Saturday, March 3, 2012

Nearly all of us at the February program on Lace Making were surprised to learn how much we didn't know about this lovely art form. But member Barbara Vanselow has been interested in lace making for many years. She has studied it, made beautiful, complex pieces, taught classes to others, and along the way has acquired an exquisite personal collection of antique lace samples.

As far back as the 14th and 15th century, lace was a precious commodity throughout Europe. It was often made in convents and often made by children. The work was so tedious and created such eye strain, that a child lace maker would usually not be able to see well enough to continue to do it in her twenties.

This was the era of Kings, Popes, and Lords dressed in lacy cuffs and collars -- they were the only ones who could afford such fine handmade work.

Here are pieces from Barbara's collection (19th and 20th century):
Barbara teaches bobbin lace making. Sometimes the bobbins are works of art in themselves. Here is a piece underway with very elaborate bobbins.
This one is even more complex. The threads wrapped around the bobbins are placed around the pins that follow the pattern. The placement of the pins results in the threads being wrapped around each other so as the lace grows the pins can be removed.
Here, Barbara is holding a pattern that would be pinned to the workspace such as in the picture above.
Fascinating and beautiful artistry. Thank you Barbara, for introducing us to this topic and for sharing your deep expertise with us.

Our March program will be presented by Kimberly Gibson of James Island who is accomplished at hooking wool rugs. Kimberly will bring samples of rugs she has made and discuss and demonstrate the basic techniques of this enduring home-art. See you on March 17, from 1 - 3 pm.