Cords and Stones (Macrame)

Traveling is not just about visiting the new places and knowing new cultures but also to meet new people and learn new things from them. My journeys have exposed me to some interesting artists and their artworks. Another such artwork, which perhaps I would never become familiar with if not travelling, was Macrame. As far as I remember, my first conscious encounter with the term macrame was at New Lucky Cafe of Rishikesh where a Nepali guy, named Kapil, used to give macrame lessons. For some unknown reasons I had assumed that macrame was the name for some very sophisticated technique based fine paintings. Although I had developed a good friendship with Kapil, I never showed any interest to know about the art he was master of. But it was only because of that familiarity with the term Macrame that when I came in contact with an another Macrame artist, named Clemence, at Pushkar of Rajasthan, I inescapably developed an interest to know about the art which I had missed at Rishikesh.

During my month long summer stay at Pushkar, Clemence was the only another long term off season guest at the Shankar Palace/ Ramues cafe. Clemence, a young lady of french nationality, was living in a room on the other side of the small roofless central ground of Shankar Palace. While sometimes she used to work with the paper and pencil at entrance of her room, some other times she used to click the photos of some bracelets, necklaces with the leaves and barks of floras of the Shankar palace as background objects.

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Clemence: The macrame artist

 

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Things are created twice: First in mind …

 

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Things are created twice: Second or physical creation

 

From the daily conversations during the late evening gatherings, which were joined not only by the guests and the owners of guest house but also by some new friends of Pushkar, at the central roofless ground of the Shankar Palace, I came to know more about Clemence. She was a traveler and macrame artist. Although she used to speak less, either because of habit or limited English vocabulary, she patiently elaborated about the Macrame and her journey with that art. Interestingly the word Macrame is most probably of Arabic or Turkish origin. Macrame is a textile art of linking the threads exclusively by the knotting techniques. It was the first time that I became familiar with the difference between otherwise inter-related terms like Knotting, weaving and knitting. Although the cords and the ways of linking them by knotting techniques are the only essential elements to label a craft as Macrame artwork, the inclusion of some more objects, like stones, could take the creations to different levels of creative expressions. In Clemence’s work, perhaps I was more captivated by the stones and fossils than the threads and the knotting techniques.

 

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Macrame slave bracelet with Amethyst stone

 

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Wild Boar Tusk Necklace

 

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Moon Stone and Megalodont tooth (Fossil)

 

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Macrame necklace with Moon stone and fossil tooth

 

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Mexican Amber

 

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Macrame Necklace with Mexican Amber

 

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Amber Pendant Necklace

 

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Labradorite

 

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Macrame necklace with Labradorite

 

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Obsidian, Amber and Labradorite

 

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Macrame necklace with Obsidian, Amber, Labradorite and Cristal stones

 

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Macrame necklace with Amber and Cristal

 

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Macrame bracelet of Chrysocolla stone

 

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Fluorite stones

 

Clemence learnt that art from Colombia while travelling and staying in South America for 3 years. There she used to craft and sell the products on streets. Over the course of her journey that art turned as her main profession and she also started selling the macrame jewellery in some markets of France. The moment I met her, she also had her online shop by the name of Tierrachakana at http://www.etsy.com . The influence of her time in Latin America was still visible as most of the raw material like stones and threads were from Latin American countries. While most of the stones were from Mexico, the waxed polyester cords, special for macrame jewelry, were from Brazil. However, during her time in India, she had got many of the stones from Jaipur Market.

 

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Linhasita waxed polyester cords

 

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The sticks which would be incorporated in upcoming work

 

Despite of having a great opportunity of taking my macrame experience to next level by learning some basics of that art from Clemence, my experience got stuck with just a conceptual understanding of that textile art. During my first ever visit for Pushakar valley, I was more involved in knowing the place and some of its unique cultures and so could not think towards taking any practical lessons from her. I believe that the experience which got initiated with Kapil and Clemence would go to next level and someday I would learn and be able to create some thing on my own.

 

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The hand and the artwork of the artist

 

The latest updates of Clemence’s work can be found on her facebook page Tierrachakana

She also has her online shop atΒ https://www.etsy.com/in-en/shop/tierrachakana

 

116 thoughts on “Cords and Stones (Macrame)

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  1. More important than the beautiful sights we see when we travel I think is the amazing connections we get with people from different backgrounds and cultures and here you learned about an amazing art form also – what a wonderful story!

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  2. It’s always interest to learn about arts and crafts around the world. I didn’t know about macrame before. Will be on the lookout for it when we visit this part of the world. Thank you for the insightful education!

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    1. Clemence learnt that art from Colombia. So interesting to know similar experiences from the region. Thanks for sharing your views

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  3. This is for the first time I heard the word Macrame! Thanks for your great post for letting me to learn about this wonderful art!

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    1. It’s so great to know that you are also making macrame jewelry. I can say now I know one more macrame artist.. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

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  4. This is the first time that I have heard about Macrame, and it really is a beautiful piece of art! Each piece seems like there is a story to tell… the intricate details are what made me really drawn knto it!

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    1. Traveling teaches us so many things. So great to know that you also developed an interest in Macrame during your journeys. Thanks Shanab. Keep travelling and learning πŸ™‚

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  5. Can’t agree more! Traveling is a great way to learn about other cultures and meeting to new people. Macrame necklace with Labradorite Is beautiful! πŸ’•

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  6. I’d love to learn how to turn macrame into something beautiful. I’ve tried and tried but just can’t seem to get it right. I love all of these pieces of work.

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  7. That’s so wonderful you travel and experience new cultures! I would love to do that more. That hand piece in your last photo is beautiful!

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  8. Wow! What a great experience I love meeting new people and it sounds like the ones you meet enriched your life! I love macrame baskets, I had never seen macrame jewelry! The detail and delicate placement is stunning!

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