Knotty But Oh So Nice: the Fiber Arts of Holly Mueller

Holly Mueller was already an accomplished seamstress and textile designer when she ran across an old book on macrame from the ‘70s and — voila! — she was hooked. Or rather, hitched. The possibilities of putting a contemporary spin on traditional macrame, using a variety of fibers, materials, plaits, shapes, weaves and dimensions, have been energizing and engaging her ever since.

The Joinery is proud and delighted to showcase Holly’s work in our Yamhill store, where her original wallhangings, window covers and room dividers are just as apt to take a visitor’s breath away as the craft of our own master woodworkers.

Holly Mueller

An experiment with dying rope to add another element of visual interest. The dowel on this piece is cherry wood sourced from The Joinery.

After all, it was hardly the hippies who introduced macrame, but the Moors of the 13th century. And in Holly’s modern take on the art you see and feel echoes of the dazzling arabesques and pleasing symmetries, the intricate geometries and simple tessellations that give palaces like the Alhambra their timeless appeal. If you want to inspire a little awe in your own palace, Holly’s handmade fiber art may be just the thing.

“I love the idea of taking something loose and pliable like rope, and giving it structure and right angles,” Holly says. “Sometimes I have an idea in my head and I take a lot of time sketching, knotting, stepping back, then unraveling and starting over until I am happy. Other times an idea will come suddenly and I will get to work, and then feel like I got it right on the first try.”

Holly Mueller

One of the first pieces created for The Joinery's downtown location. The dowel is walnut and the rope is 100% cotton.

Many of Holly’s hangings incorporate bits and pieces of hardwood she sources from The Joinery. We love the idea that even our remnants can wind up wound into wonderful pieces of craftwork.

Holly Mueller continues to push new boundaries, adding mixed media elements, experimenting with new fibers, and urging customers to challenge her with custom work. She welcomes you to talk with her about any new twist you may have in mind. You can see more of her work, and contact her at

Holly Mueller

Holly's dog Captain oversees all pieces from start to finish. He is seen here with a custom wall hanging created for a client.