Several months ago, I had an idea while I was out walking with my dog to create some ceramic wall hangings. Initially, I imagined that the ceramic pieces would stand alone. The idea makes sense to me – especially since I already make ceramic wall art. Then, I became fascinated with the resurgence of the art of macramé.
Yes – the art of knot tying that had its heyday, most recently in the 1970’s!
A friend of mine from high school tagged me in an Instagram post of a macrame owl wall hanging that she made in the 1970’s with her grandmother. Isn’t this awesome? What a sweet memory and I love that she still displays her owl. To me it still looks fresh…but I do remember the art form falling out of favor in the 80’s.
History of Macramé
According to Wikipedia, “Macramé comes from a 13th-century Arabic weavers’ word migramah meaning “fringe”. This refers to the decorative fringes on camels and horses which help, amongst other things, to keep the flies off the animal in the hot desert regions of northern Africa.”
So, it’s actually a decorative and functional art that’s been around a long time. The art form later moved to Europe via the Moors and then to other parts of the world by sailors who passed their time making gifts using rope which was readily available on a ship.
As with much of fashion, trends wax and wane. Currently, macramé has seen its popularity wax again in the last couple of years. Even Martha Stewart is sharing articles about macramé.
So, as a ceramic artist, I decided to combine clay + macramé to create some home decor pieces. In preparation of trying my hand at adding fiber/cord to my ceramic work, I made a couple of stand alone wall hangings using some simple knots.
My first attempt was just okay. I was much more deliberate with the second one. My daughter loves it, so I gave it to her and she hung it up in her dorm room.
Can you see my vision? I don’t think that I could have made the ceramic components without first trying my hand at making some simple macramé wall hangings and practicing making various types of knots.
I even purchased about 600 feet of 3 strand cotton rope to finish my ceramic wall hangings. Also, I borrowed a couple of macramé books from the library to use as reference. I’m excited to finish these and perhaps make them a regular part of my online shop.
Stay tuned for the finished ceramic wall hangings in a couple of weeks once I fire them in my kilns and assemble them.