I do not write too often about  contemporary lacemakers. They are out there, and each one of them is expanding horizons of the lace craft in unique ways. Handmade lace has creative potential that can never be exhausted, as each lace designer finds a new niche and new way of expression. Recently we have seen a great display of creativity in the Lace Not Lace exhibition  of contemporary lace art, in Hunterdon Museum in Clinton, NJ, USA.
And there are many more than 28 living lace artists represented in the exhibition.

We, the lace artists, spend so much time dreaming, thinking, designing and making lace, that we lack time to communicate with each other. Maybe it is because we are scattered all over the world. But even when we pursue just our own work we know that we are not alone. We are connected with other lacemakers by invisible threads of lacemaking tradition. 

When encounters do happen, though, they can be quite magical.

Last year  I received an email Christmas greeting card from the Czech Republic on the other side of the world:

Beautiful lace art from Ivana Domanjova,  lace artist, teacher and lace magazine editor.

The image of “Milenci” (“Beloveds”) took my breath away and I felt immediate connection with the work and with the author, whom I never met before. Ivana’s lace art follows the best standards of modern Czech lace design, with clean lines, subtle colouring and interesting, well thought-out patterns. It demonstrates unique talent, which is supported by flawless technique. Skill like this is achieved only by rigorous traditional schooling and years of practical experience. Because Ivana Domanjova has all that, her lace reached beyond craft.  It has become true art, capable of relating matters beyond matter.

Since the first strong impression, the “Beloveds” were on my mind and I kept thinking how gently they hold each other, how they reflect and complement each other, how they are two joined into one… During the longest nights of the year, the twosome angel was reflecting the light that comes from the depths of darkness. And then, during quiet holidays, my only time for reading, I happened to come across a quote from Emanuel Swedenborg, that “masculine and feminine will reach entirety in heaven in a form of one angel”*. I am not an expert on teachings of Christian mystics, but occasionally encounter them on my journey to understand women and their place in fine arts, and in the world at large. The “Beloveds” reached me at the right time to illustrate Swedenborg’s hard-to-grasp idea, and did it precisely and beautifully, in the most feminine technique there is, the delicate hand made lace. I have never doubted that lace has that power, but it manifests rarely, only in hands of masters. I am truly grateful for meeting Ivana and her “Beloveds”.

To learn more about Ivana Domanjova and her original lace art, visit her website at and Instagaram at  izidora2

*Quote from a book: “Žena a  spása světa” by Pavel Evdokimov
(Refugium Velehrad-Roma, 2011, ISBN 978-8074120664)
English version: “Woman and the Salvation of the World” (SVS Press, 1994, 978-0881410938)
French original: “La Femme et le Salut du Monde” (Tournai/Paris: Casterman, 1958)

3 Comments on “Beloveds

  1. Lenka, tus palabras sobre “Amados”, no sólo reflejan la realidad, sino son un verdadero reconocimiento a la maravillosa creatividad y la genial interpretación de Ivana Domanjova.
    Mi admiración y agradecimiento para ambas, y un gran abrazo, cálido y sentido desde mi corazón sensible, y mis manos encajeras.
    María del Carmen

    Lenka, your words about “Beloved”, not only reflect reality, but are a true recognition of the wonderful creativity and the brilliant interpretation of Ivana Domanjova.
    My admiration and gratitude for both, and a big hug, warm and felt from my sensitive heart, and my lace hands.
    María del Carmen
    (translated by Google)


    • Thank you, Maria, for receiving the message with open heart and for understanding. Only lacemakers know how long, and sometimes difficult, is the way between a few spools of thread, and the finished lace. When a piece of lacework rises above the hard work and fully embodies the original idea, lacemakers are the first to recognize and appreciate it as a truly remarkable achievement.
      Enjoy this beautiful craft,

      Gracias, María, por recibir el mensaje con el corazón abierto y por la comprensión. Solo los fabricantes de lacas saben cuánto tiempo, ya veces difícil, es el camino entre unos cuantos carretes de hilo y el encaje terminado. Cuando una pieza de encaje se eleva por encima del trabajo duro y encarna completamente la idea original, los fabricantes de encaje son los primeros en reconocerla y apreciarla como un logro verdaderamente notable.
      Disfruta de esta hermosa artesanía,
      (translated by


      • Gracias por tu respuesta!
        Me alegra comprobar que compartimos intereses, pasiones, empeños y todas las satisfaciones que el Encaje brinda a quienes sabemos amarlo!
        Maria del Carmen.
        Buenos Aires. Argentina

        Thanks for your answer!
        I am happy to see that we share interests, passions, efforts and all the satisfactions that the Lace offers to those who know how to love it!


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