Handmade craft is making a comeback. Some miss the mark, but others are capturing the flavour of old, and making it relvant to modern day style. Illustrator, visual artist and fashion/textile designer (yes she is one amazingly talented person) Jessie Tucker is one such creative wonder, who saw the intrinsic beauty in this knotting craft.
Whilst the knotting technique has not changed, Jessie’s macrame pot holders include bright coloured beads (replacing the traditional shell), and her ropes are personally hand dyed in refreshing vibrant shades. The photos of her work alone drew me in, and had me envisioning the perfect spot in my house to hang one of her pieces – in fact – I found the perfect spot just inside my back door…and above the kitchen bench…
Between juggling a new baby, and designing a new colour range Jessie was very kind to sit down with us and answer a few questions about her stunning range:
1. What inspired you to work with macrame and how did you obtain the skill? I have always loved craft, ever since I was a little girl at the Steiner school, when it was my favourite subject! We learnt all kinds of craft skills and macrame was among them. I can’t say I remembered how to do it from primary school, but when I decided to have a market stall selling homemade homewares, I refreshed my memory. I did this using a 1970’s macrame magazine I picked up at an op-shop for 50c. I soon remembered how much I enjoyed it and what potential it has to create beautiful objects and developed my practice from there.
2. Your designs are a modern take on a traditional craft? Yes, when I create my pieces I aim to incorporate the traditional craft techniques with a contemporary aesthetic. I like the nostalgia of the 1970’s, but want to create something new and different from the dusty old potholders found in the back of sheds covered in cobwebs.
3. Looking at your designs they look quite intricate and I know I would have myself tied up in knots giving it a go – How long does it take you to make individual pieces (ie pot hanger) or more complicated pieces? Some of my pieces are definitely quite complicated and do involve tangles. Tying knots can be quite meditative but I have to stay focussed! It’s hard to say how long each piece takes as the process involves dying string, hand making beads, cutting lengths and tying knots. This spreads out over days and sometimes weeks. When I do have a full day of knots I get rope burn on my hands!
4. Do you have a favourite design (new or old) you can share with us? I don’t have a favourite design, each piece has it’s own story and place. But if I had to choose from the selection of experiments and samples I have around my own house and garden, I really enjoy the small, yellow, hanging vase I have in my kitchen.
5. Where can we find your designs? My macrame can be found online at www.lightly.com and www.editionx.com.au . I also take individual orders via email, products can be seen on my website, www.jumblehome.com. “(Edition X is currently sold out of my designs but a new edition in a new colour will be arriving soon.)”
6. Share with us your easy eco living tip! I think we all need to be mindful about the way we consume. Think about where the things you buy come from, who made them and how far they have travelled. Don’t buy things that are designed to last one season then end up in landfill. Eat seasonally, dress in vintage and support businesses that produce locally and value quality!
Do visit the stores listed above to see more of Jessie’s range (her talents also extend to a textile range at her store Jumble), and keep an eye out for the new macrame colours she is introducing soon!
~~ Jessie Willow Tucker ~~