. I’d tried books but there’s nothing to compare written instructions with a live demonstration. There are any number of videos on how to do macrame and quite a few of them make a meal about setting up your board, making padded clipboards, what threads to use, and complicated measurement ratios . After trying several approaches I discovered the simplest and most effective board is a short piece of 2 x 1 wood with a nail hammered in at either end. The best thread is C-Lon or S-Lon – it’s strong, knots well, can be unpicked if needs be and comes in a huge variety of colours. You can also thread on pretty much any size seed bead without having to harden the ends first with nail varnish (though for some strange reason some colour threads are stiffer than others). On my board I’ve glued on a tape measure to guide me on size – those paper ones at IKEA are perfect. I tend to stick to the most common half knots and full flat knots. To be honest I find a lot of the more complex micro-macrame jewellery can become very overblown and naff really. Personally I like to keep my designs simple, earthy and chic. Anyway, micro-macrame is a technique I never tire of – some people comment on how patient I must be but truth is I actually find it very relaxing!