Posted on October 10, 2022
Counting blessings on the Thanksgiving Day, there are two worth special mentioning in my lace blog :
Sun and Lace
Summer on Canada’s West Coast was great this year. It started late, but then brought us beautiful weather that extended past the autumnal equinox. I could not have wished for better inspiration for my ongoing lace project.
The lace sculpture, last in the series of Offerings in reclaimed red cedar frames from the workshop of Colin Hamilton, has been at works for a long time. Like all previous Offerings, it is inspired by West Coast nature, and in a culmination of the theme, is dedicated to the divine harmony of the Mother Earth and Father Sun, which bestows and maintains all life on our planet.
Despite not being able to spent much time in my studio in those strange, chaotic times, I managed to slowly progress with the Earth elements of the piece. The rare moments at the lacemaking pillow were deeply grounding and calming. Like a reassuring embrace of Mother Earth, together with nod of understanding from the generations of past lacemakers, who lived through similar experiences, and were able to make magnificent lace despite all obstacles.
When the soil and vegetation parts for the sculpture were finished. time has come to turn to Father Sun. But how does one do that, and is it even possible? As the divine harmony on earth needs both energies equally, there was no way around it. I had set out to find out this summer. Time was not on my side again, but the hours when I was able to take my pillow outside and play were so rewarding. The sun rays were warm and the natural light just amazing for the fine work. While trying to capture the brilliant shimmer in a weave of golden wires I realized that it was harder than I anticipated. I made one sample after another, testing patterns and winding more and more bobbins. It was slow, meticulous work, but I enjoyed every moment of it. What a bright, creative adventure!
Only when the shadows on my pillow started to grow quite long, I found what I was looking for: a simple pattern that carries the light naturally and effortlessly. With the pattern finalized, I have the template for finishing the whole sun in the months to come. And I feel that after the amazing summer I have also enough energy stored in my body and soul to complete the final Offering.
So much to be thankful for!
Posted on June 21, 2022
The summer season is officially here and summer weather is apparently on time, arriving in Vancouver this weekend. Finally! It’s been a long wait for the bright and warm sunshine.
I plan to continue working on a lace sculpture for the last red cedar driftwood frame from Colin Hamilton of Thuja Wood Art. Colin and I have collaborated on four sculptures so far, with Colin designing the original frames allowing me fill them with metal lace. It’s been a very special project which inspired me to take the lace art into new territory. Most of my previous works had been firmly connected to great European tradition that started five hundred years ago and carried the Renaissance ideals of beauty and harmony of material and spiritual dimensions of human existence.
Colin’s unusual creations reflecting his deep connection to the West Coast nature, invited me to traverse the big divide and use my beloved technique to manifest a completely different energy. It was quite an amazing experience seeing each piece taking shape reminiscent of nature and it’s cycles, while using symbols similar to the ancient cultures of North America.
I talked about it with my friend, an artist who – like many creative people on this continent – had been struggling to find an original expression in the seemingly irreconcilable influences in the modern Canadian society. She listened and simply said, “You have arrived.” We both knew that this “arrival” happened twenty years after I actually landed. Some things just take long, very long time… And they are well worth the wait.
Thus the last frame from Colin’s original batch have been sitting in my studio, year after year, standing by patiently. It happens to be my favourite driftwood frame, because it is shaped as a womb that holds a sacred feminine energy. About two years ago, after a substantial gestation period an image of a new work has taken shape, and slowly, very slowly I started to work on the lace. I dedicated the previous winter to fern design, and after that I submerged for almost an entire year to explore the depths of the soil.
Today’s Solstice, marking another zenith of the Sun, is bringing me closer to completing the piece. All it needs now is the power of the Father Sun to unite the earth and heaven in a sublime harmony… Humbly, I will follow, working on long summer days, absorbing the life-giving energy, and rearranging it into a radiant lace pattern. Hopefully, with Sun’s blessing, I will be able to carry out the work to live up to the image in my mind’s eye. If it’s successfull, I will share it with you.
Wishing you all wonderfully creative summer!
And equally amazing winter to all lacemakers in Southern Hemisphere, because each season can bring something new if we are attuned…
Happy lacemaking to all!
Posted on December 20, 2021
Celebrating the Sun today… the amazing hot ball that is dashing with a tremendous speed through the vast space, dragging our wobbly planet (with us, the equally wobbly inhabitants) along the way. Provided that the sun will keep supplying all energy for our needs, we have a chance to grow and evolve until we are able to understand and appreciate the true scale of the cosmic miracle.
Let’s enjoy the ride and use the new energy for something good and creative!
Posted on September 1, 2019
We are pleased to present the 3rd lace|heart|art Challenge and Online Exhibition
of Handmade Bobbin Lace in Colour.
For this edition, we again found inspiration in photographs of Barbara Jean Jones – our dear friend, beloved daughter and a fellow lacemaker – to whose memory is this event dedicated.
Barb loved sun, and she captured many beautiful sunny moments with her camera. On the Canadian West Coast, sun can be in short supply, especially during long winter months. We yearn for bright and warm sunbeams, and worship them when they finally raech us penetrating layers of grey clouds. Like most of us, Barbara loved to spend summer outdoors. She cherished the warm season on the family farm in Lower Mainland, or in the BC interior summer house. She was always happy to follow the sun down south and visit her favourite place, California. Her personality seemed to be filled with sun energy – it radiated from her eyes and brightened her smile…
Free patterns with working instructions are provided for fibre as well as wire mediums. We invite lacemakers to use the supplied pricking and fill their hearts with vibrant, life-giving sun energy.
Download the free pattern and working instruction here.
If you have not participated in the previous edition, you can read the Story of Barb’s Heart . You can also view the 1st lace|heart|art Online Exhibition 2018 and 2nd lace|heart|art Online Exhibition 2019 with almost hundred beautiful lace hearts from all over the world.
We are looking forward to receiving your 3rd lace|heart|art challenge entries before February 14th, 2020!
Wendy MacKinnon, Lenka Suchanek, Pat Wrigley
Surrey, BC, Canada