Behind the Scenes with Emily Katz

Photo by Leela Cyd

photo by Leela Cyd

For those of you who appreciate the interior design stylings of, say, Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters, please hold onto your seats because we just finished filming a class with none other than Emily Katz, modern macrame goddess and pretty girl-about-town in general. Not surprisingly, macrame is just one of the areas in which she excels ( see also: modeling, interior design, art director, stylist).

Behind the Scenes with Emily Katz

Where do you live?

Portland, OR.

Do you have any adorable pets/kids/life partners we should know about?

I have a dog named Donut (he’s a terrier-poodle mix) and a cat named Cowbear (editors note: Best. Name. Ever.). My partner’s name is Adam.

How (and when) did you get into macrame?

I learned macrame from my mom two years ago. I was visiting her and I wanted us to have some sort of activity to do. She taught me how to make plant hangers. A little while later, a Japanese photography team was taking photos of our home for a feature in a design magazine and they loved them. So I decided I should ask them back the next day and teach them how to make the plant hangers themselves, and that was my first class.

What’s the toughest part of macrame?

Following directions…but that doesn’t really matter. Scratch that – it’s rope burn.

What advice would you give macrame beginners?

There’s no wrong way to do this. Make up your own knits if you want. And it’s so much fun – people feel so accomplished for creating something that looks complex but in reality is quite simple.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I look at a lot of interior design blogs. Pinterest. And I rarely make a pattern, even for this macrame tent I just made that used 6,000 feet of rope.

Emily Katz's macrame tent

Sometimes I find inspiration in cool tiles or rug patterns. And lately I’ve been thinking about doing more large scale installation pieces.

How do you make time to craft?

Macrame is just one of the things I do – I’m also an art director, a stylist, interior designer and I’ve done some modeling. I guess that’s why I have an assistant (smiles).

But I find that I’m more productive when I’m busy. I find macrame very relaxing and meditative.

Everything is informed by my macrame.

I was a fashion and textile designer for a while, so I’ve always had some sort of physical, tactile project going on.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

I love Georgia O’Keeffe and Ernesto Neto who is an installation artist.

I also love going to see modern dance, theater, and music.

What are your favorite materials to work with?

Cotton rope – it’s the easiest on the hands and it’s great for beginners because it shows knots really clearly. I’d love to work more with wool and silk, but in the volume I use, the cost gets pretty prohibitive.

What is your most favorite thing you’ve ever made?

The tent!

macrame tent

Be honest – how much fun is it to film these classes with Creativebug? Or at least get to hang out in SF for a while?

It’s totally fun! Everyone who works here is really nice and I feel very comfortable. I love coming down to SF – it’s so much fun to explore the city.

Do you like being in front of the camera?

I do like being in front of the camera. I’ve been in a few music videos and I’ve done some modeling. You just have to be yourself and let it flow.

Okay, last question: Where can we stalk you online?

You can follow me on Instagram: @emily_katz

And on modernmacrame.com and emilykatz.com.

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