Thursday, November 13, 2008

My other love

For years I studied bobbin lace through the Amherst Museum Lace Guild.

I was intrigued by the beautiful 'spangled' bobbins used to make the lace.

To spangle a bobbin is to add weight (using beads) to help the tension of the thread while weaving the lace.

Here's a sampling of some of my bobbins that are spangled along with a very very old pair that I received as a gift. Most are wood and the bobbins that are hanging are bone.

I still enjoy making lace, but most of my pieces just ended up in a notebook, as I'm not a lace-wearing-type of girl. Some I have mounted on pillows -- like this Russian Lace piece below.

The lace is made by using a pre-pricked pattern (very time consuming!!) which is placed on a lace maker's 'pillow'. The pattern is worked by placing pins to support the thread as you weave it back and forth through the bobbins. OK, so that's a super watered down explanation. This particular piece represents literally 100s of hours of 'work'.
Here's what I have on my lace pillow right now. It is in the pack-up-and-go state, as I have yet to work on it since doing a demonstration at the History Center (truth be told the demo was Summer of 2007 -beading has consumed me so the lace making is in hiatus).

What you see is just a tip of a dragonfly wing and the bobbins are secured by holders which are held in place by pin holes through the sides of the holders. When transporting a lace project, it's not a good thing for the bobbins to get out of order and/or tangled.

I used just plain wood bobbins (no spangles) for this project, since there is a lot of sewings.

A sewing is when you have to join the lace in spots (the Russian piece is a great example of these joinings).

It is a very tedious process and requires you to sew through a pin hole sized hole and then slip your bobbin through the loop. So spangled bobbins slow this process down, as the thread has a tendency to get hung up in the beads.


Plays with Needles said...

Hi Lynn! Oooh...I love all those spangled bobbins. I'm glad to know that you are a lacer. I'm going to be a lacer someday...when I grow up and finish my Japanese embroidery program! BTW, your butterflies are gorgeous!! YOu are just cranking them out!!

dochoamom said...

Wow Lynn ! I never realized how much went into making lace. A totally new appreciation for it. BTW --- Thanks so much for the beads... they are wonderful. I will share what they decide to help me create...

Love, Deb

Tracey N. said...

Wow these are so beautiful and so complex! You are a mulit-talented girl my dear! No little butterfly has flown here yet! You cant tell I am a bit impatient now can you? You will probably hear me scream all the way there when she gets here. My poor dogs will be howling (or scared) you never know. Believe me, you will be the first to know! Hugs, Tracey

Jacquie said...

Lynn, these are beautiful..just found this post today. My sister wants to learn how to do this so I sent her your link..

Lynn said...

Jacquie - please encourage your sister to learn this craft. It's so amazing and not as complicated as you might think.