Vibes & Vices: Macramé Jewelry Workshop @ Galeria Uno

I went into a whole thing in this space about the significance of self-decoration a while back–its’ roots in endeavour rather than aesthetics, the fact that some of the first bracelets were made of bones collected the hard way–but to save 450 words, it all boils down to a simple idea: if you were looking at two effectively identical strangers but one had a cool hat, which one would you be more interested in at first glance?

Which one, assuming each of these individuals fulfilled your aesthetic predilections, would you be more likely to date?

Hell, which one would you assume was in charge within this clone chain of command?

I’ll give you a moment to consider the deeper symbolism of my various 20 peso nonsense decorations while I go ahead and get this article started.

The Vibes: Fá, the mind behind of this special series of Saturday events, shares my appreciation for jewelry and accoutrement. It’s something I’ve always appreciated about her, and so when she offered me an opportunity to take part in a Saturday afternoon macramé class that would see me walk out with some new pieces of flair, I knew I was in good hands.

I walked into the gallery that day carrying the only Y chromosomes in the building, the rest of the workshop made up of women and girls spanning every age group that is interested in jewelry. 

When it came time to choose our thread colors from a table in the corner, I displayed restraint and maturity by not barreling across the room like a juggernaut to seize my preferred palette before anyone else could, but totally killed my credibility as an adult by telling people about my initial thought process in the back half of this sentence.

What can I say, this week’s installment is all about honesty.

The Vices: As I have also noted here before, my fingers seem to be dumb at everything but typing. Wait, I really only type with two fingers, so I guess even that.

My hands themselves are just fine…for example, I catch the vast majority of items launched in my general direction. On the other side of the coin, the things I draw and paint seldom match the images in my mind, and sushi is not among the things I roll well. Indeed, I am mediocre on my best day in the execution of practically every visual art.

So when I said I was in good hands earlier, I was referring to the skillful digits of Rakel of Rahui Macramé Art & Crafts, a woman with years of experience in the art of ornamental knots. She was most accomodating as I repeatedly effed the simple craft project up, untangling my hopelessly jumbled threads, and demonstrating knots again and again with the patience of a high school teacher.

All of that having been typed, what I lack in aptitude I can often make up for with enthusiasm, and so over the next hours I flowed in and out of a nearly meditative state while carefully crafting my new decor. On my eleventeenth try, I at least managed to make my earring look something like the others in the class and to this day I wear it with the profound sense of pride that comes with the personal construction of even the most imperfect items.

I left the workshop that day with a basic understanding of macramé concepts as I headed directly to a favorite bar across the bridge to watch the Canelo fight because I apparently needed to be reminded how hands work. However, it wasn’t until later that week when I realized the principles of macramé took root a bit deeper than I’d expected.

You see, Fá and Rakel had sent us away that evening with a lovely home version of their workshop after their afternoon of instruction, and a few days later during a YouTube marathon at some ungodly hour, I took up the threads once more to precisely position the bright pink strands on the round hoop, fastidiously weaving them in and out as I had been shown in the class to create the characteristic knotted pattern.

I’m still not super great at macrame, so it’s a jellyfish now…hey, I like it.

The Verdict: Some folks I respect say the journey is the destination, and so I don’t have to be amazing at something to thoroughly enjoy doing it. Part of a series of Saturday activities at Galeria Uno, this workshop was pretty much an ideal use for my Saturday afternoon and I plan to attend more in the future. Maybe I’ll catch you there.


AJ Freeman on Email
AJ Freeman
AJ Freeman is an adventurous spirit, serial friendmaker, and general enthusiast. He lives his everyday life hoping to demonstrate the nearly infinite potential for discovery and wonder on this small wet rock orbiting a dim yellow star in the backwoods of the Milky Way.