Home & Living Interviews

Macrame Artist Sondra Wiener on the Art of Knotting

Photograph of Sondra Wiener.
Photo of Sondra Wiener by Amara Palepa.

With macrame, artists knot yarn, hemp, jute, and other textiles to create tapestries and home decor. Sondra Wiener of Macrame in LA creates handmade decor through sustainable and eco-friendly materials, such as cotton cord and driftwood. If you live in the Los Angeles area, you can sometimes catch her at a seller’s market. Or rent one of her wow-worthy backdrops for a special occasion like a baby shower, wedding or bridal shower.

Artisan Joy recently interviewed Sondra to learn more about her design process.

Artisan Joy: How did you get started creating your art?

Sondra Wiener: I had been crocheting and hand embroidering, but the technique of macrame caught my eye in early 2019. The art of knotting kept my hands busy in a way that has been more consistent than any other medium I’ve utilized before.

AJ: When did you realize that you could turn your craft into a side business or full-time occupation?

SW: It took a while, but the first outlook was when I participated in a maker’s fair one of my previous employers held. I sold through most of my inventory. That’s when the idea of macrame as a side hustle started to come to fruition.

Macrame wall hanging by Sondra Wiener of Macrame in LA.
Macrame wall hanging by Sondra Wiener.

AJ: Where do you find inspiration for your creations?

SW: I find inspiration from nature, plants and vintage tapestry.

AJ: How do you apply that inspiration to your work?

SW: A lot of the knotting pattern comes from the shape of the unique branches and driftwood I use. They all have a special form that allows me to decide how I want a piece to flow. So even when I have a set design in mind, it evolves and shifts as I work it through.

AJ: What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

SW: I’m actually a bit of an introvert! Macrame has permitted me to be in my space to be introspective and focused.

AJ: As creatives, we can be continuously creating and refining our art. How do you handle perfectionism?

SW: This is such a great question. Especially when I’m creating a piece with many repetitive or symmetrical-like components, I have to step back and accept the piece is a little “imperfect.” That’s what makes it unique, and no one will know but me.

Macrame wall hanging by Sondra Wiener of Macrame in LA.
Macrame wall hanging by Sondra Wiener.

AJ: What advice would you give to someone interested in putting their art out into the world but feels vulnerable about it?

SW: It’s okay to just go for it. Even when something isn’t perfect, you will get more comfortable after taking that first step. Your art or creation will resonate with someone!

AJ: Has someone ever criticized your artwork? How did you handle it?

SW: One time a client commissioned me to create a piece, and it got a little tricky because the scope of work started to creep here and there. When I presented the finished work, they asked me to add more. I really want to make my clients happy, so I modified the concept to accommodate their vision.

Macrame wall hanging by Sondra Wiener of Macrame in LA.
Macrame wall hanging by Sondra Wiener. Photo by Amara Palepa.

AJ: Creatives are often very in tune with what’s happening in the world. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. If this happens to you, how do you cope?

SW: When I feel overwhelmed, I usually try to stop and focus on something else completely different. Getting a different perspective or viewpoint always helps me feel re-centered.

AJ: Are you passionate about a cause, and why?

SW: I’m so glad you asked. As someone diagnosed with an autoimmune disease a couple of years ago, I realized how little I knew about the prevalence of autoimmune diseases in women. So, bringing awareness research and awareness to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. I’m passionate about not only sharing my story but bringing awareness and education to women earlier in their lives.

Macrame wall hanging by Sondra Wiener of Macrame in LA.
Macrame wall hanging by Sondra Wiener.

AJ: What brings you joy?

SW: What brings me the most joy is the pursuit and act of creating. I live, breathe and have so much passion for it. My dogs are a very close second.

Thanks, Sondra! You can purchase her work on Macrame in LA’s website, Etsy shop or Facebook and Instagram pages.

This interview has been edited slightly for clarity.

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