Meet Seychelles’ young local artists: A fibre artist handcrafting macramé pieces, one knot at a time |07 June 2021
Today we meet Antigone Frichot, a Seychellois who uses a special technique to create a form of textile known as macramé.
Antigone studied product and furniture design and says she has dabbled in all kinds of “making” fields from ceramics, woodwork and macramé, to weaving, sewing and metal work.
She explains to us that macramé is a form of fibre art using knots or “hitches” to make patterned textiles. It is a versatile form of art, she says, which has been around since the 13th century; some people believe it went even further back to 3rd century China.
Macramé can be used to make a variety of items including clothes, curtains and carpets, or it can be used as wall hangings and jewellery. Antigone herself is particularly fond of making plant hangers, wall hangings and key chains.
In fact it was while she was previously living in the United Kingdom that she begun creating macramé plant hangers to accommodate her large plant collection in a small living space.
“Macramé pieces allowed me to have hanging plants and save space, but they’re also so beautiful and houseplants are really good for our mental health.”
While she remains unsure of how common an activity handcrafting macramé is in Seychelles, Antigone, who learned how to knot macramé by herself, and whose technique is trial and error, says that she hasn’t met many people who have taken up this form of art here.
She believes that it was a more common activity in the 70s and was told that a group of students helped to make a large macramé chandelier for Fisherman's Cove Hotel.
Macramé can be done with just a cord, explains Antigone, and any kind of cord works depending on what aesthetic you are looking for. You can combine the cord with hoops, wood and metal shapes – the possibilities are really endless.
While she has worked with cotton cord in the past, this year she has started working with jute, a type of strong coarse fibre, which she says has got a lovely Bohemian feel to it.
Currently, she is working on a wall hanging with driftwood – a type of wood which has been washed onto shores.
“I'm inspired by nature and other makers,” she says, “however, I rarely plan designs. What I make normally flows out of me in the moment and so all my pieces are unique!”
“Macramé is really therapeutic and meditative. Once I start, I go into a macramé trance and can knot for hours on end. I find the repetition very soothing and it's also a great creative outlet.”
She admits though that it is a time consuming activity, and so as a hobby she does a little every day, moving back and forth between several ongoing pieces.
This year, Antigone began selling pieces from her large collection of macramé plant hangers through her Instagram account, and is now also open to commissions if a client has something specific in mind.
As the country opens up from current restrictions, she hopes to expand into shops and markets, hopefully the Farmers Market at Wildflour Café, if they have one this year.
For the future, she hopes to run macramé workshops for members of the public.
“It would be really fun to run these workshops and hopefully this is something I can do. I also like to keep my options open and move where my creativity takes me. Macramé is just one of the disciplines I use now, but I also love weaving and other techniques, so I'll go where I feel inspired.”
For more information, follow Instagram account: @littleislandknots or telephone Antigone: 2 641 799.
Photo sources: Antigone Frichot