I wanted to create a giant piece of macrame—giant as in, I want it to be extremely uncomfortable and require diagrams to move—for years.
I dreamed of hundreds of knots, yards of rope, and dimensions to challenge the body and brain.
I wanted to create something to tower over my friends, family, and unsuspecting admirers. I wanted their hearts to fill with an unfamiliar sensation of incredulous awe, with just a tingle of fear.
Last month, my dreams came true.
It all started here.
I needed a display wall for Alliday 2016. What is the macrame maker's first thought? "Oh, if I can get this rope to stick to the ceiling here at the venue (sweet Retro Den in Tulsa), I can build a wall my own damn self." So, that's what I did.
The owners of Retro Den thought it was so funny that they took lots of photos of me and then double-dared me to build another one. This time, it would be for the store.
We traded thoughts and probably too many emails on dimensions, materials, form, and function.
Then we threw all that away when I said: YOU GUYS, WHAT IF WE BUILD A GIANT WALL OF PLANTS.
So, I got some rope.
Lots of rope.
I borrowed a 6-foot ladder.
And I got to work.
I wanted a design that would be a showpiece, sure. But I also wanted a design that played well and quietly with all the beauty in the store.
The Ashleys of Retro Den chose transparent glass planters and I chose a simple design that would let the light from the big front store windows through. We wanted a piece that could define a space, and I knew we didn't want a room divider so much as a room perforator.
And, of course, the piece had to be life-supporting.
Supportive of life!
I loved all the conversations I got to have with the Retro Den staff and shop-goers as I installed this piece:
"Do you feel weird up there on that ladder?" (Answer: Yes.)
"Did you know that macrame is coming back?" (Answer: Yes.)
"Did you know that I used to macrame before you were even born?" (Answer: I did not, but I wish I could have been there with you when you did that.)
"OMG. Do you want to get married?" (Answer: I am already married, thanks, but I don't want to hurt your feelings.)
"OMG. Could you make something like this for my wedding?" (Answer: Yes. Let's.)
"OMG. Could you teach me to do that?" (Answer: Yes. Yes, I can.)
"OMG. Do you want lunch?" (Answer: Yes. Always yes.)
I loved every minute of bringing this macra-monster into existence. I want to do it again, like, tomorrow.