Old Wise Tree in Ontario, Canada

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 turned the Old Wise Tree into an interactive family tree. By programming the white buttons to play individual profiles of each family member, in our own voices, I was able to preserve a little bit of family history. This project was created for my mother as a Christmas gift in 2021. Mom is a dedicated family historian. She is also a religious person. In her religious background, she is well acquainted with the story of a man who has a vision of a beautiful tree, referred to as the Tree of Life, with exquisite white fruit. The fruit tastes wonderful and he looks around to invite his family to join him. The only way they can make their way to the tree is by holding fast to an iron rod along the path. The buttons on my tree were chosen to represent the fruit from the Tree of Life vision story. In order to make the buttons on the branches function properly, the user must also touch a ground wire, which is located on a button at the base of the tree, where the roots begin to spread. For some reason, this ground wire only functions when touched by a metal needle. Staying true to the theme of the Tree of Life, there is an “iron rod” included. There is symbolism also in the location of the ground button. It is at the base of the roots of the tree, reinforcing the importance of getting in touch with your roots to appreciate the family you have now.  To see a video of the tree functioning, please follow this link: https://youtu.be/vJxqn5-DEPM “ 

Jenny Lyn Albers

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!


All lacemakers who create their original Old Wise Trees based on the free pattern are welcome to submit their lace art to the Old Wise Tree GALLERY!

Please email a photo of your work and the following information to old.wise.tree@lenkas.com :

Your Name + City / Country + Materials used + Pricking size (if different than the original 100%)
+ Optional: Notes (any specific information you would like to add)


Disclaimer: By submitting the photo/s and requested information you agree that your work will be displayed in the Old Wise Tree Gallery hosted on this website.


I look forward to receiving your entry,


Giving thanks to sun and lace

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.

So much to be thankful for!