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wemake

Macramé with Emily

Macramé with Emily

macrame

By Alise Munson

Macramé comes from a 13th Century Arabic weavers’ word “migramah” meaning “Fringe” This refers to the decorative fringes on camels and horses which help, amongst other things, to keep the flies off in the hot desert regions of northern Africa…

Another school of thought think that it comes from Turkish “makrama”: “napkin,” or “towel” and was a way to secure the ends of pieces of weaving by using the excess thread and yarn along the top and bottom edges of loomed fabrics.- Thanks, Wikipedia

Has macramé always been a part of our design culture? The craft was huge in the '70s when jute reigned supreme and there was a potted plant in every bathroom. Our owls and bikinis lost favor, but friendship bracelets and surfer-inspired chokers crept back into popular culture in the '80s and '90s.  Even tying shoelaces of fancy sneakers in unique ways is an homage to the knot arts.

So agrees trendsetter Emily Katz, Portland's queen of nomad chic and who's big in Japan and Instagram. Her interest and revival started as a knot to connect to her mom and soon spread into her interior design aesthetic. She now travel the globe teaching the macramé craft and leading the DIY creative movement in Portland.

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Emily shared her vast knot-ledge (yep, went there) recently at a spring WeMake Discovery Workshop.

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With four strands of white cotton rope and a brass claps, DIY fans jumps in to make a new accessory.

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Everyone was encouraged to grab some rope and take her turn at a community art piece.

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The workshop was held at the new Tillamook Station in NE Portland.

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Put A Bird In It

Put A Bird In It

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For this year's WeMake Put A Bird In It fundraiser (part of Design Week PDX) LAIKA artists also made 10 birdhouses to help fund All Hands Raised, a non-profit raising money to keep arts and music education part of Portland schools' curriculum. Take a look at some of the spooky results below or read more about our participation in Design Week PDX.

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a little bird told me by Heather Anderson Heather used real buffalo fur and pig skin.

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Under the Dome by Tony Travis "This birdhouse represents everybody's first home and the courage it takes to move on into the world."

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Frank Lloyd Wrong by Michael Possert Jr. Made of: MDF board, poly-urethane castings, cyanoacrylate glue and acrylic paints on exotic hardwood base Note on fabrication: Main square textile block pattern printed with rapid-prototype plastic from computer file.  Original file then altered in Rhino 4 and also printed.  All were then molded and cast for the final design.

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Burnt House by Niles Snyder Made from materials in the LAIKA wood recycling bin.

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A.T. - B.T. by George Willis

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Final Roosting Place by Katie Mello

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Birdlejuice by Cammi Upton "The colors in the movie Beetlejuice are so striking and fun that I thought it would be fun to use as inspiration for my birdhouse. My favorite part was designing the bird to look like Beetlejuice. And now I have to say Beetlejuice one more time since I already said it twice!"

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Don’t Feed The Birds by Danny Samuels

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Cherry Street Inn by  Maria Andreotti "Bill Murray inspires my whole life and my heart."

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Olde CrowsNest by Kyle Bell "What if Jack Sparrow was actually a small bird? Maybe he would have lived in a house like this."