Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Breuklander.
Hi Rachel, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I started learning macramé in 2017. I was just out of college and working my first full-time job in an office. It was a time of adjustment and adapting to big changes in my life, and I was in desperate need for an outlet. I knew I needed some sort of hobby that could allow me to feel creative again, decompress and take my mind off of anything bothering or stressing me, and fill my own cup so that I could feel some sense of self and purpose. After dabbling across a few mediums, I spotted a macrame wall hanging at a trendy restaurant in LA and was instantly drawn to it. I had no idea what it was called and through some awkwardly phrased google searches, I found this art medium!
I taught myself the knots using some diagrams online and from there started dabbling in creating my own designs of plant hangers and wall hangings. I realized that there was a small but growing community online of other makers in the craft, so I started an Instagram page for my art and shortly after I created my Etsy shop.
The first few years were mostly me just experimenting with styles and trying different things out to try to find my own voice in the craft. I started to gain an audience and after one of many countless camping trips I had gone on I had an idea- what if there was a way to combine my passions for this craft and for nature and my time spent outdoors?
With that, my macrame landscapes were born- flat, tapestry-style wall hangings with tasseled fringe and color-blocked patterns depicting scenes in nature- primarily, desert landscapes inspired by my trips to Joshua Tree. I developed a technique of wrapping different colors of square knots and arranging them to create an image, sort of like painting with fibers. This became my signature and it started to gain attention in the macramé community.
From there on, I began to hone in on the idea of creating work that resonated with my love for nature and incorporating themes of nature into my pieces, from using earthy color palettes to finding inspiration in different elements you’d find in nature. I then began working with an amazing publisher(Page Street Publishing) who took an interest in my unique style and wanted to work with me to create a book where I could share my techniques and knowledge with others. We created something amazing together, a DIY book called “Nature Macramé,” and now I have shifted my focus from not only creating original art but also toward teaching and supporting a community of makers by providing tutorials, high-quality supplies, DIY kits and more.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road. For me, my biggest struggle was getting out of my own way. Like many other creatives, I struggle from feelings of imposter syndrome and always doubting my own abilities and qualifications. I have learned to let my accomplishments speak for themselves instead of giving in to the thoughts that try to tell me “I’m not enough”- and to interrogate those thoughts as they come up and realize that they come from a place of fear and not reality.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am most known for my signature landscape-style macramé wall hangings, which feature color-blocked depictions of different scenes in nature (deserts, rolling hills or mountains, ocean, etc.). I also experiment with other nature-inspired styles and themes as well as creating more classic macrame art and decor. I would say I am generally known for my minimalistic style that focuses on composition, balance, and simple but satisfying textures.
I am also known as an educator in the field, leading local workshops in my studio in LA, providing written patterns online as well as youtube tutorials, and loads of other resources as well as high-quality luxurious fibers and other craft supplies.
I am most proud of the community I’ve cultivated along the way- an amazing group of makers and creatives who have supported me every step of the way.
My greatest accomplishment so far has been the creation of my first book, Nature Macrame, which is available for preorder and publishes on August 23, 2022. This book is a collection of projects that feel like a true representation of who I am and what I love not only as an artist but as a person. It centers around celebrating and connecting with nature through art and is accessible to even the complete beginner to macramé.
Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
I think my consistency and determination has been most vital to my successes so far. I try to “show up” in some way almost every day to hone my craft since I started. Obviously, there are times when rest is needed and creativity doesn’t flow easily, so the only solution is to take a break- and in those times, I give myself permission to either fully rest or instead just “play” with the medium by experimenting or knotting without any expectation or end result in mind. But either way, I have stayed consistent with this medium in some way since I first started and it has allowed me and my shop to grow and expand in so many ways.
- Nature Macramé: $24.99
- Website: https://www.thelarksheadshop.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thelarksheadshop/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelarksheadshop/?show_switched_toast=0&show_invite_to_follow=0&show_switched_tooltip=0&show_podcast_settings=0&show_community_transition=0&show_community_review_changes=0&show_follower_visibility_disclosure=0
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ-RqJy1T0KxUAL_fbXxwOg
- Other: https://www.thelarksheadshop.com/naturemacrame
Nature Macrame by Rachel Breuklander. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photo credit: Sophia Acosta