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#ancientsparkcreations

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I've been terrible about posting the past couple of days, because I ran into a problem with my silk scarf, and I've been trying to work through it. So today I went to one of my "meditation spaces" (i.e. the stables where I ride) to hang out with my girl Daisy. As you can see, she's not much interested in lacemaking (lack of opposable thumbs and all that), but she has a way of calming me and getting me out of my head long enough for me to step back and see the problem from another perspective. The sunshine didn't hurt either.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #horsenation #horsesareawesome #aargh

Bobbin lace results in weird calluses! This is what happens after pinning hundreds of stitches in one sitting. When I made a large piece of chainmaille armor last year, I ended up with large calluses on two fingers of my right hand and on the palm of my left. I actually find the calluses I end up with interesting, because they give me valuable information about how I hold and handle my tools. They're a semi-permanent record of my work, and linger long after the piece is finished. Fellow artists: how does your work leave an imprint on your bodies?⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #artisan #artistmarks #bodyofanartist

Following up yesterday's post on placing crystals into lace, here's the tool I use to do this. A small crochet hook also works, but I didn't have one that could fit into the stones without shattering them. This is a Duchesse hook (used in Duchesse bobbin lace, which has special joining techniques).⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #lacemakingtools #duchesse #artisantools #lacemaker

Bobbin throwback time! I don't use these bobbins as often as I'd like, since they're too light for most of the work I do, but I do bring them out once in a while when I want to do a small sample.⠀

The light brown ones are Rosaline-style bobbins, made of pear wood. The thinner, darker ones are of a wood composite, and sing beautifully when moved around. It's hard not to feel inspired by such beautiful tools!⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #bobbinlace #bobbins #artisanwood #lacemakingtools

I was really excited to receive this in the mail a few days ago! One of my favorite aspects of lacemaking is knowing that I'm participating in a centuries-old tradition. I also enjoy experimenting with antique patterns and adapting them for modern use.⠀

The Ipswich lace samples give us an important glimpse into American lacemaking: both in terms of style and importance. The samples were kept among Alexander Hamilton's papers, since one of his tasks had been to survey the state of the textile industry.⠀

I look forward to trying them out, and connecting with this fascinating time in bobbin lace history!⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #bobbinlace #ipswich #alexanderhamilton

So here's a little bobbin winding tip I learned from a fellow lacemaker some time ago. It involves setting up a couple (or three, in my case) long pins to hold a bobbin I want to wind from. In bobbin lace, pairs are usually wound continuously: you wind double the thread you need onto one bobbin, and then from that bobbin to the second of the pair. This little setup is useful in keeping that first bobbin in place and in a comfortable position to wind from.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #bobbinlace #bobbinwinding #tipsandtricks #lacemakertricks

I normally enjoy working with a very specific color palette: jewel-toned or black thread, earthy metals like bronze, and dark-hued crystals. But sometimes I'm walking along and a very different set of colors catches my eye, and I think I might want to try something out of my comfort zone.⠀

How do you relate to colors? Do some call to you while others put you off completely? Have you ever "come around" to wanting to try a shade you never thought of working with?⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #naturewalk #cheesybutfunfilter #yellowflowers #weedsareflowerstoo

Sometimes I like to walk through my garden just for some color inspiration. I see a project in red and black in my near future...⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #redflowers #colorinspiration #artisanlace

TBT: Working on a tatted lace choker a few months ago.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #tbt #artisan #lacemaker

MOST RECENT

Two steps forward, one step back. As I mentioned yesterday, I ran into a little problem with my lace scarf. Nothing that can't be solved with a bit of backtracking, but in bobbin lace undoing work can be as time-consuming (if not more) as making it in the first place.⠀

Sigh. Breathe, breathe, breathe... A session or two, and I should be back on track.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #bobbinlace #lacescarf #aargh #naughtythread #iguessthisbuildscharacter

