Seychelles: Artist Hopes to See Popularity of Macramé Grow in Seychelles

A young Seychellois artist hopes to run a series of public workshops to encourage people to develop an interest in macramé - a form of fibre art using knots or "hitches" to make patterned textiles.

Antigone Frichot explained that this versatile form of art uses a special technique that has been around since the 13th century; some people believe it dates as far back as the 3rd century in China.

"It would be really fun to run these workshops and hopefully this is something I can do," said Frichot. The artist who learned these knots by herself said that she is not sure of how common handcrafting is in Seychelles, adding that she hasn't met many people who have taken up this form of art here.

Frichot said that macramé can be used to make a variety of items including clothes, curtains and carpets, or it can be used as wall hangings and jewellery. Frichot, 24, said that she is particularly fond of making plant hangers, wall hangings and key chains.

According to Frichot her interest in this form of art developed when she was living in the United Kingdom where she began creating macramé plant hangers to accommodate her large plant collection in a small living space.

"Macramé pieces allowed me to have hanging plants and save space, but they're also so beautiful and houseplants are really good for our mental health."

Macramé can be done with just a cord and any kind of cord works depending on what aesthetic you are looking for said Frichot. "You can combine the cord with hoops, wood and metal shapes - the possibilities are endless," she added.

While she has worked with cotton cord in the past, this year she has started working with jute, a type of strong coarse fibre, which she says has got a lovely Bohemian feel to it.

"Macramé is therapeutic and meditative. Once I start, I go into a macramé trance and can knot for hours on end. I find the repetition very soothing and it's also a great creative outlet," said the artist.

She admits though that it is a time-consuming activity, and so as a hobby she does a little every day, moving back and forth between several ongoing pieces.

Frichot has started to sell pieces from her large collection of macramé plant hangers through her Instagram account and is now also open to commissions if a client has something specific in mind. As the country opens up from current restrictions, she hopes to expand into shops and markets.

Jennie Ah-Kong, the founder and chair of the Group Artisan of Seychelles which promotes women involved in traditional craftwork, has welcomed Frichot intention to popularize this form of art. Ah - Kong added that she hopes this can be replicated on a large scale.

"I am personally developing a specific project for this form of craft, which I hope to start in the near future," Ah-Kong added that it is her hope that more emphasis is put on local crafts, and one thing she suggested is that this is done at the School of Arts.

More From: Seychelles News Agency

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