I am seeing more artists combine fiber and metal and nobody does it better, in my opinion, than Martin & Ugne of ARUMIdesign. Here are two of their latest design designs.
I immediately fell in love with the combination of silver and fiber in the jewelry of Martin and Ugne from ARUMIdesign. I am please to introduce you all to their work.
We, Martin (Spain) & Ugne (Lithuania), are a couple of artisans sharing life and work, dreams and ideas. Our workshop holds two very different materials – metal and fiber – silversmithing and macrame. We are learning everyday from each other and together and little by little creating ARUMIdesign.
We love colors and we use a big range of them in our works. Playing with color combinations we created our RAINBOW collection. It´s pure textil, no stones or beads and in our opinion it´s wonderful just like that. Combinating colorful knotted triangles in different shapes we managed to create interesting designs like Rainbow Spiral pendant or Rainbow necklace, something we never saw before and we feel proud of.
Why do you make jewelry?
Because we really enjoy this work, we love it and never get bored of it (only if we have to reproduce 18 pairs of earrings for an order…). As well being artisans who work for ourselves gives us lots of freedom to travel and this is very important in our lives.
Why do you choose the shapes and stones and style for your work?
We just make things as we would like to wear. We are still learning and looking for new techniques, so our works are quite different from each other, we love creating new designs.
We have a passion for gemstones, every time we take one we think how it would stand out better.
Who taught you knotting? Well, at the end of 2008 we met a Chilean guy selling macramé jewelry in Rio de Janeiro and he taught us how to do a basic bracelet, the one with half rhombus. When we were in the middle of the process, the police came and everybody ran away, so Martin saw himself alone with a half bracelet done attached to a palm tree in Ipanema beach. That was the only lesson we had (actually two: run if you see a Brazilian police coming to you).
Traveling in South America we saw so much macrame jewelry that we just had to try learning some macrame. There was no teacher, just a lot of hours trying to imagine how some knots where done until we managed doing them. Our inspiration was coming from the street sellers, but never reproducing their pieces, just looking to different knots and making our own designs. When we got more experienced sometimes we would exchange different knots with other macramé lovers. One year later we where absolutely in love with this beautiful technique, and we make it our way of life and our full time job.
What cord do you prefer and why? We use Linhasita cord, waxed polyester thread. In fact we don’t like the idea of using synthetics in a handmade work, but we couldn’t find another option for our designs.
Do you teach? Only some friends or friendly people we meet while selling, just for fun.
Do you exhibit? We exhibit in street markets in Andalucía, south Spain, and sometimes we even sell. During the summer we have a stand in Nerja (Malaga) handicraft night market. You are all welcome next year!
What books have influenced your work? We have never seen or red a book about macrame… but we did read other books.
Tell us about the artists you most admire.
Actually until we found www.macramecollective.com we didn’t have any example to follow. In south of Spain it’s not very usual to see macrame artists. Speaking about macrame jewelry, we like very much the style and designs of Karen Smith, the technique of Marion Hunziker-Larsen and to complete the podium Joan Babcock with her amazing combinations of colors, all of them great artists.
If you were not a knotting artist, what would you be? Jeweler, in fact we are learning silversmithing… Before we had very different jobs, nothing to do with art or handicrafts.
What does your future hold? After Martin studied jewelry two years ago, we are mixing silver with macramé so we hope our future goes in this line. We would love to have the chance of working only in our unique designs connecting macramé with silver, bronze, leather or other materials, always open to learn. Our dream is to work from our home and sell online, to the shops or in expositions but we think this dream is still a little far away.
To see more of their work, please visit:
To contact Martin and Ugne via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was recently introduced to the Margaretenspitze technique of knotting by RaquelCruz in her interview with Adriana Lazzari. I believe all of us will be awed by the technique. Thank you to Raquel and Ms. Lazzari for their contribution and for giving us resources for learning more.
Tell us more about the Margaretenspitze technique?
The Margarete lace is a technique that uses knots, that derives from Macramé. It was invented by Margarete Naumann in the early 1900s. With this technique, she wanted to leave out the rigid knot, then known, with the creation of a particular way to make lace. This technique remained in limbo for almost a century, until Lotte Heinemann started studying the lace works that were in museums and private homes.
