REG Slovakian Dagmara Wintnerova 1-1639585038957
Finding new ways to improve space around you can be challenging but highly rewarding, says Dagmara Wintnerova. Image Credit: Supplied

Muscat: Slovakian Dagmara Wintnerova, also known as Mrs Salvages to her social media followers, noticed when she first came to Oman in 2014 that people just discarded used pieces of furniture, woodcrafts and such items outside their residences. As she patiently and painfully collected the items and restored them into a level of art. She earned kudos for her work, and also the nickname ‘Mrs Salvages’.

“Just before the pandemic started, I picked up a new form of art, Macrame, known as Mighrama in Arabic. This old and forgotten fibre art originated - to my surprise - here in the Arabian Sea in 13th century, where the sailors used rope and knotted various patterns and designs, which they then traded in Europe and China. In the name of preserving history, I started to teach this technique.

"The interest in learning new skills was extensive among Omanis and foreigners alike. The lockdown gave me time to design a home kit that contained all the tools and tutorials so everyone could learn from comfort of their own home,” she said.

REG Slovakian Dagmara Wintnerova-1639585041921
Some of Wintnerova's creations. Image Credit: Supplied

Faded and resurfaced in 1970s

Records show Macrame originated as a fibre art-form in the Arabian Sea coast of Oman in the 13th century. Interest in the craft faded, and resurfaced in 1970s. Dagmara’s attempt to bring the forgotten fibre art was met with enthusiasm. So much so that various groups have today come forward to conduct classes and workshops on this, in collaboration with Dagmara.

For this Slovakian, recycling has always been part of her life, as she comes from a small-town where DIY (do it yourself) is a necessity and where you learn to make instead of buy.

Not everywhere does COVID-19 sow the seeds of gloom and doom, and Dagmara firmly believes it helped her look beyond her comfort zone and taught her to make the most of what one has. Her online classes and finding newer ways to improve space around her wouldn’t have gathered momentum had it not been for COVID-19, she says.

But gripes like not being able to travel to see family and friends brought some moments of sadness in her life during the last two years.

“However, our home is my favourite place to be. It is important to surround yourself with things and people you love. Finding new ways to improve space around you can be challenging but highly rewarding. I am a strong believer in ‘DIY’ philosophy, which proved to be very handy during the pandemic. Simply painting the rooms your favourite colour, rearranging the furniture and adding art to bare walls can uplift your mood. I miss meeting my mum whose strength and encouragement are giving me enough confidence to continue on this path.”

Dagmara starts her day with a cup of coffee and a phone call to her mum in Slovakia, which instils in her the passion to start the day with love. Everything is possible if you follow your inner voice and try to do what you love every day, is the dictum that guides her, says this indefatigable Slovakian.