It's hard to imagine that Jackson resident Jessica Reese has any time to feel bored, much less to do something about it. As a caretaker, a mother of five, a student, and once the pandemic hit, a home school teacher, Reese's time is fairly well-occupied. But it was when the stay-at-home orders went into place that Reese started to feel a sense of ennui and began looking for a creative outlet. What she found was an art form that is once again making a resurgence — macrame.
"I found myself stuck at home more and I needed something creative to do," Reese said. "I started watching videos on how to do macrame and I just started doing it. At first, I spent a lot of time pulling something apart and remaking it. It was a real labor of love."
Eventually, Reese found she had a knack for the knots and this led her to add two more titles: artisan and business proprietor. Reese launched A Girl in Knots last year and has been creating an inventory that includes earrings, ornaments, plant holders, keychains, wall decor, and purses.
"Once you get the knots down you can really make anything," Reese said.
If the macrame wasn't enough, Reese also creates floral crowns and bouquets.
"I began my artist journey working for a florist in Folsom," Reese said. "I love to combine macrame and floral design whenever I can."
She recently got that opportunity with her sister's wedding, where Reese made the bouquets and a macrame backdrop for the ceremony.
"What I love the most is getting to make these pieces that people will always have as a part of their lives," she said.
Macrame is an artistic avenue that uses knots of various styles and shapes to create a textile. Other than a mounting ring to keep it in place, the work is done by hand. Because it is an art form done by hand, art historians have traced it back to the Babylonians and Assyrians. Later, it was something sailors did to ward off boredom and thus the art form spread around the globe. It was particularly popular in the Victorian era as a way to create home accents. Macrame also became synonymous with the bohemian aesthetic of the 1960s and 1970s.
After she began learning the craft, Reese learned that her great-grandmother used to make macrame creations as well.
"My mom was so excited to see that I was doing this art that her own grandmother used to do," Reese said.
One of Reese's macrame wall decorations is on display at the Airbnb Deer Lodge in Pine Grove, in the Gypsy Traveler room. Her creations can also be found for sale at Makers on Main in Sutter Creek (makersonmainamador.com) and at her Etsy store, the link for which can be found on her Instagram account @agirlinknots. she can also be reached by email at email@example.com.