2nd lace|heart|art Challenge

We are pleased to present the 2nd lace|heart|art Challenge and Online Exhibition of Handmade Bobbin Lace in Colour, dedicated to memory of Barbara Jean Jones.

In 2019 edition, a theme of the giving heart is symbolized with a bouquet of flowers.
Simple lace tape outlines the heart shape. Flowers grow from the bottom of the heart and blossom with love. They are wrapped with a bow and offered as a gift, with joy and gratitude for creativity, lace and life.

While the simple heart outline is provided, the blossoms are open to creative interpretation. We invite all lacemakers to fill the pattern with colours and textures, and create truly original flower arrangements. Simple or elaborate, we will accept all heart bouquets, and include them in our celebration.

Read more about the 2nd lace|heart|art challenge and download a complete kit, with a free pattern and working instruction for fibre as well as wire media.
We encourage everybody to try both materials and explore their colour potential.

If you have not participated in the previous edition, you can read the Story of Barb’s Heart and view the 1st lace|heart|art Online Exhibition 2018  with sixty beautiful lace hearts from all over the world.

We are looking forward to receiving your lace|heart|art #2 entries before February 14th, 2019!

lace|heart|art team
Wendy MacKinnon, Lenka Suchanek, Pat Wrigley
Surrey, BC, Canada


Upcoming Exhibitions

ARTS 2018

Arts Council of Surrey Annual Juried Art Exhibition of Visual Art
at the Surrey Art Gallery, 13750-88 Ave, Surrey
On Display from June 30 – September 1 with Opening Reception June 29, 7-9pm

Offering: West Coast Mandala will be exhibited in this popular show that highlights Surrey visual artists.

Richmond Maritime Festival

Richmond Maritime Festival at Britannia Shipyards, Richmond, BC 
Saturday & Sunday, July 28-29, 2018, from 10am – 6pm

New School of Lace is returning to this popular festival to demonstrate a historical  connection between fishing nets and lace! We will be set up at Seine Net Loft on the waterfront among many interactive exhibits about innovation and human ingenuity.

This festival is always a lot of fun, so make sure to experience it yourself this year!

Art in Found Spaces: Fiber and Lace Show

Langley Civic Center (Township of Langley City Hall), Langley, BC
Langley Art’s Council’s exhibition curated by a designer and textile artist (and also the New School of Lace student), Sybille Kissling.
September 19 – October 2, 2018.

In this first exhibit dedicated exclusively to lace art, all Metro Vancouver lacemakers get a chance to show their creative lace work. We are very excited to have such great opportunity, and everybody is already working on their entries. Join us to promote modern lace and show the beauty and creative potential of this fine traditional craft! Become a part of BC lace history making!

Lace, Not Lace

Contemporary Fiber Art from Lacemaking Techniques (curated by Devon Thein)
Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, New Jersey, USA
September 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019

This unique exhibition will be curated by internationally known lace expert Devon Thein. It will showcase the work of contemporary fibre artists applying bobbin and needle lace techniques to a multitude of fibres and filaments in unlimited colours and textures to interpret their world. This exhibition will explore how lace makers are expanding the traditional boundaries of that art form and creating exciting work that investigates contemporary themes, materials and forms.

The work of more than 20 lace artists from across the United States and around the world will be highlighted in this exhibition, which will introduce bobbin and needle lace as techniques that reach beyond tradition and are now taking their place in contemporary art.

Works Are We Made of Lace? and Large Genoese Scallop will be included in this show.

Are We Made of Lace?

Genoese Scallop Large Necklace


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Students’ Work – New School of Lace 2017-18

The New School of Lace school year 2017-2018 just ended and what a year it was!

Lace on and off our pillows had grown, evolved and expanded in many directions, showing that creativity is without boundaries, and handmade lace techniques are exceptionally suited to limitless interpretations. Throughout the last nine months, we have practiced lace skills, learned new techniques and applied them in various projects in fibre as well as wire mediums.

There were fewer one-day workshops, and more weekly classes, which demonstrates that New School of Lace students are dedicated to deeper study of lace techniques and lace design. The results are promising, and well worth sharing.

Students’ Work

Candice Okada completed an ambitious lace art project for her graduation show, Postscript, an exhibition of work by the 2018 graduates of the University of British Columbia’s two-year Master of Fine Arts program at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, in Vancouver, BC.

The work, titled “Eva Hesse, I have a present for you:Mind all the little Pricks” (2018) offers a unique look at handmade lace. The artwork consist of two embellished boxes with their sides open to expose the pins that were used in lace construction. The luxurious object with delicate lace pattern thus uncovers a rigorous process of bobbin lacemaking, which relies on support of hundreds of strong steel pins.  This surprising revelation presents both sides of handmade lace – the outside form, pleasing to senses, and the inside framework that engages the mind. The temporary pin structure, exposed to viewers, confirms the laborious nature of lacemaking process. It also delivers a fact usually hidden to the uninitiated – that the fine lace work requires not only patience, attention to detail and nimble fingers, but also a very logical, mathematical mind.

