It has become a tradition for the New School of Lace to participate in the Richmond Maritime Festival, a free family festival every summer, for seafarers and landlubbers alike who celebrate Steveston’s waterfront heritage at the spectacular Britannia Shipyards, National Historic Site in Richmond, British Columbia. Great space, great weather, and lots of interactive art and craft activities make this event a favourite destination for Metro Vancouver residents, as well as international tourists.
Seine Net Loft
We set up our lace shop in the middle of historical Seine Net Loft: arranged educational displays about lace craft and New School of Lace project samples. We also displayed our handmade lace art and jewellery for visitors to admire and buy.
handmade lace jewellery and art 1
new school of lace projects
traditional lace samples
handmade lace jewellery and art 2
Because the Maritime Festival is all about having fun, we also planned a special activity for visitors to demonstrate connection between net making and lace making, in a giant Fillet Lace project.
The event organizers prepared for us a sturdy frame with stretched fishing net. We brought a vintage lacis tablecloth as an example, instruction sheets with basic stitches, and lots of colourful yarns. Festival volunteers helped with winding the net shuttles, and assisting the public.
day one – empty net
sample of lacis – vintage net embroidery tablecloth
preparing the yarns
shuttles ready for darning
Soon, the first visitors arrived and were eager to try. We let them choose the yarn colour and showed them the stitches.
The kids, from age 3 and up, were amazing. Some were quick to learn and followed the stitches exactly, step by step, and some chose to work free form, designing their own shapes. It was great to see their enthusiasm and focus as they moved the darning shuttles through the net grid and filled the empty space with colours.
We encouraged adults to participate as well, and they enjoyed the lace work as much as children did.
This is how the net looked after the first day:
after day 1
On Sunday, we continued with the project. By the end of the day, it was hard to find and empty space on the net. Our lace canvas was full of squares, circles, stars, waves, fishes, and cosmic rays…
after day 2
Lacis – detail
Finished project – Richmond Maritime Festive Net 2018.
Finished project – net embroidered by hundreds of hands