In recent years we've seen a big revival of craft, as more and more people discover the joy of creativity. Macrame has been high on the list as a whole new generation discover it for the first time. We got in touch with Amy of Cotton Knots Macrame to talk more about what led her to discover this craft, how she creates her modern take on macrame and just why we are all seeking a creative hobby.
When did you first discover macramé?
I first discovered Macramé whilst looking or something to occupy my mind outside of my full-time job. I was bought a book Called Modern Macramé by Emily Katz, I bought some cord and gave my first wall décor a go. That was around eighteen months ago over Easter in 2019.
What do you enjoy about the process of making?
I most enjoy the feeling when working on a new design or piece that I never really know where my mind will take it or how it will finish. I particularly like how it forces me to slow down and absorb the moment of making and creating. Watching the endless lengths of cord slowly but surely become a unique piece of art through the series of knots I choose, that may hopefully one day be showcased in someone’s home brings me great joy and excitement.
Amy's home studio
Macramé is having a big revival, what do you think its appeal is with a new audience?
I think the main appeal is that anyone can give it a try. You need little equipment to get started – really only a dowel and some quality cord, there are plenty of tutorials to help you get started all over YouTube and Instagram. I think like anything these things become fashionable again and the desire to have unique décor in our homes drives forward the need to create our own pieces or look outside of what is available in larger branded outlets. I also think being in lock down has given many people unexpected time and they have looked for new hobbies to try.
How do you begin designing and then constructing one of your works?
If it’s a bespoke piece I spend time talking with the client about the look they want/colours/current décor/which room etc. and then I simply start cutting the lengths I need and let my mind take the piece to where it needs to be. I’m afraid I am not one for drawing out a piece and then following the design from paper, I can often see in my mind what I want from a piece but have trouble translating it to paper. I am practising that aspect though. So far both myself and any clients I have completed work for have been happy with the organic process which always end in unique design.
Sustainability and the environment are very important to you, how do you consider this in your business?
Currently I am able to source all my products and supplies through small businesses based here in the UK, who themselves have sustainability and the environment at the forefront of their own business values too. I use only recycled and recyclable packaging; this is very important to me and I spent a long time sourcing the correct supplier. Any dowels I use are sourced from the local woodland area, I take only fallen branches or twigs from the ground and never take anything from what may be a home. Once home I clean by hand no using any products, I simply strip the bark and sand until smooth. Wooden rings are from sustainable wood and cord in manufactured in the north of England by a family run business.
Do you have any future plans or hopes for the business?
I’m still relatively new to the creative small business world so I’d like to continue to build my following, I’d love to have my own website which is actually next on the to do list and continue to create new and unique pieces. The ultimate dream is to be able to commit to this full time and give up my day job, perhaps have a little workshop somewhere peaceful where I can teach the art of Macramé and continue to create.
What small businesses or brands are you loving at the moment?
Where do I start……Stereophonics, George Ezra, Tom Walker and when I just can’t decide I press shuffle and let iTunes or Spotify do the rest.
//Images courtesy of Amy Simpson @cotton_knots and product photography by Megan Clark//