I love creative exchanges, especially when it's something I can REALLY get excited about! Whoever has gone to India will know that in all of the tourist areas, macrame jewellery is everywhere. A lot of it is simple stuff but then you can find some really intricate pieces that are works of art - like Ram's shops in Arambol and Manali. Seriously, macrame pieces can be pure artwork and I for one am a fan.
They can be priced at any range depending on the quality, uniqueness and who made it. Bracelets, anklets and headbands for example can range from $16 to over $100 (CAN) which is relatively cheap compared to what you would find in Canada - if you'd even find it here.
I was wondering around Mcleod Gange near Dharamsala, when I saw a few macrame pieces on a window stand of a small shop and my jaw dropped. It was so different from all of the other macrame vendors, I was really impressed. I knew it would be expensive and didn't have the money to just buy one. So I introduced myself to the artist - Asif Zai Khan - and asked him if he'd be willing to do a creative exchange. He'd make me a unique piece using three stones that I gave him, and I'd take professional pictures of his work. By him saying yes, I not only got a beautiful headband, but I was also able to push my work further by using his beautiful pieces as props in my photography.
These types of creative collaborations/work exchanges are so much easier than I used to think - you really just have to put yourself out there, be patient and not let the no's get in the way of a few amazing yeses :)
Thank you to Mariah Steiger and Jahsiah Jacobs for modelling - again, I did the same thing with them. I saw them walking on the street and thought they were a beautiful couple and knew instantly I wanted to photograph them. I introduced myself and asked if they'd be interested and that I'd happily take some photos for their own personal use.
Things can work out :)