Dimitra Koliofoti, a very talented Greek woman, has been working on her project called Flying Coala Crafts for about a year now, starting when she was 28. Yes, what you’ve read is right. Not a misspelling. It’s Flying Coala with a ‘C.’ It’s a jewelry project using macrame techniques which are a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting.
She tells BarakaBits the story behind her inspiration and how all of this started. Dimitra has always admired macrame jewelry, especially the ones decorated with semi-precious stones but she had never made any of these on her own. Last summer, every one of her family was on vacation but she had to stay in town for her full-time job as a waitress. So one day, she had a day off and had some free time to spent on her favorite activity, making jewelry. She says:
“I started thinking about what could I make that will give me this amazing feeling of satisfaction through creativity.Truth is that I was tired of the methods I had already used and I was in search of something new. And there it was! I remembered a ‘how to macrame’ book that a friend of mine had given me as a christmas gift. It was still in the bookshelf.”
She opened the book and that was the moment her little journey began!
Koalas don’t fly, but Dimitra’s Coalas are Flying. here’s the story behind the name of her project in her own words:
I have always been an admirer of koalas and i also had a koala teddy toy when I was little. That period when I was in search of a name, my best friend sent me a photo of a koala from her trip to Australia. I thought it would be a nice idea but the koala had to be flying, because thats what I thought when I was a kid. I also have to mention that it is flying coala with a ‘c’.
Dimitra loves what she does. Although she’s a very strict judge to herself, she can spend hours on her jewelry and actually feel like it was 30 minutes. She focuses on the piece she makes, and the happiness she gets after finishing an item is the reason she keeps doing it.
“For me, macrame is a kind of meditation because, by that time, all thoughts stop.”
As for the material she uses, she mainly uses waxed cord suitable for macrame knots. But sometimes she also uses satin or leather cords. Semi precious stones are her favorite but it is a bit difficult to find them in Greece. So when she needs some stones, she will have to order mostly from India. Any other metallic element she uses, it is easy to obtain if you know the right suppliers. She makes her jewelry at home and has her mother as number one fan.
I wish I could put all of Dimitra’s Flying Coalas’ pictures here, but you can check out more of the handmade crafts on her Facebook page and on Instagram.