Over the last few years I have had the immense pleasure of getting to know Sally, little by little. I was first introduced to her (and her amazing talents) by her boyfriend Nick, a dear friend (also a talented individual) that I will soon cover with a feature of his own, but that is for later. Her passion for style, art, craft, and food instantly made her a favorite in my book.
Sally is brilliant. She has more creativity in her pinkie toe than most and has an innate ability for taking every day objects and making them into incredible works of art. She sews, styles, and crafts, but above all she ties rope. You read that right, Sally is a master in macramé.
She has private commissions all across the country, pieces at the Ace Hotel in Portland , and art studios covet her designs. Her work is humbling in size, design, and skill (which is probably why she was once a highly sought after Anthropology Visual Display Curator). The patterns range from simple and chic, to bold and complicated; instantly turning every space they are displayed in, into a gallery.
Her taste is divine, her talent très chic, and she is an absolute gem, don’t believe me? I will let her convince you herself.
Q. What drives you to create?
A. I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head. What is really satisfying and keeps me going is to see these visions become reality. There is great satisfaction in craft. Taking the time to make something from start to finish with only your knowledge and two hands – its not instant gratification, which is rare these days.
Q. Best moment of your career thus far?
A. The best moment of my career thus far was having my work (a massive black plant hanger) hung in a show (‘AFTER’) alongside work by design giants Wendell Castle and Jeff Zimmerman at R20th Century Design Gallery in NYC. I was over the moon.
Q. Why Macramé? Do you have a medium you prefer to work with?
A. Macrame is such a versatile craft. I love it for so many reasons. There are so many applications and possibilities- and I have a short attention span so it keeps me excited about new ideas. I love the never-ending pattern combinations, and the texture of rope. I first learned about macrame when I saw a book lying around the house when I was a little girl. It belonged to my mom who was a macrame-er in her 20′s. I remember looking at the book and telling myself that I would learn someday. I feel an attachment to the romantic vibe of the 1960′s, which might also explain how I ended up a macrame artist.
Q. How was approaching your display work for Anthropologie different from how you approach personal projects?
A. Its very different. I’ll just keep it at that.
Q. Are you a wine or cocktails kind of girl?
A. Both! I love wine, and really great cocktails. I’m a huge fan of big California reds, and I’ve been jonesing for this cocktail called ‘Lefty’s Prayer’ that I would always order at The Bye and Bye when I lived in Portland. It’s sort of a beet margarita concotion.
Q. On that note, do you lean towards “a glass half empty” or “a glass half full” mentality?
A. I always try and be a glass half full type of girl, but sometimes I have glass half empty days, not gonna lie.
Q. Who do you admire most and why?
A. Oh man thats a tough one. I’ve been obsessing over Joni Mitchell lately. She is such an amazing self-made artist with raw, almost other-worldly talent. She grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan Ontario without indoor plumbing and running water, and developed Polio as a child. She became pregnant when she was 21 and had to go into hiding and give up her daughter for adoption. She also married and divorced young. Having experienced all of these things she never let her misfortunes deter her from her dreams of becoming a musician, and was able to let her past influence her art in such a beautiful way. I love the stories she tells in her songs and how honest she has always been about her feelings.
Q. What little luxury is your favorite?
A. I love a good bubble bath and a glass of wine.
Q. Do you work best in chaos or calm?
A. Calm. Being easily distracted I try to keep my studio environment inspiring and motivating. I would love to have an outdoor studio someday, where I can work surrounded by nature.
Q. Current music, movie, or book obsession?
A. I just finished reading ‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith, and currently reading a book about the rock and roll history of Laurel Canyon.
Q. Harry Potter or Twilight fan?
A.Neither. I prefer ‘The Earthsea Trilogy’ by Ursula Le Guin. Published in 1964, its about this wizard that travels around a series of islands on a magic boat battling dragons and dark spirits. I would describe it as Lord of the Rings meets The Never Ending Story.
Q. Greatest fear, personal or professional?
A. Snakes. period.
Q. Favorite ritual?
A. I love Saturdays in the summer, going to the farmers market, thrifting at yard sales and antique shops, and hitting up the beach. Usually ice cream is involved.
Q. Do you have a beauty “go-to”?
A. Moisturizers. An absolute must during the dry Michigan winters. I have an arsenal of Coconut Oil from Trader Joe’s, ‘Everyday’ Coconut Lotion, and Alba Kukui Nut body oil. I’m also a huge fan of Claudalie Beauty Elixir, nothing makes a face feel fresher!
Q. How do you define taste and style?
A. Confidence and daring to be different.