Do any of you remember the Jackie DeShannon song from the 1960s called, “What the world needs now is love sweet love”? (written by the fabulous Burt Bacharach). That song has been going through my head this past week, but somehow the words changed to “what the world needs now is more macramé owls”.
Hmmmm, do I have macramé on the brain? Well yes, I confess, maybe I do. I imagine this must be true of artists everywhere, that we are always thinking of ideas for our art and ways to make them happen. But what does that have to do with macramé owls, you may ask?
While working on my last book, Margaretenspitze Designs for Jewelry, I made a design for a mermaid. (Although I’m fond of her, she didn’t make it into the book). This mermaid had a bikini top made out of two circlets of knotted chains. I always thought that those circlets would make great owl eyes, so I stored that thought for later use. (No, it had nothing to do with Hooters – get that thought out of your mind!). Anyway, this past week I finally got around to trying out my idea.
So I made one macramé owl and I thought – “hey, that looks cute!”. But…. I think I could do that part a little differently….. so I made another macrame owl…. still cute, but I thought, I’d like to try some other beads for the eyes…. so the next day I made another in a different color, then another, and another, and so on until I’d exhausted all my tweaks and changes and my shoulder hurt and I had finally gotten owls out of my system. Whew!
So now as I reflect on my week spent making owls, I think – did I break any new artistic ground? Ummm, no, there are a million versions of macramé owls. Are my macramé owls unique? Umm, probably not. But… I do know that making them made me happy. While I was working on them I wasn’t thinking about the things that worry me most at the moment, like the future of humans, plants and animals on this planet.
When browsing through a local shop a while back, I saw a sequined pin that said “Art Saves Lives”. I didn’t really “get” the meaning at the time but I think I’m understanding it more and more. I can say for myself at least that art has lifted me up and maybe saved my sanity a little too. So I guess what I’m trying to say in my convoluted way is that what the world needs now is more art … and just maybe a few more macrame owls!