News Home & Design Artist's Massive Macrame Fiber Artworks Echo Local Landscapes This fiber artist is taking macrame to the next level. By Kimberley Mok Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who covered architecture and the arts for Treehugger starting in 2007. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Kimberley Mok Published April 27, 2021 10:15AM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checker Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a writer, fact checker, and conservationist with a certification in sustainability. Our Fact-Checking Process Article fact-checked on Apr 27, 2021 Haley Mast Agnes Hansella Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices One of the biggest decor trends in the last couple of years is macrame, which uses various rope-knotting techniques to create patterned objects like bracelets, textured wall hangings, and plant pot holders. Interestingly, it's a technique that purportedly dates back not to the groovy 1970s, but all the way back to the ancient Persians and Babylonians. As many people all over social media will tell you, it's easy to do, and the materials required are often quite simple — usually, all you need is some kind of thick, textured rope, like twine or jute. While macrame can be indeed simple, it can also be taken to another mind-boggling, large-scaled, and sublime level. Just as Jakarta, Indonesia-based fiber artist Agnes Hansella has done with this 37-foot-wide, 25-foot-tall macrame installation, located in Jimbaran, a town on the southern part of the island of Bali. Agnes Hansella Made with 0.6-inch-thick manila rope — sourced from the leaves of the abacá plant — Hansella calls this huge work "Sunset." It is one of a giant trio of works she has recently completed. Done for an owner of a beach house who intends to convert it into a seaside gallery exhibiting local artists, Hansella completed it in only two weeks with the help of a small team of assistants, cutting ropes with a hacksaw and climbing up scaffolding to complete the commissioned work. Agnes Hansella The expertly coiled and knotted asymmetrical patterns laid out by Hansella echo the lovely scenery surrounding the area and, at the same time, provides a kind of natural screening from the heat of the sun. In addition to "Sunset," we see here another similarly sized piece called "Ocean." Agnes Hansella Interestingly, prior to her plunge into fiber arts Hansella studied audio engineering in Canada and sound for film in Jakarta. She tells Treehugger: "I learned macrame back in 2017. My mother was the one who was interested in macrame at first, I tried it in my free time and fell in love with the technique. It's very easy at first but then I realize it is very challenging as well. With the macrame technique, it needs constant tension and right count to make it neat. The maker is free to make any pattern from generally two basic knots: the square knot and hitch. I start to feel the hang of it after a year of knotting constantly, with various types of ropes. In macrame, the ropes have their own characteristics, so as the artist, I need to adjust and use my instinct to create a piece. Macrame also uses a continuous rope from top to bottom, so the base rope needs to be cut longer than necessary because it will get shorter when knotted." Much of Hansella's creative inspiration comes from nature, and from her cultural background as an indigenous Dayak person originating from Borneo, an island known for its biodiversity, which is now being threatened, due to deforestation from oil palm farming. "When in Canada I saw something that interested me: Native patterns and totems, similar to my own Dayak origin," says Hansella. "Going back to Indonesia, meeting new people and artists, had a twisted life, I decided to change my course to textiles." Agnes Hansella In addition to these enormous fiber artworks, Hansella also creates pieces that are a little more scaled down and suitable for decorating the home. Agnes Hansella There's something about these pieces too that exude a quality that cannot be expressed adequately with words: They are functional, beautiful, down-to-earth, yet incredibly complex. Agnes Hansella It all goes to show that one can indeed create something quite stunning and intricate, with simple materials and (seemingly!) simple techniques, which can ultimately joyously celebrate the landscape and one's personal history. To see more or to purchase a macrame piece, visit Agnes Hansella, her online shop, and her Instagram.