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,


2 Comments on “Old Wise Tree in Ontario, Canada

  1. Yes, as part of the Hinterland Lacers Jenny gave a great presentation of her start and finish of her tree. Her enthusiasm to make it interactive was so interesting and her ability to connect to her community for advice and knowledge of how to incorporate the lights, etc. She gave us ideas of how we could use our creativity and not set limits to our lace making. It was so neat to see how creative one could be.


    • That’s fantastic to hear! Isn’t it great to have the lacemaking technique preserved in its traditional form, and at the same time access through technology to learn from others, regardless of their physical location?
      Let’s keep lacing, creating and expanding boundaries of lace art!


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