Posted on November 14, 2017
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.
This artwork is now exhibited in Talisman Gallery on Pender Island, BC.
Copyright©2018. Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.
Posted on May 12, 2017
“Waves – Offering to the Moon”
transparent lace sculpture
42 x 36 x 8 cm
driftwood redcedar frame, stainless steel, shell moon
Story of The Waves:
I was looking for frames for a new body of work, and I found Colin Hamilton, an artisan-woodworker, who works with cedar driftwood collected on the beaches of Gulf Islands. He hand splits the logs and builds gates, furniture and art, using traditional joinery techniques. Colin agreed to make some frames for me and I left it up to him to chose size and shape. The frames were beautiful when they arrived – very organic, and like no other frames I used before. They were already art pieces in their own right, and it was not difficult to see how they should be completed with lace. One small frame was asking for waves and I decided to use steel wire, because the Pacific Ocean on the Canadian West Coast often looks like it is made of steel. I couldn’t see though what pattern to use for lace, because all traditional lace designs lacked the fluidity I envisioned. I decided to create my own pattern, but since that takes long time, I put the piece on hold to let the design percolate. By chance, I was contacted by Veronika Irvine, a University of Victoria PhD candidate and a fibre artist, who developed a mathematical model to describe bobbin lace tessellations. From this model she generated thousands of original grid designs. Veronika was looking for lacemakers who would test the new patterns. I tried, and immediately realized that this was exactly what I wished for for my new piece – and much, much more…
I found pattern that flowed like water, made the “Waves” and offered them to the moon. The piece sailed away, spent some time on the Gulf Islands with Colin, then crossed The Strait of Georgia and reached Veronika’s lace collection in Victoria on Vancouver Island.
We regard the “Waves – offering to the Moon” to be a truly West Coast creation, in sync with the ocean waves that connect us. And while we are all busy with our own work, we are open to future collaborations. Colin is working on new frames (thujawoodart.com), Veronika is doing her binary code magic in computer science and lace design (tesselace.com). And I am leaving all the rest to the moon.
Copyright©2015-17. Lenka Suchanek. All rights reserved.