In this first of our series, we Meet the Maker – Charlene Spiteri of Warp & Weft to discuss bringing back the glamour of the popular 70’s craft, Macramé. Charlene currently works alongside Lights Lights Lights to create the stunning Vasilli pendant as pictured below. Available in a whole host of colours, this beautiful handmade delight works perfectly in any space to brighten up a room or just add a splash of colour.
LLL: What inspired you to start making Macramé?
CS: Well, I have been weaving for over 15 years and I wanted to explore other areas of weaving and thought back to my childhood where my mother would cover the house with macramé planters. I thought this would be a great area to explore, so I signed up to a weekend macramé course (Yes, believe it or not there are courses in macramé!) The class taught all the basic knots and techniques which resonated with me so well. I picked it up very quickly and realised its potential, and here I am!
LLL: What products do you specialise in making?
CS: I seem to have fallen into Plant Hangers and wall hanging pieces more so then other products. I guess this is due to its association with 70’s macramé and was very common to own back then. With my designs being made to look very modern most customers gravitate to these products and look great when displayed in an interior space.
I really don’t see myself specialising in one area. I would like to be open to having a varied range of products both that have the remnants of the classic 70’s as well as contemporary pieces.
LLL: Some might say it’s very crafty and should’ve stayed in the 70’s. What do you say to this?
CS: If you’re exposed and work in the design field you soon find out products (like fashion) return back in style. Perhaps the old daggy classic 70’s macramé could stay in the 70’s but the modern takes on macramé being designed I think are very important in the here and now. The technique of macramé reminds me (and others) that past time traditional skills such as macramé haven’t changed are great reminders. Artisanal skills are very back in trend and to be cherished because of what they make and represent.
LLL: What’s your favourite piece you’ve made so far and why?
CS: I love all my pieces. The Vassilli pendant light has been my most exciting project. I love the challenge lighting design brings and the results that can be created. Macramé and lights is not your average product.
LLL: How difficult was it to transition between hanging pots and light fittings?
CS: Light fittings require a lot more thought. It’s about understanding the shape, the light source, light placement in an environment and how the macramé knots marry up and compliments these factors. That was definitely more difficult than a hanging pots and the transition to me came naturally. If you understand the knots and design surface the transition process is the simple.
LLL: How long does it take to make a Vasilli pendant?
CS: The macramé skin for the Vasilli pendant light takes about an hour. I have a master cord length to cut my cord against. I then need to work my way from the bottom to the top. The top knot (Hitch knot) takes the longest as all the ends need to be knotted and secured down.
LLL: What’s your Favourite colour?
CS: Green. As the signature song & phase reads, “It isn’t easy being green”. I was quite the black sheep in my younger days having a different individual identity to the rest of my friends. Green is also a peaceful colour and I love gardens/gardening, which has an abundance of green shades…
LLL: Best trend tips for the coming Autumn/Winter season?
CS: Use warmer colours for interiors such as peppery or putty tones pared up against muted monochromatic shades to bring warmth to the colder climate. Use of traditional materials being made modern and An emphasis on artistic expression when coupled with contemporary interiors.