This will be our second time at Standard Goods hosting a macrame artist. It's always nice to have a different medium hanging on the walls of the shop. For the month of February we hosting two artists for "Cranes in The Sky" exhibit. Meet one of the featured artists, Katie George. She is a macrame fiber artist originally from Loudoun County, Virginia and has been living in Seattle for three months. With a background in film and sculpture, she taught herself the art of macrame two years ago. She likes to experiment with various textures and materials in each of her pieces and encourages viewers to touch the materials to better understand the construction and the way they move. Her work often takes organic forms and she lets the material itself guide the shape and look of the finished piece. The pieces are intended to emulate a contrasting sense of intricacy and softness alongside unruly and intimidating resilience.
Can you tell us a little about your creative path and what brings you to where you are today?
In college, I focused my studies on video production but when I added on a studio art minor, that's where I really found a passion for sculpture and other 3D arts. For several years my side hobby was keeping a food blog with a great emphasis on the styling and photography of the food. In the past few years, however, with a resurgence in macramé as a craft, art and home decoration, I taught myself the basic knots and haven't looked back since.
What are your earliest memories connected to design and art? Have you always felt like art was a part of you?
Thanks to my parents, I was a very crafty kid. My dad is an excellent woodworker and my mom studied art so I was constantly encouraged to be creative. I remember always building dollhouses out of cardboard boxes, knitting scarves, or sewing something or another. Through the years I continued taking creative classes and at one point had aspirations of being a production designer. I've always felt as though I have a good sense of aesthetic when it comes to a 3D space so creating something to fit into that space, like macramé, came naturally.
Where and when do you feel the most inspired?
I feel most inspired after taking a long walk whether it's in the city or a hike somewhere. Since my work has a lot to do with making a variety of shapes and textures, it's often these changes of scenery that help me to think of how I can bring the elements of macramé together in a new way. Most of my pieces are also constructed on branches that I find myself so I often let the shape, feel, and context of that branch create the intended feel for the final piece.
How long have you been doing macramé? How was it introduced to you?
I have been making macramé works for about 2 years. I taught myself using only a book and Google after starting to see it more often on my Instagram feed. While my first pieces were just for practice and to hang in my own home, I soon had several friends asking for commissioned works. I was really lucky that they all had minimal criteria and trusted me to make them something they liked so it was all good practice.
What is your personal style? And how is it reflected in your designs?
My sense of style comes out the most in my furnishings and decoration. I really like mid-century modern furnishings as well as neutral color palettes with pops of color here and there. My personal style is also one of comfort so I strive to make my home feel very cozy with lots of blankets, pillows, soft things and personal touches, like my extensive cookbook collection. I have found that my wall hangings fit this aesthetic well and look quite nice next to a small gallery wall.
What is your process like? Do you sketch out your designs and patterns before starting a new piece?
My creative process is not at all planned. I often find that with macramé, the string or material can have a mind of its own and it rarely turns out looking like the image in my head. Because of that I've started letting the piece itself inspire me as I go based on the shapes it makes. I'll certainly have colors and materials in mind beforehand but I often have no idea about the shape or the types of knots I'm going to work with until it's suddenly happening. Because of this fluid process, I frequently find myself hating every piece about halfway through but by the end it always seems to come together quite nicely.
Favorite movie you've watched recently?
The Shape of Water, hands down! Guillermo del Toro's cinematography is always genius and beautiful. In fact many of the pieces I'm showing for Capital Hill Art Walk were made right after seeing this movie.
Name 5 things that would make up your perfect day?
A delicious latte with toast and jam for breakfast, a leisurely run, working on some macramé while listening to reggae, a nap on the couch with the sun on me and a cool breeze coming through the windows, and a bit of time spent with each of my loved ones and pets.
What are your hopes and ambitions for your brand?I really hope to not only have the opportunity to keep attending art shows and craft shows, but I would like the chance to continue challenging myself with big custom pieces, and potentially get into the realm of teaching workshops.
Anything else you would like to add?
People often feel nervous about touching the pieces I make, but that is what I encourage most strongly. I intentionally source out extremely soft cotton string and Australian Merino wool because I intend for them to be touched. The pieces, though they may look delicate, are so intricately woven that they are very strong. Touching them allows the fringe to move and shift which creates a totally new look or allows the viewer to better understand how it is constructed.