Artist Feature: Fanny Zedenius
I think my main source of inspiration was home decoration and interior design in general, more so than it was the macramé world I would say. I turned to books, photos and Instagram accounts that I felt resonated with my personal style and taste in home décor to influence what type of book I wanted to create. The idea of making an inspiring book about macramé that reflected the modern way of decorating with fiber arts motivated me since I felt there was both a lack of and a demand for such a book at the time. My main concern in the beginning was how to make diagrams and patterns that were comprehensible. Personally I am terrible at understanding the typical knitting patterns and crochet patterns with symbols, so I decided to try a different way of illustrating the patterns by drawing the knots the way they actually look.
How did you learn Macramé?
Before I had ever heard of macramé I made tiny plant hangers with really thin string that I hung from my curtain racks with glass jars and plant cuttings. It was just a way for me to be able to add more plants to my home since I didn’t have any space left in the window sills. I made them with regular knots, nothing fancy, using warp thread that I had laying around. Somehow I later stumbled upon a DIY pattern on Pinterest for a “real” plant hanger with “real” macramé knots. I tried them out and was completely, one hundred percent, hooked on macramé from then on!How long was your book in the making; from dreaming, to drafting, to producing, to launch? And any notes you want to share about the process?
I was fortunate enough to be approached by the publishers themselves (Quadrille Publishing) who asked me if I wanted to write and illustrate a craft book about macramé. At first I hesitated because I doubted myself and my skills and even asked myself what right I had to write such a book when there were other macramé artists out there whom I admired so much. Furthermore, I was planning a one year trip around the world and I didn’t think it would be possible to make a whole book before that. My publishers persuaded me in the end (thankfully!) and I finished most of the book those last 3 months before I went on my trip in 2016. It was probably the most stressful time in my life; writing and illustrating a book, producing all the macramé, while at the same time packing up my life and planning to go backpacking for a year. But it was also extremely fun and rewarding! When I finally did leave Sweden I still had some illustrations and texts left to finish, and I did these last parts on the road in Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Laos. The book would be launched when I was still traveling (in South America), and I did all the proofreading and final touches through several countries in Africa and finally received my first copy of it in South Africa. In hindsight I love that I can point out parts of my book that was made during this trip! From the first contact with my publishers to the point that I held a printed copy in my hands was almost exactly 1 year.
What is your favorite project in the book?
It’s very hard to choose, but I think the curtain is my favorite. It is made with almost 0.5 km of rope (1600 feet) but still it isn’t necessarily too advanced for beginners. I have seen the curtain made by lots of people and they always look so beautiful in all those doorways. It makes me really happy every time!If you could do anything differently, what would it be?
That is a very good question, and honestly I haven’t thought about it that much which probably means there aren’t that many things I would have wanted to change. I have thought a little about the time aspect, the fact that I had a limited amount of time to work solely on the book before our trip, and then still had some work left so we needed to adjust our travels according to my needs of working to finish the book. I guess I am just curious about what the whole experience of writing the book would have been like if I would have had a little more time to focus and work just on the book from home. Perhaps I would have added more types of projects if I would have had more time, but on the other hand I am really happy with the spread of projects in the final result.
What advice do you have for someone who has a dream of being published?
There are a lot of different ways to become a published author, but since I don’t have the experience of writing a proposal and approaching publishers myself there is only so much advice I can offer on this topic. I guess my story is proof of the amazing doors that Instagram can open for small businesses since I was approached by my publishers whom discovered me there. I think what they liked about me other than ‘just’ the macramé was my personal style in decorating and photographing. I believe you’ll benefit from finding your own voice and style, it increases your chances of being discovered and of growing a devoted audience who follow you for the things that make you unique.Favorite places to eat/drink/dream in your hometown?
More than a specific spot in Stockholm, I really love biking through the city. I usually avoid public transportation unless absolutely necessary, not even when it’s snowing and -15 °C (5 °F) outside. All the biking through Stockholm gives me lots of time for daydreaming and simply appreciating our city. Stockholm can be quite beautiful!
How do you unwind?
It’s going to sound so silly, but it really is doing macramé. Running a small creative business means you have to spend so many hours on everything but the creative part. Administrative work, packing and sending out orders, customer care and all those other things take up the majority of the week so when I find the time to knot I really treasure it and it helps me to unwind. I also treat myself to a steaming hot bubble bath from time to time, preferably with a movie or TV-series on and a glass of wine.Favorite Rope or Macramé jokes/puns?
I would say “tying the knot”, as in decorating with knots on weddings (macramé backdrops for example) because couples ‘tie the knot’. Cheesy, but I still like it!
How do you describe yourself and your personal style?
I am a craft and DIY addicted plant lover who studied International Relations and used to work for UN Women in Sweden, but found macramé and decided to give in to my passion for creativity and crafting. I prefer making my own furniture to buying something new, and I love redecorating my home which is in a state of constant change. My love for colors (pastels at the moment) and lots of light is very prominent in our home, as is my obsession with rope and macramé. Even though we live in a quite small apartment, I work from home and our living room harbors the majority of the materials I work with and sell. Where other people usually would put a television, I have a wall of rope!
Although Scandinavian décor is very popular at the moment, my style is more eclectic with lots of influences from other parts of the world. I combine Moroccan rugs with wooden kitchen chairs from the early 1900s, raw wooden materials and copper details, and of course lots of macramé. Our home is where I get to live out my personal style and creativity!What does the macramé community look like to you?
It’s a vibrant and creative community in constant expansion. The love for macramé connects people from all around the world and even though we may lead very different lives we have the passion for tying knots and almost worshiping fibers in common. I would say that the community is eager to share the passion for and knowledge of macramé, just look at all workshops being held all over the world!
If you could go anywhere and budget was no issue, tell us about your dream trip.
I would say that I am very fortunate to have made my dream trip already; me and my boyfriend traveled through 19 countries, four continents in 11 months and we came home less than a year ago. Next on my list is a road trip in the US. I really want to check out Portland, Oregon. I see it as macramé Mecca (probably thanks to Emily Katz and Modern Macramé!), and it seems so many amazing artists and creatives originate from there. I would just like to travel there to take in the vibe. I also really want to see the Redwood National Park, and maybe travel down to San Francisco... I have to say though that even if budget was no issue, I would still want to travel ‘cheap’. I find that camping, couch surfing, hitch hiking, living in hostels and generally traveling outside the more expensive tourist routes is far more rewarding and exciting than any expensive, luxurious experience would ever be.
Win A Copy Of Macramé – the craft of creative knotting for your home!
We've partnered up with Fanny of Createaholic along with Natalie Ranae for an epic Macramé book giveaway. You have a chance to enter until Friday, June 15th 12:00 pm PST. For details on how to enter, click here!