“It all started in 2014 as a way to reconnect with my mom; it was a total accident, I never planned to do this, but macramé had other ideas for me.”

Emily Katz is renowned for her macrame work but also for her inspiring lifestyle and interior style. Emily’s creative work has taken her all over the globe and she is currently touring Europe, on her Europen Macramé Tour, we managed to get some time in between her busy schedule to talk about her work and inspiration.

Hi Emily, thanks for taking the time to share your Urban Tale…

Where are you from originally and what was it like growing up there?
I was born in Tucson, AZ, moved to Boulder Co, and then Portland, Oregon. My best memories were from when we lived on a farm for a year when I was 7. I was free to run around and play in the forest.

What brought you to Portland and what’s life like there as a creative?
My parents! Life in Portland is changing all the time. Since I have been there for over 25 years though, I have a close knit community of creative pals. There are many more people moving into the city all the time, and they bring new ideas, new money, new concepts, and new growth to the city.

From macramé to interior styling, music, art, textiles, print-making and fashion, it seems like you’ve been on quite a creative journey, can you tell us more about this?
I attended Waldorf school for a large part of my youth. One of the positive and negative things about the experience was that they taught so many things. Your young mind expands and knows that you can really do anything, but this sometimes feels like a burden when trying to focus! But I know there will be new chapters that have not even unwound themselves yet… Who knows what will come after macramé?

Your home is inspiring and full of personality. What’s the secret to your eclectic, bohemian style?
I have always loved collecting beautiful things – it feels very natural to me. Sometimes I actually feel uncomfortable in spaces that are cluttered or awkwardly designed.

You’ve become very well known for your macramé work and even started up your own business ‘Modern Macramé’. When did this love for macramé begin?
It all started in 2014 as a way to reconnect with my mom; it was a total accident, I never planned to do this, but macrame had other ideas forme…

Can you describe your creative process when working on a new piece?
I like the physicality of making, your arms get sore and tired and the rope is so fluid. I always get really excited about making new conceptual pieces, but the large scale ones I am dreaming up have to wait until I return to the States. Generally I sketch while making. I play with the materials and let the piece come alive.

You’re now teaching macramé workshops all over the globe, why do you think macramé is so popular right now?
People are so focused on their tech, but macrame is not only something beautiful you can make for your home, it is also deeply relaxing!

What’s been your most memorable experience so far during your travels?
Meeting so many wonderful people where ever I go. Sitting on the bank of the river in Porto, drinking wine out of real glassware that the wine shop owner lent us and eating canned sardines with my sweetheart. Walking into an empty restaurant and the owner coming in and sharing wine and conversation late into the night about inspiration and travel. Cooking beautiful food at my friends home in Copenhagen and having a magical picnic in the forest near Copenhagen. Borrowing my friend’s vintage Porsche and taking it for a drive up the coastline.

How does travelling more generally influence your life and work?
I always wanted to travel for work and because of macrame I can, because of art I can, because of music I can. I think travel is the best way to open your mind and see outside of yourself. To understand other cultures.

What would you say are your biggest sources of inspiration?
walking around and discovering foreign cities, or just miling into the eyes of my friends.

Can you tell us about the new book you are working on?
It is being published by Ten Speed Press in the US, and will come out next spring… I am so excited about it! I really can’t wait to share it with you!

UT Final Five…

Top Interior tip?
Live with what you love

Favourite book?
One Hundred years of Solitude

Favourite album?
Rumours By Fleetwood Mac

How do you unwind?
I take baths, and bake. Not at the same time… Though maybe I should try it!

Insiders tip to Portland?
Rent a bike, go to Sweedeedee, or lay in a park with friends, on a beautiful blanket with a basket full of snacks and a chilled bottle of rosé.

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