I love lace! It’s beautiful! I love weaving lace! It’s pretty! I love wearing lace! It’s romantic! I love looking at lace! It’s gorgeous! Well . . . you probably get the idea . . . I love lace! (I know I already wrote that, but I had to emphasize it.)
Years ago, just about everything I wove was a lace weave. It’s about as close to an obsession or an addiction as I’ve ever had. Then in 1999, I conducted an “self intervention” to get myself out of my lace rut and initiated work on HGA’s Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving (COE-W) . . . however, that’s another story . . . and I want to get back to this fun lace resource.
The adventure begins with me flying south. I try to get to Berkeley, CA every once in a while to see my friend, Penny and enjoy some of the wonderful things the Berkeley/San Francisco has to offer. One of the not-to-miss destinations is LACIS, a retail store in Berkeley with an extensive selection (I’ve heard it’s the largest in world) of threads, ribbons, tools and supplies for the textile arts, including lace-making, embroidery, knitting, tatting, crochet, bridal, and much much more! They have vintage lace textiles for sale. If I were ever to get married again, I’d make beeline to LACIS for my entire bridal trousseau.
Best of all . . . is the LACIS Museum of Lace and Textiles. It’s located way in the back of the store and you have to ask to be escorted back to the exhibit . . . but, it’s so worth it! The room itself is modest and about the size of the kitchen in many homes; however, I’ve never seen an exhibit there I didn’t love or fail to inspire me. Best of all, you can enjoy the exhibit without having to leave the comfort of your home (or place of employment . . . or wherever you access the internet from).
The current exhibit is Early Italian Needlework and will be in place until February 8, 2014. Even thought I’ve have the pleasure of visiting LACIS many times and seeing their museum, this is the first time I had the honor and privilege of being escorted by LACIS‘ owner, Jules. What an experience to have a such a knowledgeable guide to walk us through the exhibit. The stories, explanations, and answers to questions were so insightful! If you are not fortunate enough to be in the Berkeley, CA area in the next three months, I highly encourage you to check out their on-line images of the exhibit at http://lacismuseum.org/current_exhibits.html
After entering the online exhibit, the first image you will be introduced to is of a beautiful jacket and table cloth
The online exhibit has 105 images to intrigue and inspire. I know . . . images don replace actually seeing the pieces in person . . . but, hopefully you will find them attractive and inspiring. Here are just a few of them.
One thing LACIS does that I really appreciate is the availability of a multitude of magnifying glasses available to take a closer look at the items in the exhibit. The naked eye . . . especially my rapidly aging eyes . . . just can’t see the incredible detail you need to see in order to appreciate the pieces and excruciating detail of the techniques used to create them. Fortunately, some of the items are shown in detail on-line.
The pièce de résistance is a small piece in the display cabinet. Had I not had the piece pointed out to me, I never would have appreciated and understood it. The lace piece is not much bigger than my hand . . . and I don’t have very big hands. Below are images of the piece in the case and some other images, including a close-up. It’s a truly exquisite . . . AND . . . according to Jules . . . it took 10 years to make!
If you’re interested in learning more, there’s even an exhibit catalog available on-line http://lacismuseum.org/exhibit/Early%20Italian%20Needlework/Catalog%20Early%20Ita;ian%20Needlework.pdf. Below is an image of the cover.
I hope you enjoy the online exhibit if you’re unable to see it person . . . The next exhibit is on smocking and I’m looking forward to seeing when I’m back in the area in April!.