Carmen's wearable art is inspirational
KNOTTED necklaces, cuff bracelets, earrings, third-eye tiaras, throat chakra chokers, barefoot sandals, anklets, amulets, intention beaded necklaces ... the list of Carmen Taylor's wearable art at Maroochydore's Fishermans Road Markets seems endless.
Everything is made with love, intention and meaning, through crystals, sacred geometry, art and colour.
And it's inspiring others.
Carmen said she followed her intuition.
"I close my eyes, see a design and I just have to create it,” she said.
"Kind of like the horse whisperer or dog whisperer: I might be a crystal whisperer.
"The crystals tell me if they want to be a necklace, bracelet or head piece, with what colour scheme and for what intention.”
Carmen's passion is creating something unique in free form.
"I don't use patterns,” she said.
Carmen's wearable art journey began in 2013 when she bought a basket-weave sack necklace from a market stall in Coolum Beach.
She studied the necklace and figured out how it was made.
"I somehow magically figured it out - no teachers, tutorials or workshops,” she said.
Carmen began creating dowsing pendulums and sun catchers at the metaphysical crystal shop where she worked.
"The shop was also part of my inspiration,” she said.
In 2014-15, Carmen travelled Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil, where she grew her macrame knowledge by approaching local artisans and asking them to teach her their craft.
She would pick up their threads and attempt to knot, and each time they taught her a technique, she paid them.
"It quickly got them teaching me more,” she said.
Carmen also immersed herself in watching macrame YouTube tutorials and said she was obsessed with Pinterest.
"After that, my mind and hands just figured out new techniques,” she said.
The gem stones in Carmen's beautiful works are sourced online, from local gem shows and suppliers, as well as from her travels in South America.
She has been an avid gemstone collector from a young age.
"I've cut and polished some stones myself,” she said.
"I have a 75kg geode, to rare precious, tiny gems.”
The string Carmen uses is from Brazil, which is fade and water-resistant and comes in various colours.
Micro-macrame consists of thousands of knots with tiny threads, so a piece can take her anywhere from 10 or more hours to as little as an hour, depending on the intricacy and detail.
Carmen feels markets are a wonderful way to share her art without having to have a permanent shop space.
She said she enjoyed inspiring market-goers and showing them her personal gallery.