In the title of the work, Candice acknowledges her source of inspiration,  Eva Hesse’s work “Accession II”.   Drawing on her own experience with lacemaking process, Candice transform the idea of a plain industrial box with prickly inside walls into a new entity, with a stronger visual impact as well as deeper meaning. In the unexpected juxtaposition, soft, sweet and and delicate surface of the boxes contrast with the forest of sharp steel pins inside. Open skin reveals bones, offering a powerful experience to all viewers, not just lacemakers whose fingers had been pricked often enough to recall the pain, which inevitably accompanies pleasures of the lacemaking process.

Candice’s original lace artwork, along with her embroidery and bead weaving, attracts attention, triggers curiosity and brings  fresh outlook for the traditional craft techniques.  Quite an achievement for a young artist, who only recently added handmade lace to her textile art vocabulary.

Another up-and-coming lace artist, Urzula, of Zula Jewelry, is exploring bobbin lace applications in jewelry making. Her new line of Fairy Catcher earrings combines a delicate wire lace nets with nature inspired designs, and the Light Shield infuses lace with light in bold wearable art pieces.  Zula had a special opportunity to present her new work in the juried show at SNAG Conference in Portland, Oregon, USA, in May.

Donna Leong finished her Five Meters Club https://lacegazette.com/five-metre-club/ entry in wire lace and her Seedlings and Primrose picture (completed with a lace garden snake) won People’s Choice Award at the BC Lace Getaway 2018 competition “From the Ground Up)

Angela Kikuchi and Donna Leong excelled at the 1st lace|heart|art Challenge, our very own International Online Exhibition of Handmade Bobbin Lace in Colour, winning top prizes in wire lace category. Angela was the only lacemaker among 60 participants from 10 countries, who submitted entries in both fibre and wire lace. Congratulations!

First Prize in Wire Lace – Donna Leong, Canada

Third Prize in Wire Lace – Angela Kikuchi, Canada

Marina Szijarto, a multi-media multi-talented artist, and occasional lacemaking student, traveled to to Spain to participate in Girona Flower Festival. Within a cloister walls she discovered an exposition that combined things she loves – plants, community art installations and lace – and she shared photos with us.  What an inspiration!

All these achievements, along with genuinely positive atmosphere in the classes and workshops, are proving that the New School of Lace is fulfilling its goal of keeping the fine craft of lace alive through creativity.

Good work, everybody!

I look forward to our future lace endeavours that will push boundaries, challenge our skills, inspire our growth and create more lace art.

Have a nice summer, absorb the warmth of the sun and beauty of nature for the future lace inspiration 🙂


For a preview of the upcoming lace exhibitions, read the next blog post.


New Patterns for Wire Lace

Two new patterns are published, just in time for spring celebrations!

The Snail Pattern & Tutorial (B#004) explores, thoroughly and carefully, Cloth stitch and Whole stitch in wire lace.

The Chicken Egg Stand (PT#11) is popular not only for spring celebrations, but the egg holder can be used as decoration all year around. It is one of those charming little gifts that bring about big smiles. First pattern in new Animal Series.

To find more about these new patterns and to purchase them, please go to WireLaceSupplies shop on Etsy

Offering: West Coast Mandala

Cedar driftwood (designed and made by Colin Hamilton of  Thuja Wood Art)
Enamelled copper and stainless steel wires 

Semi-precious stone cabochons and beads (from centre):
Nephrite (BC jade), Almandine Garnet, Shell, Rose Quartz, Bamboo Coral, Rhodochrosite, Clear Quartz Crystal, Calcite, Blue Tiger’s Eye, Shell, Hematite

 Technique: handmade bobbin lace – free form

Dimensions in centimetres: 64 x 61 x 12 ( 4 cm without stands)
Dimensions in inches: 25 x 24 x 5 (2 inches without stands)

West Coast Mandala is an Offering to the magnificent Pacific Northwest nature.

In harsh climate of the temperate rainforest, human life has never been easy. Ancient people called upon spirit powers to receive guidance and protection. They were taught to live in harmony with the land and the ocean, and respect all plants and animals. This wise, timeless teaching still resonates on the West Coast.

The Offering: West Coast Mandala is presented in a frame made from red cedar driftwood, which carries the spirit of the tree of life, and creates a sacred space for reflection and meditation. In its centre, the mandala holds a cabochon of the B.C. jade, and radiates the energy outwards through the copper wire weave. Inner sacred geometry circle with semi-precious stones, coral and shell beads, represents the earth’s depths. Surrounding three currents symbolize underground, surface and ocean water bodies. Water brings fertility and abundance to the soil and to people, and they present offerings of flowers and fish. Fertile land is encircled by a protective range of the coastal mountains, which merge into the mist of the sky dome. From above, water motion, vegetation growth and people’s lives are governed by the moon cycle. All is connected and therefore in harmony with the timeless wisdom.

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This artwork is now exhibited in Talisman Gallery on Pender Island, BC.

Copyright©2018. Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.

