Passing on tradition – with Letslace on show

Pattern: Strikjes – designed by Kumiko Nakazaki

Last time I posted, I still had 21 lace pieces to mount and frame – before the opening of my lace exhibition at ArtsPost Galleries in Hamilton.   I am happy to report that I made it to the gallery on time and would like to share my exhibition with you.  

The past two weeks have been very rewarding, because my exhibition is introducing lacemaking to a whole new gallery audience.  In addition, I had the opportunity to spend two Sundays in the gallery – as artist in residence – to give talks on lacemaking and to demonstrate the basic techniques to people who have never seen how lace is made.

One of my aims with the exhibition was to create an awareness of lacemaking and to pass on the tradition.  With this in mind, the lacemaking process is very much a part of my exhibition – in addition to the 22 framed lace pieces on show.  

Process photos for Strikjes, bobbin tree and file with my lace documentation

I took process photographs while I made the Strikjes piece.  The mounted photographs – Instagram style – give viewers a good idea of how lace is made.  The humble bobbin tree that my dad turned, stands proud under a dome and looks like a precious piece of art.  Viewers find the tree and its purpose especially interesting.  

The folder on the plinth is my artist file and it shows how I document my lacemaking process – with all the information on bobbins, threads, patterns, and how long it took me to make every piece. For each piece in the exhibition, I kept detailed records of how long (in hours and minutes) it took me to make the pricking, wind the bobbins, make the lace, and to finish it.

ArtsPost Galleries and shop is part of Waikato Museum, and the museum staff provided a glass top display cabinet in which I displayed all my lacemaking tools, and a block pillow with an unfinished piece of Binche lace (Renee – designed by Lieve Pollet).  These came in very handy during my talks and demonstrations.

Various lacemaking tools and Binche lace in progress (Renee – designed by Lieve Pollet)
Display cabinet with lacemaking tools

Waikato Museum and ArtsPost Galleries in Hamilton deserve a special mention here because they have the vision to give makers the opportunity to show and talk about their work.  Waikato Museum has invited me to present a lacemaking workshop during the winter of 2020 and I am happy to extend my mission of passing on tradition – with their help. 

I have learnt so much in the past two years while I prepared for my exhibition.  I now know how to finish off my lace pieces, how to select frames and framing material, and how to mount, frame, and present lace in a gallery.  In addition, I’ve gone through the process of applying for an exhibition, meeting my contractual requirements, and coping with all the administration and media work associated with an exhibition.  I hope to share all this with you in future blog posts.

With only a few days to go before Christmas, I’ll sign off for the year with a selection of my lace on show at ArtsPost Galleries until 6 January 2020. 

Pattern: Skovbund – from Karelly Knipling
Pattern: Lora – by Karelly Knipling
Pattern: Edged with hearts – designed by Susie Johnson
Pattern: Patroon 6 – designed by Annie Vancraeynest
Pattern: Patroon 1 – designed by Annie Vancraeynest
Pattern: Patroon 2 – designed by Annie Vancraeynest
Pattern: Leila – designed by Yvette Slabbert

I wish you a very merry Christmas and hope there will be brief interludes of calm and tranquility for you to make some lace in peace while Santa and the elves cook, mind the kids and clean the house. And may all of your wildest dreams come true in 2020!

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Thanks for visiting, see you next time!