In June, I received an email from a Canadian lacemaker, Jenny Lyn Albers, from Sudbury, Ontario, with photos of her Old Wise Tree. Like all trees based on the same pattern, Jenny’s lace work is an original and unique interpretation of the theme, and as such was added to the to the Old Wise Tree Gallery on this website.
At the first sight, Jenny’s tree evoked my memories of Sudbury, a city located in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. Recalling the crisp air, fresh wind and boundless sky reflecting in pristine lakes, I immediately felt connection with this Old Wise Tree. Beside openness and lightness of the Torchon ground crown, I admired the fine but exact web of roots that seem to be grounded in the air. On further reading, I found out there was much more: Jenny turned her Old Wise Tree into an interactive family tree, which gave the lace motif a whole new dimension and meaning.
Throughout my lace teaching career, I have always encouraged my students to learn the techniques well and then make the patterns ‘their own’, to use instruction as a base and develop it freely and with imagination. Because I believe that it is one of the basic principles that have kept and will keep handmade lace living and evolving into the future. Jenny’s lace work fulfilled this golden rule admirably. When I asked her permission to share the story of her tree, she agreed and send not only a wonderful description but also a link to a short video of the Old Wise Tree talking :
I wish to thank Jenny for her special contribution to the Old Wise Tree Gallery. And also to all other lacemakers who shared images of their own creations. Without you and your fine work, this world would be less wise and less beautiful!
Counting blessings on the Thanksgiving Day, there are two worth special mentioning in my lace blog :
Sun and Lace
Summer on Canada’s West Coast was great this year. It started late, but then brought us beautiful weather that extended past the autumnal equinox. I could not have wished for better inspiration for my ongoing lace project.
The lace sculpture, last in the series of Offerings in reclaimed red cedar frames from the workshop of Colin Hamilton, has been at works for a long time. Like all previous Offerings, it is inspired by West Coast nature, and in a culmination of the theme, is dedicated to the divine harmony of the Mother Earth and Father Sun, which bestows and maintains all life on our planet.
Despite not being able to spent much time in my studio in those strange, chaotic times, I managed to slowly progress with the Earth elements of the piece. The rare moments at the lacemaking pillow were deeply grounding and calming. Like a reassuring embrace of Mother Earth, together with nod of understanding from the generations of past lacemakers, who lived through similar experiences, and were able to make magnificent lace despite all obstacles.
When the soil and vegetation parts for the sculpture were finished. time has come to turn to Father Sun. But how does one do that, and is it even possible? As the divine harmony on earth needs both energies equally, there was no way around it. I had set out to find out this summer. Time was not on my side again, but the hours when I was able to take my pillow outside and play were so rewarding. The sun rays were warm and the natural light just amazing for the fine work. While trying to capture the brilliant shimmer in a weave of golden wires I realized that it was harder than I anticipated. I made one sample after another, testing patterns and winding more and more bobbins. It was slow, meticulous work, but I enjoyed every moment of it. What a bright, creative adventure!
Only when the shadows on my pillow started to grow quite long, I found what I was looking for: a simple pattern that carries the light naturally and effortlessly. With the pattern finalized, I have the template for finishing the whole sun in the months to come. And I feel that after the amazing summer I have also enough energy stored in my body and soul to complete the final Offering.