Bobbin Lace Technique

Bobbin Lace is an off-loom weaving technique worked on a lacemaking pillow. Threads (wires), each wound on its own bobbin, are crossed and twisted in a specific sequence to create open weave patterns. Work is secured by pins, which serve mainly as an anchor points for tensioning, and are removed when no longer needed. Finished lace made in wire is strong and sturdy and can be mounted flat on a background or shaped into three-dimensional forms. Basic steps of the process are:

  1. Drawing and drafting the patterns
  2. Preparing a pricking (work template)
  3. Winding thread (wire) on bobbins
  4. Making lace
  5. Finishing (using metalworking techniques)

Are We Made of Lace?

Lace Wall Art – 6 panels
Materials: Enamelled copper on acrylic background, metal frames
Handmade bobbin lace techniques: Panel I – braids and tallies, Panel II – tape lace, Panel III – tape lace with tallies, Panel IV – ground with gimp, Panel V – chantilly lace, Panel VI – tape with half stitch.
76cm x 114cm overall, 38cm x 38cm each panel

This piece was created for the International Lace Award Competition organized by Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia. It was selected as a finalist and was exhibited in the Powerhouse Museum “Love Lace” exhibition in 2012 – 2013.

Are We Made of Lace?

Are We Made of Lace?

Artist’s Statement

When I make lace, I am totally at peace and in sync with the inner rhythm. When I study lace, I feel like I am conversing with the lacemakers of the past. When I design lace, patterns are coming as I need them. I am in a special state of mind. I generally do not experience this type of deep connection in any other activity, and it makes me wonder what is so unique in lace.  In our modern time, there is no rational explanation for it, and I would consider it abnormal – if I had not met other lacemakers.  Beginners or advanced experts, they all share the primal attraction to the intricate lace structure or to the process of making it. As if there was something deeper meaning in it.

When I came across scanning electron microscope images, it felt like finding the missing piece of the puzzle.  The images of cells structures look exactly like lace. Plants, sea plankton, humans… all made from a primordial lace that cannot be seen with unaided eye, but it pervades everything.

I found the answer to my question:  We live in awesome lace world!

Photography by Peter Flynn Niznansky

Copyright © 2014 Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.

Divine Beauty

Divine Beauty

Divine Beauty

A Tribute to Sandro Botticelli
Materials: copper and bronze – enamelled, patinated or gold plated; amber, fresh water pearls and crystal beads
Techniques: free form bobbin lace, point ground, braiding, beading
81cm x 69cm

This work was created for the International Lace Competition of the 14th Edition of the Biennale Internazionale del Merletto in Sansepolcro, Italy, 2010. It is now in the Centro Culturale Sansepolcro’s International Lace Biennial Collection.

Artist’s  statement:

Sandro Botticelli’s art has significantly influenced my work.  He was one of the first artists to paint gold lace decoration on garments; therefore his paintings are invaluable for my research of early metal laces. Lace was painted in such exquisite technique, that it is possible to trace many original patterns of braided laces in a minute detail.  I haven’t found any written records about gold bobbin lace from that time, thus Botticelli’s work has remained the essential source for my lace work.

I fell in love with his paintings not only because of lace. I have also found great inspiration in the way Botticelli portrayed women in his paintings. His ability to capture female inner beauty and strength is awe-inspiring. Loving and compassionate gaze of his Madonnas and goddesses reveals deep spiritual dimension with radiance that has not been surpassed by any other painter.  Botticelli’s genius gave a visual form to Dante’s poetry – Beatrice became alive in his paintings and brought Divine Love to the Earth.

I have been inspired to create an original lace work that celebrate women in Botticelli’s paintings.  I borrowed a breast shield from Camilla (Minerva), wreath of flowers from Primavera, braids from Simonetta, pose from Venus and aura from Madonna – and interwove them in a lace picture. “Divine Beauty” is my tribute to the great master of the Italian Renaissance, Sandro Botticelli.”

Copyright © 2014 Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.

Centering

Centering

Materials: Bronze on encaustic background
Techniques: Handmade bobbin lace in wire – various techniques
Size: 50cm x 50cm (20″ x 20″)

Centering – detail

Copyright © 2014-17 Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.

Angel’s Retreat

Transparent Lace Wall Piece
Materials: Copper wire – enamelled and patinated, glass beads
Technique: Spanish point, free-form lace
100cm x 120cm x 20

In private collection.

Copyright © 2014 Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.

We Are All Pilgrims

Lace Wall Art
Materials: Copper wire – patinated
Techniques: Bobbin lace patterns specific to sixteen European regions
70cm x 50cm x 3cm

This work was created for the IX Edition of the International Lace Biennial in Sansepolcro, Italy, in year 2000.
It was accepted and received a Jubilee Gold Medal in the Jubilee Exhibition and a Certificate of Merit in the International Competition with a theme “Lace for the Third Millenium: avantgarde, experiment, challenge, renewal”.

we are all pilgrims

We Are All Pilgrims

In private collection.

Copyright © 2014 Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.