This technique makes it possible to develop the work in any direction, creating both flat and three-dimensional elements.
In trying to accomplish this technique is not necessary to have drawings or diagrams. You only need the knowledge of some basic rules and you can begin to create items for a special and personalized fit, born in the imagination of anyone. The technique consists of picking up the threads into bundles and then dropping them, using simple and multiple knots, double, triple and quadruple, inserting and removing processing threads.
How did you learn this technique and since when have you been practicing it?
I found this technique through the book “Makrame” by Eva Andersen, 1984. Then, by chance, during a trip in 2004, I found the book by Lotte Heinemann which became my guide to learn all the rules of this art to which I devoted myself to study it with passion.
Now I try to create projects of new works and then describe them in Instructional tutorials with many pictures of the steps and try to diffuse it through a website I have with my friend Lucia: www.ilmiomacrame.com
How could someone learn more about this technique? We know you’ve published a book, can you tell us about it?
If someone wanted to learn Margaretenspitze, they can attend my classes or study the technique in the book “Macramé il Pizzo Margarete” by Adriana Lazzari.
I wrote this book so that those who can not attend my classes could learn the art of self-teaching. The book contains the rules of art, exercises, applications of the rules on the bundles, many elements of the cord and 15 cards rich in practical applications by illustrations accompanied by explanations.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently preparing new models dress ornaments, for example:
brooches, earrings, necklaces, monograms, decorations for clothing, etc.
Can you tell us more about yourself?
Since my childhood, I had a special relationship with threading until I finally achieved adequate academic education.
I was lucky to have a job where the thread was the basis for the creation, in fact, I learned at the Bobbin Lace school in Gorizia (Italy), where new teachers are engaging and where I had the opportunity to convey my passion for this wonderful art. When I retired from work, I worked with great satisfaction and entirely with macrame, especially the lace Margarete, at that time not well known.
What are your plans for the future?
Normally I do not plan for the future, when I finish studying and researching a project, I immediately have the momentum of developing another fit, depending on the needs at the moment.
Thank you to Raquel Cruz for sharing this interview. To see more of Raquel’s work, visit
We are very proud to introduce our readers to the work of Joh Ricci through an article by Trudi Van Dyke. The full article was published in the latest issue of Fiber Art Now. Kindly, they have allowed us to reprint it here: The Work of Joh Ricci: Fine Art or Fine Craft?
Below is an excerpt from the article.
Joh Ricci’s creative and imaginative sculptures raise knotting beyond its perceived low level decorative purposes that the typical viewer associates with macrame. One look at the sculptures defines the artist’s method of knotting as an innovative elevation of craft to fine art.
Ricci shares that her work begins with sketches to develop her ideas and plans for her structures. She prefers to work on two or three pieces at a time allowing her to reflect on the progress of each work by returning to it after a break. She embraces the guidelines of her design sketches, but surrenders to her creative instincts as the work develops its own path.
Her nylon fiber is hand dyed with commercial dyes in stages until she reaches the color saturation she envisions. Her work is highlighted with a distinctive pallet of bright and bold hues. The demarcation between colors in a particular sculpture speaks to the development of her skills using color as well as technique to define her goals. Unique novelty yarns and threads are incorporated with additional techniques of rolling, crochet, and hand weaving to accentuate a particular portion or feeling of the sculpture.The three-dimensional pieces are generally first sculpted with natural materials to establish a base of support. The knots are then begun at a random point and tacked down onto the substrate. Work progresses as Joh ties knot after knot in seemingly endless progression that can become mesmerizing as the sculpture evolves. Texture is developed as the knots are joined tightly to each other. The size of the threads and the shape of the knots, as well as the color progression, enhance the vision. Layers of height within individual knots elevate the impressions of three dimensionality within the sculpture.
For me, macrame is the ability to transfer everything in your imagination with knots. All you need is time and patience.
When I am knotting I feel a sense of satisfaction when I am able to create something new and being able to say I made that. I challenge myself, trying to make the final result different than the last piece or trying to make it a little better. Achieving something new and different everyday is my goal.
