Frame: Cedar driftwood (designed and made by Colin Hamilton of Thuja Wood Art Lace:
Enamelled copper and stainless steel wires
Semi-precious stones and beads:
Bamboo Coral, Clear Quartz Crystal, Hawk’s Eye, Rudraksha Seeds
Dimensions in centimetres: h:43 x w:43 x d:5
Dimensions in inches: h:17 x w:18 x d:2
If cold winter months are good for something else than hibernating, it is for lacemaking. Long, dark nights offer quiet time for uninterrupted work and allow sustained focus that reaches almost a state of meditation.
Cocooning in my studio, I was looking for an idea for lace that would fit in one of Colin’s driftwood frames. Dried by sun and fresh air the wood feels so warm, as it is radiating energy collected over many summers. Just like standing cedar trees, the driftwood offers assurance that we, too, will survive yet another winter. Living on the West Coast of Canada for thirty years, I came to understand why cedar has been considered sacred by indigenous people.
majestic cedar tree in my backyard
An empty red cedar driftwood frame has been standing on the shelf in my studio for more than a year, patiently waiting for lace. Upon invitation, the images kept appearing, but none of them strong enough to stay and prompt me into action. One day, on a walk through fresh snow in Kwomais Point Park, I was amazed by dark lines of underbrush with embellishments of ice and red berries, set starkly against pristine white background. There is a lot of lace to be found in the forest, but rarely in such plain sight.
Kwomais Point with Pacific Ocean view
Forest underbrush lace…
…embellished with snow and ice…
… and red berries
I started to work on my next offering. Once again, my connection with Veronika Irvine and her TesseLace worked miracles, and I was able to find the right grid and use the Circular Grid Templates for designing the mandala.
Work in progress – testing TesseLace grid #4x4_17
Work in progress – ready to start lacemaking
It worked so well that the piece was finished before the snow in the forest melted… It became my offering to the season that makes us revere cedar, to the beauty of snow and ice, and to the berries who know how to say ‘fertility’ like no other.
Offering: Red Berries
Centre detail- twining with red beads and rudraksha seeds
Detail of ice crystals in the weave
Offering nine red berries, with love
The Offering: Red Berries will be shown in juried exhibition ‘Just Gates’, organized by Arts Council of Surrey, in April 2019.
Frame: Cedar driftwood (designed and made by Colin Hamilton of Thuja Wood Art) Lace:
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.