CraftSanity Podcast Episode 145: Sally England talks about her career as a macrame artist

Grand Rapids fiber artist Sally England stands by a nearly finished macrame piece she created for a client. England’s large scale macrame work has helped contribute to the resurgence of interest in the knotting techniques that allow for the creation of textiles that can be used in both decorative and practical applications. (Photo by Jennifer-Ackerman-Haywood)

For the last couple weeks I’ve been walking around with cotton twine in my pocket and Sally England is partly to blame. 

I recently attended England’s macrame workshop at Have Company, 136 S. Division Ave., during which she taught a small group of women in their 20s and 30s how to create mini wall-hanging samplers by tying a series of basic knots.

More than three decades after macrame permeated the American craft landscape, it’s once again growing in popularity and England has had a hand in that, too. However, becoming a nationally recognized macrame artist is probably most surprising to England herself. 

Most artists hope to be successful at doing what they do, but I never expected this to happen,” said England as she tied a row of knots on a 7-foot wide piece destined for a New York storefront. “All I could ask for was just to have a job that I could be creative and use my skills, but I didn’t think I would be working on my own and creating my own work. It’s just been a blessing that I’m super grateful for.”

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Macrame Forever: Sally England works on a commissioned piece for a New York client. She recently got a macrame tattoo on her right forearm, underscoring her love of the craft.


Read the rest of my column on MLive.com and listen to Sally tell her story her story on the podcast below. Then check out her Instagram feed and give macrame a try yourself. It’s fun!!

acshomeandwork-300x124Gratitude: A special thanks to my Patreon sponsors and my new sponsor, ACS Home and Work, for supporting this podcast. I discovered ACS when I was looking for a local source for flour sack tea towels for printmaking and embroidery purposes. I’m very happy to be supporting a West Michigan-based company with my business and now ACS is stepping in to sponsor the CraftSanity Podcast through the end of the year. (Thank you!!)

IMG_2498Local West Michigan listeners can shop ACS products at the Red Door, 6837 Lake Michigan Dr, in Allendale Charter Township. It’s the ACS outlet and also a pickup location for locals who want to order flour sack tea towels and other goods and skip the shipping costs. Visit Red door for a variety of tea towels and other home goods.

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