Many people would be surprised to know that I learned only by seeing other items made by artisans. While observing, I would carefully analyze each part. Later, when I was knotting my own work, I would try to replicate what I had seen but with more movement. At 18, I already knew that I wanted to be capable but I also wanted my pieces to be something truly different from what others made.
Percy is from Peru and I asked him about Peru and about the macrame of Peru. Peru is a country with excellent climatic conditions. It is the only South American country that has 3 of the natural regions, coastal, sierra, and rainforest. Each region has their own traditional dishes, a lot of them are world renowned. Since I have been making macrame, I have been able to see many places in my country, and have been able to meet many artisans. I think they could make beautiful work that could be sold in commercial zones. The lack of interest from the government has forced many artisans to sell their work on the street. I was very fortunate to be able to meet and work with Ian lander. He saw in me, effort and that’s why he decided to create a company and export my work to where we have been working for 8 years.
Tisti, ki redno berete, boste vedeli, kdo je Vozlar Peter (Peter the Knotter).
Peter mi je predstavil delo Elene Miklush in sedaj mi je v čast, da vam še jaz predstavim njeno delo.
V njenih besedah:
Vsak vozel je skrivnost.
Zavežete prvega, nato drugega, dodate barvo in teksturo, ne glede na to ali je fino najlonsko vlakno, konopljina vrvica, satenasta ali vrv, se skrivnost sčasoma razkrije v svojih obrisih.
Skušam ujeti razpoloženje vlaken in odkriti kaj skrivajo.
Všeč mi je, ko slika ostaja nejasna in ne prikaže gole resnice.
Kjer si lahko ogledate več:
Prosila sem Eleno, da nam pove več o sebi in dejala je naslednje:
Stara sem bila enajst ali dvanajst let, ko me je moja babica naučila prvega vozla. Tisti čas so vsi izdelovali sove in lončke, a moja babi je bila zelo kreativna, tako sva izdelovali torbe (celo zelo lepe in skušam narediti nekaj v tem stilu) in nakit ter pasove.
Težava je bila vedno nit – fino vezena svila je bila pretanka, tako sva razpletali vrvi za perilo. Rada sem imela pletenje, ampak ne tudi vseh priprav – merjenje in nizanje in izdelovanje »metuljev« iz vseh koncev. Ko je minilo kakšno leto sem z makrame-jem zaključila. Trajalo je skoraj 20 let in internet, da sem dojela, kakšen zaklad sem imela v rokah.
Ko sem prvič videla delo Joan Babcock, sem mislila, da gre za nizanje perl. Doživela sem nekakšen šok, ko sem dojela, da gre za vozlanje. To razsvetljenje je prišlo ne tako dolgo nazaj – leta 2008. Ponovno sem odkrila makrame in sebe v tej umetnosti. Na začetku sem izdelovala preprosti nakit za svoje sorodnike. Nato sem spoznala žensko, ki je organizirala Mednarodne razstave, ki se na letni ravni dogajajo v Belorusiji, v Minsku. Čeprav je bil dogodek povezan z nizanjem perl, se je odločila, da vključi tudi moje izdelke. Bili so dobro sprejeti.
Leto 2011 je bilo zaznamovano z mojimi prvimi razstavami – prvo v Minsku ‘Farby Dushi-2011′ (Barve Duše), BFW-2011 v skupinski razstavi, nato v Moskvi ‘Dizajn nizanja. Sveži val-2011′ (prejela sem prvo nagrado v svoji kategoriji), ‘Dizajn nizanja 2012′. Naslednja bo ponovno v Minsku – ‘Farby Dushi-2012′.
Sem mati dveh ne zelo odraslih fantov, ki imata veliko izven šolskih dejavnosti, pletem predvsem ponoči, tako traja 3 tedne da končam posamezni izdelek. Zadnje čase me je navdušilo kitajsko vozlanje in japonsko vpletanje, imenovano kumihimo. Trenutno delam na načinih, kako v svoje delo vključiti novo znanje.
Stara sem 37, imam 2 sinova. S svojo družino trenutno živim v Moskvi. Imam diplomo iz elektronike, a sem polno zaposlena mati.
I recently saw photos of some really interesting macrame bracelets and being the macrame addict that I am I just had to find the designers. They are selling their work on Mundial Treasure’s.
