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My name is Elena Miklush, I was born and educated in Minsk, Belorussia, and now I'm living with my family in Moscow, my specialty is electrical engineering. I got my first macrame lessons as a child from her grandmother, but we haven't woven traditional "owls" or plant hanger, preferring bags, belts and pendants. I still have in mind a clear picture of weaving - thick long cords, a long preparatory work.
My interest in macrame has gone very fast and totally unexpected for me was revived 25 years later. Once in the Internet I stumbled upon photos of works by Joan Babcock. Realizing that there was macrame weaving in front of me, I devoted some time to explore Joan's jewelry, then I found photographs of other artists' works: Jeanne Wertman, Barbara Natoli Witt, Marion Hunziker-Larsen.
Buried in books, I remembered everything that had once learned from my grandmother. The process involved me deeply, moreover these days the materials have become more interesting and varied, respectively, and the result is sometimes unexpected. I have tried many types of threads and today prefer bright polyester. It is not easy to tie knots on synthetic thread, but jewelry is pleasant to touch and have a silky sheen, which, of course, affect the final look of a jewelry piece.
At first, I was weaving simple jewelry for my family members and friends until I met in Minsk jewelry designer Marina Dukhan. She got interested in a rare technique and invited me to create a collection for the Minsk exhibition "Colors of Soul 2010", and it gave impetus to the development of my skills.
Since then, I make jewelry mostly for exhibitions, trying, however, that they were not fanciful and could be really wearable. Typically, when I'm working on an item, I imagine quite certain outfit and a clear image and person I create a piece of jewelry for. Almost all of my works are one-of-a-kind.
It all starts with an idea. This may be an unexpected color combination, an element, and some little thing, which is gradually being added to other details. No need to interfere that process, everything goes on as usual, almost independently of you, you just have to "listen". All elements of weaving, stones and beads are as live, they can find their place in an adornment, and if you guess, the work will be pleasing to the eye.
When you work, the initial idea can completely change and the result will look different, but I try to keep the overall mood of jewelry. For example, the Australian Aboriginal Necklace with a lizard was conceived as a pendant with a turtle and an African ornament. I couldn't find a cabochon of suitable shape, so I created a lizard that somehow immediately lay down on a rigid base, and "boomerangs" perfectly fit in the free space.
Micro-macrame requires a lot of time to work on; one necklace can take me at least three weeks. I first weave many elements separately, trying to figure out how to make them and how to combine them in one piece. If you're wrong in the work, it is difficult to correct the error. You can dissolve one or two knots, but not a few rows, and you have to redo all the work.
I try to work slowly. While I weave elements of the future item, which I'm sure in, I'm starting to understand what to do next. Of course, there is the original sketch, and if I suddenly come to a dead end, I turn to the first version. When creating each item, there are moments of pure mechanical work, when everything is clear and understandable, and then the most difficult is not to succumb to boredom.
For inspiration, I often turn to the photos of designer jewelry; I love the work of jewelers and artists of the Art Nouveau. All the ideas I try to capture on paper. Later, however, it is difficult to decide what to do at the beginning and what next, but there is no lack of creative inspiration.
The hardest thing is to decide on the color scheme, so I very much like the Fashion Colorworks Beading Contest. The most difficult task for me has been resolved here, it remains the most interesting - to pick up a theme for the specified color combination and to find a way to express it.
I generally like to look for solutions to complex problems I'm so happy to take part in various competitions. Now, for example, I work on a piece of jewelry for the Swarovski contest in Russia, I have entered several times exhibitions "Colors of Soul" in Minsk and "Beaded Design" in Moscow.
The more I weave, the more distant horizons are opened. For some time now I have been studying Chinese and sailor knots, kumihimo - Japanese braiding technique, and recently discovered the technique of "Margareten Spitze" (Margarete's Lace), which is based on the same basic knots. If not yet in the works, in my thoughts and drawings I try to combine different techniques.
My family members are happy to participate in my affairs and support me in my hobby. In moments of indecision I turn for advice to my mother, she is also the first critic. My husband and two younger sons almost resigned to the fact that my hobby is increasingly becoming a way of my life.
My work can be seen and, of course, you can buy my jewelry in the shops of the city of Minsk, "Gallery" (Minsk Concert Hall) and "Slavutasts" (Trinity Suburb), in the online shop "ArtNodus". I'm pleased to answer any readers' questions, I can speak and write in Russian, English and German.
|Elena Miklush, Minsk, Belorussia|