WHAT DO YOU MAKE ?
I make macrame wall hangings, keychains, and bracelets from artisanal linen which I hand dye with botanicals.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU MAKING AND CREATING ?
I’ve always been up to something creative. I had a very imaginative and creative upbringing, music and the arts were highly valued in our home. My grandmother was a fashion designer and my mother was an actress and later educator/curator of contemporary art. As a kid I did basically every craft I could get my hands on, a lot of sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery with my grandmother.
HOW DID YOU LEARN THE ART OF MACRAME ?
I learned macrame at summer camp in the late 80’s when I was about ten years old. I was completely obsessed with it for years. By the time I was like 13 or 14, I had this handwritten list in my back pocket with all the kids at camp who wanted a hair wrap or friendship bracelet. Many many years later, in 2009, a friend forwarded me an email from the interior design department at Aritzia. They were looking for a macrame artist to build installations for some new stores they were opening. I spent the next eight months researching patterns and building large scale macrame wall hangings made from boating rope. I made 70 pieces in total and some were installed right into the cabinetry and changing room booths.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW YOU GOT TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY ?
I went to art school at Concordia University in Montreal and studied video art and photography. While in school, I worked for a fashion designer cutting and sewing, something I’ve always loved doing. After moving back to Vancouver in 2004, and working in various film related jobs, I enrolled in a one year fashion program. Soon after that I started selling my hand knit merino wool scarves and jewelry in a few Canadian stores, on Etsy, and at craft markets.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR TOOLS, MATERIALS & PROCESSES?
At the moment, I’m using linen ropes sourced via an Eastern European wholesaler who deals with local flax growers and mills working in an ethical and sustainable way.
I do all the dyeing myself, at home in my kitchen. I use edibles as dye stuff, things like onion skins, berries, beans and teas make great, rich colour. I use things like soya milk, salt and vinegar as mordants to bind the colour to the fibres.
I strive to work with the most natural raw materials that I can get my hands on because I care deeply about creating work that is environmentally responsible. My pieces won’t off-gas chemicals into your home or onto your skin and will eventually biodegrade without leaching contaminants into the water and soil.
Galit Mastai is a Vancouver based fibre artist, with a BFA in Fine Arts from Montreal’s Concordia University. She is inspired by the beaches and coastline of her native British Columbia. Her new series of macrame wall hangings evolved from a study of the colors and textures in the strata of rock formations. When looking at each piece in this new collection, it is hard not to get lost in the intricacy of each knot and the painterly sections of colour and pattern that the fibres take on. The collection plays with scale from larger pieces to precious minis with a total of 8 pieces. Each piece is constructed from artisanal linen ropes which have been hand dyed with botanical colour from the like of strawberries, hibiscus petals, onion skins and more.
Join us on Saturday March 12th from 2-4 for an opportunity to meet Galit and learn more about her process and inspiration.
The work will be on display until May 14th, pricing is available upon request.
Please enjoy the below interview with Galit! xo
WHAT DO YOU LOVE BEST ABOUT WORKING WITH FIBER AND MACRAME ?
Macrame is very peaceful and meditative work. I love getting into that quiet, dreamy place and losing myself in the repetitive patterns.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THIS MOST RECENT WORK ?
This show was inspired by the craggy rockfaces found along the British Columbia coastline. I’m just in awe of the geological strata with countless levels of texture and colour, building on one another. It’s like the most sophisticated painting, I could stare at it for hours.
To see more of Galit’s beautiful work, visit her Etsy shop!