It Happened Here: Macrame Club
Program review and photography by members of the Youth Advisory Group at Malvern Branch.
Macrame Club: Macrame and 3D printing
The club was hosted by two lovely presenters, Sophie and Vicky, who work at Toronto Public Library and at the S.P.O.T. Vicky is skilled in a variety of crafts including weaving, and even runs her own small business selling her creations. Sophie specializes in technology and uses a 3D printer to create charms to add to the macrame. The pair wanted to create a program that teenagers of all ages would enjoy and decided on arts and crafts but also using 3D printed items as a technological twist, a bonus to get more teens in the community involved.
Many people showed up very excited to create something with their own hands. The event planned for August 15 was for making key chains by weaving a pattern using different coloured strings, beads, and customizing it with 3D printed charms. Participants were told to choose and cut a string for a base colour and a secondary colour. To get started, the string was attached to the key ring along with the bead, and then ends of the string were burned together! The rings were then taped to the table and we began weaving right away. Without losing sight of one anchor string, we had to use other strings to loop both over and under in a repeated pattern until we ran out of string on one side of our charm. Once the string was woven on one side, we moved to the other side and repeated the process. The weaving required a lot of patience but the outcome was worth it. We were also able to use the program TinkerCad to 3D print charms of our choice.
What Did You Learn?
I was very surprised to see the patterns that could be made with a few strings. The weaving pattern was very unique and unlike simple knitting or crochet patterns I have learned in the past. I also learned that a very short piece of macrame could take hours of work. Now I have much more appreciation for these lovely crafts!
What Was The Most Interesting/Memorable Part?
I really enjoyed the 3D printing aspect of the event as it made the arts and crafts feel very unique. I’ve seen 3D printing in the past, but getting to print a personal design was very memorable for me.
Do You Have Any Suggestions To Make This Program Better?
Step by step instructions could have made the process go faster. The participants had to somewhat learn as they went along. Learning by experience is not a bad teaching method, and overall this program was wonderful.
Was There Anything Funny That Happened?
At the beginning of the event it took everyone some time to get comfortable with the weaving. Especially if we were using a few colours, it was very easy to lose sight of our anchor and guiding strings while making the loops. It was a little funny when we would all realize we had been using the wrong string to guide for the past two minutes. Even one of the instructors, Sophie, got a bit confused!
Would You Recommend This Program To A Friend? Why?
I would definitely recommend this program to a friend who likes hands on activities as well as anyone who likes technology. The program is excellent in that it is something that one can take home and practice. However, when recommending this to someone, make sure that they have a lot of patience!