Ottawa Guild of Lacemakers

September 19-22 2016 Workshop
Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

   “Invisible Starts and Finishes
      in Bobbin Lace Making”

The Ottawa Guild of  Lacemakers with the assistance of a grant from the Ontario Arts Council is sponsoring a workshop for National Capital Region lacemakers to learn and master specialized techniques useful to bobbin lacemaking.

To paraphrase Elizabeth Kurella, author of Guide to Lace and Linens ‘bobbin lace making is a form of weaving with no fixed warp or weft.  Because the threads are all free to travel in any direction at any time there are infinite possibilities for decorative stitches.  All the stitches in bobbin lace are based on weaving, braiding and twisting the threads.’  When working, two pairs or four bobbins are usually being used so the process is systematic yet infinitely variable in how it is executed to create the lace.  It is made on a stabilizing platform, using pins to hold the threads in position.  These ‘cushions, bolsters or pillows’ as they are called vary in shape from flat rounded or oval discs to cylinders or flattened cylinders mounted like a roller or held in baskets or held on the knee or lain on a table or holder.  The shapes are  ‘stuffed’ or made with traditional materials such as wool felt, straw or sawdust or in more modern times are made from foams such as ethafoam.

The origins of bobbin lace date back to very early times, however it started its ascendance to prominence as an art/ industry in the 16th century.  It progressed and expanded globally onward and outward into the 18th century when its ‘multinational economic status’ declined by supplanting the cottage workers with the introduction of lace making machinery.  The machines never replicated the array or quality of laces nor did they capture the multitude of regional variations and styles. Bobbin lacemaking has since evolved into an artistic art form or leisure activity.  This is why the participants in this workshop are gathered here at the Museum: to learn more techniques of the art, to preserve it as a real and integral art form and as pleasant pastime for those who like to do it.

The workshop leader is Martina Wolter-Kampmann an internationally renowned German lace artist and teacher.  She is the author of book and CD “Invisible Starts and Finishes in Bobbin Lace ”  (2011 – ISBN/EAN 978-3-9802279-6-4).  She is fluent in the techniques of traditional and modern laces in Europe and is an expert in designing and mending lace.  She teaches internationally her innovative and invisible methods of joining finishes to starts so that the joining threads disappear completely.  This is quite technically challenging to do.  She has a Diploma in Pedagogics and Textile Arts from the University of Dortmund, Germany and a doctorate from the Kantcentrum in Brugge, Belgium that is a renowned centre for the teaching of lacemaking,

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