So I contacted the store owners to tell us about the artists and here is their interview.
Lucas is a 23 year old from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and his older brother Matias is 25.
When, and how did you get started in Macramé?
Lucas and Matias have been working as jewelry designers for the last seven years. They began their artisan lifestyle when their parents worked as craftsmen. This rare family art was passed down from parents to sons. At first, they worked side by side with their parents, then eventually branched off on their own when they had perfected of the art form. Lucas and Matias’s mother was the macramé artist. With her watchful eye they learned much from her. After some years, Matias and Lucas started traveling together. During their travels throughout South America they quickly learned that macramé was a great way to make money to fund their travels. Macramé is ideal to travel with because it is lightweight and small enough to carry around. After working with macrame for several years designing new pieces became second nature to them, just as it did with their parents. After making jewelry separately for some time, both Lucas and Matias started getting recognised for their talented work. Lucas and Matias became increasingly fascinated by the beauty of unique stones as they further developed as artisans. As Lucas and Matias travelled together they were continuously inspired by day to day life, and by people who admired their work.
What kept you inspired when times were tough and when motivation was low?
The two brothers jokingly explained that smoking a little marijuana helped them to break through some barriers. Lucas does not attempt new designs when not feeling inspired. Everyday life is their biggest inspiration. The rare moments, situations and unique characters that they meet every day is what truly inspire them. Matias feels similar about his inspirations, but and added that surfing, and ocean are what feeds creative process.
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out as a jewellery maker?
Patience is the key to succeeding, says Lucas. Adapting a personal style that is derived from your own fashion sense is important. Trust your instincts, and be conscious of your personal style. Don’t be afraid to try something new, and different, says Lucas.
Learn new knots and try different techniques when creating new pieces. The two brothers believe not only in trying new things but also in actively seeking out new ideas. When finished one piece it is important to start a new one right away, says Matias.
What’s your favorite kind of art to work with, and why?
That’s a difficult question, says Matias. Both brothers agree that they enjoy a wide variety of art work. They like to paint when they are painting, and enjoy making macramé jewelry when working on macramé. Now, both brothers are working on a hotel in Ecuador creating a mosaic mural. They are covering the dome of the roof, and are having a lot of fun doing it. Matias feels especially tied surfing. It may not be considered art in the traditional sense, but really enjoys it. Matias firmly believes that without surfing there would be no inspiration for art.
How long can it take to make a macramé piece?
A small bracelet, that they make regularly, can take a couple of hours, but other, more extravagant pieces can take upwards to two weeks to make.
Take a video class with well known artist and teacher Joan Babcock, and learn the secrets of making beautiful micro-macrame jewelry!
Each class comes with clear printable .pdf instructions that have step by step color photos and knot diagrams. Kits in various color palettes are also available for some of the projects. A complete supply list can be viewed on the introduction page for each individual class.
The classes vary in skill level, but they all require basic knowledge of micro-macramé techniques. If you are a beginner, be sure to take the Just the Knots class before trying any of the others.
Check it out at: http://www.micro-macramejewelry.com/eClasses/eclass.html
What a treat to be able to introduce you to Bernadette Mahfood’s work. I’ve been looking at her work online for some time now and recently was able to see two of her pieces in the Land By Hand exhibit sponsored by the Minnesota Textile Center.
Bernadette learned to appreciate her hand skills from her maternal Grandmother who taught her to knit and crochet. As a girl scout she became fascinated with basket weaving. After teaching herself macrame in the late sixties and early seventies she ended up teaching macrame to a group of young women in a mountain village in NW Tunisia for almost two years. The textile work in Tunisia and Africa in general still inspires her. After returning to the USA she studies jewelry design and began using African trade beads in her designs. In 1987 she began making her own glass beads and since 2001 has incorporated her beads in macrame in more intricate designs.
My most recent series are the semi-serious Neo-tribal pieces as Land Ethic experiences continue to inspire me:
Crop Circles and Medallions; and totally fun pieces inspired by fruits and vegetables: Watermelon, Purple Kiwi and Small Kiwi
These series will be ongoing as the impulse hits me.
To find out more visit: