The summer is over and I think that it will be remembered for a long time. The complete disruption to our life routines threw us all into unknown and uncharted territory. Adventurous people travel for that experience, to have their sense perceptions heightened by unfamiliar environment and stimulated to absorb everything new with acute urgency. This year felt like being on such an unmapped journey just by staying at home.
Like most of you I spent most time around house, in my little garden and in the neighbourhood. As everything slowed down, I had time to pay attention to minute details. It unexpectedly turned the small space around me into a vast world of complex beauty, where all plants and creatures were busy to get the best out of the summer months. Little animals, birds, bees, … and butterflies. There were many kinds, some of them I knew, and some I never noticed before – swallowtails, admirals, painted ladies, fritillaries,… and cabbage butterflies whose offsprings turned many kale leaves into a wild lace art. I gladly shared with my fellow holemakers. How much kale can one eat, anyway?
I have always found butterflies to be fascinating creatures, and their delicate wings in amazing colours have inspired many of my lace works.
Butterfly Nymph was my first work that ventured into fine wires and complex designs. It received First Prizein the Original Lace Competition of L’Association des Dentelliers du Quebec, Canada, back in 1997, which was a huge boost to my confidence and validated my wire lace path.
Another butterfly design became a staple pattern in my old Silver Pin Studio (1996-2005), and reincarnated later in the New School of Lace workshop in 2016.
This summer I pulled out the old prickings, tweaked them a bit and made some more butterflies. It felt so good to be sitting in the sun close to home, close to nature, and play with colourful wires and beads.
When winter comes and asks “What have you done in summer?” I have a whole bunch of brightly coloured butterflies to show, and to keep as a memory of sunshine, warm days, and the most unusual summer of all.
And when you ask: “Is there a pattern for the butterfly pendant?”