Sunday, April 08, 2007

Festival of Lace

This Easter weekend my lace guild 'The Traditional Lacemakers of Ireland' are having an exhibition of lace made by the guild members and also some antique lace.
Guild members were asked to put two pieces each into the exhibition.
Although I am learning Carrickmacross, Bandon and Bobbin lace I wanted to exhibit some tatting.
My first piece was a framed bonsai tree from a pattern by Lindsay Rodgers in 'Tatting Collage'.

The second piece I have been working on this year is a collage of tatted animals.

I think I will have to explain the reason for this one.
The exhibition is being held in Fota House a beautiful Regency style 18th century house, restored and reopened to the public in 2002. A perfect setting for a lace exhibition.

Fota is a small island in Cork harbour connected to the mainland by a causeway. The estate, former home of the Smith-Barry family is also the home not only of a beautiful arboretum but also Fota Wildlife Park, and this is the reason for my tatted animal display. All of the animals with the exception of the Meerkat are to be found in the park. They do have Meerkats in the Dublin Zoo though.
We have two black swans in the park that swim in their own pond together with a rescued seal so they had to have their own little pond in my display.

The lace exhibition was superb. What a talented lot!

Unfortunately Easter Saturday the day that I went to work at the exhibition, was so sunny that few visitors to the estate came indoors to look around the house. They don't know what they missed. We did also have to compete with the Easter Bunny who was having an egg hunt outside the window of the room we were working in!

During the afternoon we had a lecture on The History of The Limerick Lace School given by Veronica Rowe a lace historian. Her Grandmother started the Limerick Lace School in the 1890's. At the time there were many lace schools throughout the country as lace was very much in demand. The Limerick School continued until 1923 when hand made lace was no longer in great demand.
Her slides and display of antique Limerick lace was superb.