Meet The KOEL Kid: Karoliina Macramé
Karoliina of Liinala is a brave and curious soul, unafraid of taking risks and jumping into the unknown. We saw her adventurous character clear as daylight in her macramé work. It’s not an easy feat to make your pieces stand out from the rest, especially so with the popularity of this knotty craft, but Karoliina successfully achieves this through approaching each project differently, so that no one idea will ever be the same as before. Find out how she does this through the interview with the talented artist below.
Tell us more about your background and what led you to choosing macrame as a craft.
I’ve always loved and enjoyed creating art. My childhood dream was to become an artist, but I gave up on that thought as I wasn’t much an a drawer or painter. That didn’t stop me from taking all kinds of art classes – from pottery to cartoon drawing, I tried them all.
For me, handmade art was a very natural way for me express myself. My parents and grandparents were gifted craftsman, so growing up in a home where art was highly valued and encouraged was something I am very thankful for. I’ve always had a strong interest and love for classical art, and believe that my attraction and pursuit for beautiful things started from there.
While I was growing up, I was introduced to different forms of art like graffiti and modern art. I’ve always had an open mind and believe life will lead me to amazing and unexpected destinations. I’m not afraid of taking risks and when there is an opportunity, I won’t hesitate to grab it by its hair. For example, I’ve found myself hitchhiking across Europe, living on the streets of Helsinki and throwing an underground art festival. Then I met my husband. Neither of us liked our jobs or the big city where we used to live, and so we moved to a small town and started to study carpentry together.
After I came across macramé a good four years ago, I switched to study textile design. And because I’m a restless person who has to keep her hands constantly moving, macramé was the ideal outlet for me. I first began learning how to knot two years ago, and a huge sense of calmness just washes over me. It was tough at the beginning, but I’m so happy I didn’t give up! As I kept practicing every day, I found myself getting better at it each time.
What makes you a KOEL Kid?
I’m diligent and a hard worker, and I put my heart and soul into what I do. I love to challenge myself and come up with new ways to go about doing my crafts. I’m someone who likes to question, ponder and wonder – to look at things from different perspectives. I believe those are what makes me unique and…me!
Share with us the creative process behind each of your projects.
The idea of turning something simple, like yarn, into something complex and beautiful is extremely fascinating to me. Shapes, words and the surrounding environment inspires me. I have a vivid imagination and can get inspiration from basically anything. My ideas and visions are transferred into my work through sketches. The tough part is turning the sketch into a tangible macramé piece. It isn’t always easy! If some ideas doesn’t turn out well, I put it aside and try again later with a clearer mind and new ideas. I always believe there’s a way around it!
About your designs…
The inspiration behind this particular design is… In December 2018, my friend asked me to make a macramé piece in the form of an eagle as a New Year gift to her friend. When I started to work on it, I doubted my skills very much. One day, I was attending an art class and our teacher was giving a lesson.
I don’t pay much attention to quotes when I do come across them, but there was one particular sentence in her lecture, by Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it”. I remember sitting at my desk, staring intently at the quote, almost as if I was entranced. It has changed my ways of working and thinking, and inspired me to eventually work on the request from my friend. This eagle macramé is very important to me, also because I started to believe in myself a lot more after finishing it.
The dream store in which I would like to stock this design is… In a home decor or art store.
Which celebrity house can you picture your design at… I would be so thrilled and happy to see it in any celebrity house! If someone would have asked me this question a year ago, I would have thought they asked the wrong person!
If this design made it big, I would… I would be so happy and so grateful, it’ll be such an indescribable feeling!
If this design could talk, it would say… It would tell you to be brave and to believe in yourself! Most things are difficult at the beginning, but as long as you don’t give up, anything is possible!
Great things take time, so how much has changed since you first started macrame and where do you see it in the next five years? I am so excited and grateful for everything I’ve learned over the years. When I first started macramé, I was a very shy person who didn’t really know her place in the world. Throughout the years, I’ve found where I belong. I’ve grown and matured, and also gained some self confidence and courage to believe in myself. I still have a lot of things to work on, both myself and my skills as a crafter, but I’m determined to work much harder than before.
Quality, beauty and sustainability (to name a few) are extremely important to me. I don’t just want to focus on improving my skills as a macrame artist. But also practice using recycled materials and turning them into something beautiful and precious. There are still environmental issues in the textile industry. So the reason why I hope to focus on using eco-friendly materials in my own handmade work. I recently bought myself a loom the size of half my home studio (you can imagine how pleased my husband was!). Hence, this autumn I can get started on creating my own handwoven textile collection.
Photo Credits: Karoliina