Even though we can never find brightly-colored fall foliage in Singapore where the KOEL HQ is located, we are lucky to get a glimpse of autumn through the macramé works of Susana Cunha (which makes us want to fly over to her part of the word!). And if you are looking to bringing some fall vibes in to your home too, then we think you should have a gander at the beautiful wall hangings that Susana sells on her online shop, Tent Living. The KOEL team had a chat with her on what inspires her work and more.
1. Tell us more about your background and what led you to choosing macramé as a craft?
Tent Living began with my passion for unique decorative objects. My focus was initially on vintage and antiques pieces where I would find in antiques markets or auction houses and then sell them. When my two daughters were born, I felt the need to be involved in a creative activity that allowed me to work at home and around the girls’ routines. At around the same time I discovered macramé and the pieces of the puzzle just fell into place - I have always enjoyed working with fibres, mostly knitting and crochet, which I learnt from my mum and grandmother as a child and macramé was a challenge I just knew I had to take. Once I learnt more and developed my macramé skills, I became completely addicted to it and the craft became a much-needed creative outlet and passion in my life.
2. What makes you a KOEL Kid?
I like to incorporate colors and other materials in my work, with an aim to create a beautiful piece with interesting colours, textures and shapes. Modern and romantic would be the two words that define my macramé style.
3. Share with us the creative process behind each of your project.
The creation of a piece usually starts with a sketched idea that I will then develop and perfect over time (or sometimes abandon!). Ideas may come from a pattern I see in my daily life or in nature, a colour palette, books and magazines. On other occasions I might see a particular material that I love (such as yarn, for example) and I will create a piece where that texture can be incorporated and shine through. Travelling, photography, fashion, objects, patterns, contact with nature are great sources of inspiration in my work. I have recently started working on a collection of pieces and I love the challenge of creating a body of work united by a common theme/colour scheme as opposed to individual pieces.
4. Pick one of your favourite designs and answer these quick questions!
The inspiration behind this design is... Autumn colours and shapes as well as the wonderful Liberty's fabrics
The dream store in which I would like to stock this design is…Anthropologie
If this design made it big, I would… Build a studioin my garden with lots of space and natural light
If this design could talk, it would say... “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” (Albert Camus)
5. Great things take time, so how much has changed since you first started weaving and where do you see it in the next five years?
Things have changed a lot in the past two years! After learning and perfecting my skills, I opened an Etsy shop selling my pieces and was invited to set up a storefront at www.notonthehighstreet.com last year. I have also recently started teaching macramé workshops in London and that has been an amazing experience.
In terms of the future, I have always seen Tent Living as a space to find unique pieces so I will expand it to include other handmade items with weaving on top of the list. My aim for the next five years is to continue learning and creating, promote collaborations with other makers, offer a wider variety of workshops in more locations and find some nice stockists worldwide so my pieces can travel all over the globe!
Photo Credits: Susana Cunha