Meet the Authors: Amy Mullins & Marnia Ryan-Raison, Authors of Macraweave

Tell us a bit about your new book?

Macraweave is a how-to book that will teach you the fundamental macrame and weaving techniques and how to combine then. It is complete with instructions for getting started on the projects, a knot and technique quide, and 18 step by step patterns for projects ranging from accessories, homewares and wall art.

What is your favourite project/technique featured?

Amy: I love the belt, I feel it’s so satisfying to be able to wear something that you created yourself. Also I love it for the fact it is made with hemp, my favourite eco-friendly material.

Marnia: I Love the mirror, It’s the perfect mix of functionality and creativity.

What was your route into craft?

Amy: As a young child I was always making, drawing and collecting and playing with natural objects. In my school days, I used to cut up old jeans and hand sew them together into bags, and was forever altering and embellishing my clothes. I have always been passionate about creative arts and making things by hand, but when I became a mother over 7 years ago was when my love affair with fiber art really began.

Marnia: My Grandmother was a Fashion Designer and my Mother was an amazing artist competent in many different mediums ceramics, painting, sewing and fibre art. My father was exceptional at Tapestry. I learnt basic Macrame from an early age. And was constantly exposed to many handicrafts and encouraged to express myself through creativity.

Where do you look for inspiration: travel, other designers, Pinterest?

Marnia: I am a naturally creative person and my mind is often very busy with ideas. I find many inspirations from all things in my environment. I always try and push boundaries and think beyond the square when it comes to design.

What is the most challenging thing about being a designer/maker?

Amy: I think it can be challenging to stay true to your own sense of style, with the online world it’s hard not to be directly or non-directly influenced by what others are doing. That’s why I believe it’s important to tune-out from time to time and embrace the quiet.

Marnia: Staying current while being true to your own style.

What makes up for the challenges?

Amy: The ability to express yourself, and inspire and connect with others.

Marnia: Being able to reach and share your skills with such a large audience.

What do you think the Next Big Thing in your craft will be?

Amy: I think we will continue to see more craft being made with eco-friendly and recycled materials and the use of natural objects. I would also love to see a return to the teaching of handicrafts in schools.

Marnia: I agree! I think we will be seeing an even larger resurgence of handmade and recycled products and fabrics used in products. I think generally the majority of us truly care about the future of our world, especially in these challenging times. So I think we will be thinking more about what we are using and how it is produced.

How big a part, if any, does sustainability play in your work?

Amy: We use all natural fibres in our work as opposed to synthetic, including recycled cotton, jute, wool, and hemp, as they are a biodegradable & an eco-friendly material. We are also big believes in reusing what you already have, you don’t always need to purchase new yarn. For example you can cut strips of material from old clothes to use in your weaving projects and scraps of yarn are perfect for creating Rya-knots or even to fill cushions.

Marnia: We are both very environmentally conscious people. Sustainability is a main ethos behind our business. Our products are handmade and we only use materials from our environment that are natural or recycled and our rope is hand dyed.

Who (dead or alive) would you invite to the perfect craft retreat?

Amy: Sheila Hicks as I would be honoured to learn anything from her, or Celeste Barber as she is hilarious.

Marnia: I like Amy’s choices!! But not sure how much craft we would get done with Celeste in the room!

What advice would you give to your beginner self?

Amy: Trust the timing of your life

Marnia: Have faith in yourself

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