Women's Craft: Macrame Keychains
For three consecutive days mid-January, different groups of 12-15 women gathered to create macrame keychains hosted by ARTogether in the beautiful CERI (Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants). Artist and friend of ARTogether Sofia joined us to teach the art of creating everyday, helpful objects. Provided with cords, wood beads, and keychain rings, Sofia demonstrated how to knot the cords in order to create a pattern.
Though it took some undoing and redoing, eventually almost all of the ladies were able to perfect their knots, except for a few who created completely different patterns, uniquely their own. With some cord still left unknotted, a bead was added to the end of the piece and finished with a closing knot.
Once all of the women were finished with their pieces, ARTogether volunteer Caitlyn played two songs on her ukulele. The opportunity to stand up was a gift as the sun shone into the room and the music moved the women to laugh and dance. Everyone felt lighter and the energy was absolutely beautiful.
The women laid out their new keychains all together to admire their pieces, some already having attached their keys! Sophia opened up the space for feedback, asking the women whether or not they enjoyed this kind of activity, which leaned more towards practical than creative. The general consensus among the women was one of enjoyment as well as happiness to be able to use their creations in their everyday lives.
One woman reflected, “When I left the house, I felt a little bit sick but when I came here, I make the handmade craft and enjoyed it and forgot I was sick!” Another woman commented that this was a place that she could focus on her work, on her friends, and on how the space made her feel, a feeling different to those she feels at home or in her everyday life.