Reframed: Lost Art I & II


Reframed: Lost Art I
Material: Bronze  wire   Technique: Milanese tape lace
Size: 56 x 56 cm (22 x 22 in)

Reframed: Lost Art II
Material: Bronze  wire   Technique: Concentric continuous lace
Size: 56 x 56 cm (22 x 22 in)

In North America, handmade bobbin lace has been often called “a lost art”. I could not agree, because the lace I have known was very much alive – present, vibrant, breathing and growing. I followed her intricate patterns and looked for materials and forms that could carry the lace forward. In one of my many projects I explored pattern connections between various craft disciplines – wood work, stone carving, tile work and lace work – and set out a testing ground for new connections. Two pieces that remained from the project were put away, and literally, lost in my studio storage.

When I found them this summer I realized how much has changed in the last 10 years. The lace craft as I knew has been almost lost. The gossamer lace weave is getting weaker as the threads are ageing. Traditional schools closed, lace museums activities were reduced, and major international events abandoned because of lack of funds. At the same time, more and more independent artists started to use lace techniques in their work, creating imaginative lace art. As if lace had left the past and entered the future…

I decided to re-frame these two works to reflect the change. I covered painting canvas with silk fabric and cut the centre out to expose black background. As the lace stretches over the opening, it casts shadows, and the illusive pattern is dissipating into the black hole of the passing time. Lace remains, but only very few people can connect it to the history.

Can lace live detached from her own history? Can we?

Only time will tell…

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These artworks are for sale in my WAYofLACE shop on Etsy.

Lace | Heart | Art Updates

We are happy to report that the lace|heart|art international challenge has been embraced by a worldwide lacemaking community. We have received many supportive comments via this blog and our facebook page, some questions, and YES … the FIRST ENTRIES!

Our sincere thanks go to the editors of the following magazines for featuring info about the  lace|heart|art challenge:
Vuelta y Cruz (Twist and Cross) – Spain (published in Spanish and English)
Australian Lace Guild Magazine – Australia
Canadian Lacemaker Gazette – Canada

Lacemakers and lace groups who have promoted our event on social networks are too numerous to list – we send a big THANK YOU! to all of you and ask you to keep sharing ❤️ !

We are excited for making a special connection with many lacemakers around the world via Barb’s Heart. It is just what we wanted to share – her love and our gratitude.

To encourage more of you to participate and to make it easier for you, we updated our lace|heart|art support page with some helpful hints and tips on how to understand the pattern and make it your own. Please peruse and start working on your lace|heart|art!

PS: Do not forget to share the lace|heart|art  with your lace friends!


Lace Heart Art

New School of Lace is pleased to announce a launch of the ‘lace | heart | art’ – 1st international challenge and online exhibition of handmade bobbin lace in colour.

Our new project offers one simple heart pattern and invites lacemakers around the world to fill it with colours and love.

We welcome everybody, and especially young lacemakers,  to participate, get inspired and transform our first heart pattern into original lace art.

In the inaugural edition, we offer one pattern that can be worked in fibre as well as wire medium. Our lace|heart|art pattern #1 is open to interpretation, and lacemakers are encouraged to fill the given pattern with colours of their choice. The heart design is open ended, and the trail can be finished in many imaginative ways.
The pattern, and the whole challenge, follows the New School of Lace principles of respecting the tradition and encouraging creativity in the field of handmade lace.

Learn more about the ‘lace|heart|art challenge’ and share the news with your lace friends!

Victorian Black Lace Brooch

Bobbin lace in wire workshop #4 is coming soon, and since it will happen on a Canadian public holiday weekend that is celebrated in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday, the theme of the workshops is a Victorian Black Lace Brooch.

Join the class to learn how to make fine black lace, embellish it with jet crystals and finish it as a brooch. The workshop is design to suit beginners as well as lacemakers with some experience with wire. Instruction will cover braids, picots, leafs and basket weave cloth stitch with a special attention to handling fine enamelled copper wire, adding crystals and finishing.

The poster shows just a draft of the design as I am eagerly awaiting a shipment of brooch pin backs to finalize the design and make the first samples 🙂

victorian brooch poster

Victorian Black Lace Brooch – Bobbin Lace in Wire #4


June workshop, on Saturday the 27, 2015 will celebrate arrival of summer with a bright happy “Sun” theme.

There are many ways how to create sun in lace. Numerous patterns had been developed by many previous lacemakers and lace designers, and we can find a lot of inspiration in traditional laces. It is hard to choose which one to start with, and I have not decided, yet it is going to be plaited bobbin lace design or needle lace Retticella in gold plated copper.



Lace Art Show and Workshop

Treat yourself to a double lace event on Valentine’s Day!

two hearts

Bobbin Lace in Wire Workshop #2 concurrent with a Lace Art Show will offer a special opportunity for students to see and learn from displayed lace art. Objets d’art – metal lace wall art, sculpture and wearable art – will offer an insight to possibilities of wire medium in handmade lace and motivate students to further their skills and free their imagination.

Lace Art Show is open to lacemakers, lace lovers, neighbours and friends from 11am to 4pm.
Bring your Valentine!