Not only do I love fabric, I am fascinated by the making of fabric throughout history: spinning, weaving, dying. In doing genealogical research, I came across the lace makers of northern France and Belgium. I am impressed with the detail, beauty and delicacy of the pieces, and I always think of the women who made them in the days before machine made lace. When people who are not quilters look at my work common comments are, " I would never have the patience!", "How many hours did that take?". For me it is not a question of patience for that implies that I would rather be doing something else, or that the goal is the final product. Frankly,the result is very often a surprise as the threads seem to lead me down a path of their own design. Making art is more of a meditation. Today's expression might be "being in the zone". I imagine the lace makers of France and Belgium being in the zone with their work. Here is a piece of Antique Valenciennes lace I purchased from Em's Heart: www.emsheart.com
This lace was hand made in the town where many of my ancestors are from. It is made from very finely spun linen. Lace making became a lucrative industry for the region and there was much competition to make the finest, most intricate designs. The lace makers of Valenciennes claimed that it was the unique climate of the town that kept the flax at just the right texture to allow the lace makers to achieve such fine detail. Hmmmm. Stay tuned to see how I work this into a new art piece.
For more information on lace and lace making, check out the Lace Fairy: lace.lacefairy.com/