I received the gift of macramé for my 29th birthday; my sparkling friend, knowing all too well that I love my crafts and my plants, had booked us in for a macramé pot hanger workshop with Ivy Trove on a Sunday afternoon at Ivory Tusk in Brisbane.
Now, just to be clear, the likeness between these two names is coincidental; the former, Ivy Trove, is the macramé business headed by a bubbly horticulturist named Hayley, and the latter, Ivory Tusk, a restaurant and bar in Fortitude Valley, where Hayley hosts her Brisbane workshops. (As well as our sunny capital, Hayley takes Ivy Trove to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, and Byron Bay.)
Not having tried my hand(s) at macramé before, I was first a little apprehensive about the two-and-a-half-hour session. I knew absolutely knotting about macramé (sorry, couldn’t resist). I didn’t even know how to pronounce the word! Was it Ma-Cra-Me or Ma-Crame or Ma-Cra-May? I settled for calling it “a knotting workshop” when my partner asked what my plans were that Sunday. He raised his eyebrows, and told me to have fun.
As soon as I met our enthusiastic, overall-clad instructor, and whispers of a complimentary cocktail of choice met my ears, my inhibition was whisked away.
Being the ‘DIY Macramé Pot Hanger‘ workshop, both pot and plant were provided, and our small group was soon invited to choose from a colourful jumble of ceramic and terracotta pots, pale succulents, and delicate ivy cuttings on a table. “No fighting over the pots or plants, please,” Hayley had jeered with a cheeky smile, but I’d had my eye on the sole mint green pot and was ready to swoop in as soon as was socially acceptable.
Unfortunately, it was not to be, as the mint was plucked by another who fared better than me by way of pot-proximity, but by that time I had my free cocktail in hand, so it didn’t bother me too much…
Soon after, Ivory Tusk (remember, the restaurant) prepared a grazing platter for us to share, and a bartender graced the table now free from pots with a masterpiece of creamy guacamole, Pico de Gallo and salsa served on a bed of corn chips of several varieties: deep fried, gluten free, plain salted. To deviate briefly from macramé (because, tacos), I recommend checking out this funky, Palms-Springs-inspired space – decked out in flamingo pink and plants – to taste their traditional Mexican street food. It was delicious!
After a spot of Guac, we tied our first knot.
Hayley patiently walked us through every step, spending time with each one of our group of seven. She offered words of encouragement at times, and a quirky story about her workshops at others.
I was soon finding the art of macramé surprisingly easy and even therapeutic. Learning in a workshop, though, was of course the reason why.
“I bought a book on macramé in lockdown, but never opened it,” one of my fellow classmates had broken the silence while we were busy with our spiral knots, the more complicated, DNA-like strands of the top of our hangers.
Instead, though, with a little help from Hayley, a ‘Blueberry Bliss’ cocktail, my lovely friend, and a bunch of other friendly people, I created a delicately threaded hanger that cradled a smooth pot, in which I planted a small Ivy cutting. I expect the Ivy will make the design all the more beautiful as it thrives and tumbles. Or should I say “if” …
As a self-professed ‘crazy plant lady’, Hayley’s knowledge of horticulture was an added bonus of the workshop; I came away nurturing a renewed enthusiasm for gardening and a few tidbits to try at home with my own dear plants.
At a cost, as at the time of writing, of $95 per person, this workshop offers a wonderful experience, an opportunity to learn a new skill and a lovely accoutrement for your home.
Oh, and if you, too, were wondering how to pronounce macramé, I found out at the end of my class when Hayley aptly implored us to, “Say Ma-Cra-Maaay” instead of “Cheeeese” for the group photo.
If you’re interested, you can book your macramé workshop at Ivory Trove here.