(USA - North Canton,
Ohio - March 2007)
I have always been interested in any kind of handwork: crocheting, knitting, tatting, and my latest beading and micromacrame. I remembered a little from the late 60s, and 70s from making pot hangers etc. Once I started with beads, I just had to combine the two. I hope you like my efforts as much as I like doing them. Jeanne Wertman
Jeanne, what is your profession?
I have been retired for many years, but I have worked as a designer of knitted garments mostly made of cashmere, mohair, and silk... but some of the other natural fibers also. These were put in shops in New York under another designers name. I worked for her.
I think my most interesting profession was being a wedding photographer. I did this for 11 years, and dearly wish I had kept a diary, for now I just might be able to add writing as there were many interesting stories.
I have paid my dues by working in bridal salons, and upper scale dress shops working long hours doing alterations, and have also had my own business designing, and making skating costumes for competition skaters. Here I could use my knowledge of beading.
What do you do now?
As I said, I am now retired, and have time to play. I have raised a family, two sons, two daughters, eight grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren. I will be 79 years old this summer, and I am enjoying every minute of the time I have left.
How did you start doing crafts?
I can hardly remember when I didn't do something to do with crafts. I watched my grandmother as she sewed all day, as she was a dressmaker. She could make a garment after just seeing a picture of it. I must have been seven years old when I would walk through the city to get to the bead store.
Jeanne, what crafts do you do?
Besides beading which I quit doing for many years, I have done a lot of crocheting, knitting, both hand, and machine. I love to tat, and have done both with the shuttle, which I prefer, and the kind that is done with Japanese hooks. Kumihimo (Japanese braiding) and working with polymer clay. Of course I have always done sewing, and the macrame.
When did you start micro macrame?
I did a lot of macrame in the 70's when it was in its heyday. I sold many plant hangers, and hanging tables at that time. Now two years ago I saw someone on the Internet that was doing jewelery. I thought I'd try it, and that is how I got started. The same knots that are used with the larger things are used with the smaller cord. That combined with leaves I learned from the "Big White Russian Book" and that was all I needed to get going with my style of micromacrame.
Jeanne, how do you come up with new ideas?
This one made me laugh. I start with a general idea and then I get to a point where I wonder where do I go now? I try things, rip out the knots, and start over until I get what I think looks right and a design is born.
How long does it take to make a necklace?
It is difficult to say exactly how long it takes to make a necklace because it is new ground, and I have to rip out, try different things, and that takes a lot of time. I can say it takes about one hour to make a leaf with the macrame, and a little less to make a leaf with the beading.
Can you tell more about this wonderful technique?
I don't know what I can tell except I find I could not do it if I didn't have a copy stand to put my board on. This leaves both hands free, with the cords hanging vertically (with weights on the filler cords) I don't think I could work with the board just laying on a table.
What materials do you use?
I use size 18 cord exclusively. It is called Mastex.
Is micromacrame popular in the USA now?
It is becoming more popular, and I am teaching as fast as I can.