I've been terrible about posting the past couple of days, because I ran into a problem with my silk scarf, and I've been trying to work through it. So today I went to one of my "meditation spaces" (i.e. the stables where I ride) to hang out with my girl Daisy. As you can see, she's not much interested in lacemaking (lack of opposable thumbs and all that), but she has a way of calming me and getting me out of my head long enough for me to step back and see the problem from another perspective. The sunshine didn't hurt either.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #horsenation #horsesareawesome #aargh

Almost ready to move the pattern up! It's not something I'm looking forward to doing, because it takes time and can get very fiddly, but I'm happy to start on a new section of my scarf!⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #bobbinlace #lacemaker #lacescarf #ooak #artisans #silkscarfs

Another star-shaped spider variant. This one has a light, airy look that I love.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #lace #bobbinlace #ooak #silkscarf #lacescarf #luxuryaccessories

Another spider variant for my scarf. This one has two extra pins at the sides, for a neat webbed look. The center will straighten out once I take out all the pins.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #silkscarf #bobbinlacescarf #lacescarf #ooak #blacksilk

I'm almost at the end of the first part, which means I'll be moving the whole pattern up on the pillow soon. At this point, I'm probably looking at four or five repeats for a nice - but not excessive - length.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #lacemaking #bobbinlace #lace #laceaccessories #lacescarf #silkscarf #ooak

Following up yesterday's post on placing crystals into lace, here's the tool I use to do this. A small crochet hook also works, but I didn't have one that could fit into the stones without shattering them. This is a Duchesse hook (used in Duchesse bobbin lace, which has special joining techniques).⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #lacemakingtools #duchesse #artisantools #lacemaker

Placing a crystal so it's centered between stitches. The crystal will go in the space above where two pairs cross (in the pattern, it's the space between four points of ground). Here's how I do it:⠀

1. I take the two pairs I'm going to work with, and do a single twist for each pair.⠀

2. Using the two inside bobbins, I catch the thread of the one on the left with a small hook that I've used to catch the crystal, and slide the crystal onto the thread, creating a loop.⠀

3. I pass the bobbin on the right through the loop I just made, and adjust the crystal so it's centered while sliding it up where it needs to be.⠀

4. I make my stitch with both pairs, pin, and close, being careful to keep the crystal centered.⠀

Easy peasy! I love using beads and crystals in lace. They add a lovely weight and sparkle to a piece.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #bobbinlace #beadedlace #swarovski #crystals #lacescarf #silkscarf

Well, crap... This does happen once in a while (which doesn't make it any less frustrating); especially with large projects, where the threads get moved around a lot, at some point something is going to break. How do I fix this?⠀

1. Spend a few minutes cursing and swearing. Really, just get it out of my system, so I can be calm enough to actually do something about it.⠀
2. Undo enough of the section so I can attach a longer length of thread to the broken one using a weaver's knot.⠀
3. Take this new length and wind it alongside the strand of the bobbin you're going to place back, so it's doubled.⠀
4. Re-hang the bobbin on an outside pin (or a pin just above where I'm working), and do a few stitches with the doubled thread.⠀
5. Unwind the short thread and move it out of the way (I'll trim it at the end), and keep working with the new thread.⠀
6. Pray to the lace deities that it won't show.⠀

Sigh. Off to fix this.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #bobbinlace #lacescarf #lacemakernightmares #brokenthread #aaargh

Bobbin lace results in weird calluses! This is what happens after pinning hundreds of stitches in one sitting. When I made a large piece of chainmaille armor last year, I ended up with large calluses on two fingers of my right hand and on the palm of my left. I actually find the calluses I end up with interesting, because they give me valuable information about how I hold and handle my tools. They're a semi-permanent record of my work, and linger long after the piece is finished. Fellow artists: how does your work leave an imprint on your bodies?⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #artisan #artistmarks #bodyofanartist

This was a cool spider variant to make. It results in a motif that looks like two stars side by side!⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #lacemaker #bobbinlace #silkscarf #luxuryscarf #silkandcrystals #artisanmade

We set this up for the kids, and I mentioned that maybe I could use it as a studio space. They were not impressed. I'm lucky lace is fairly portable; back to the dining room it is!⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #desperateforspace #studiodreams #artisanwoes

A pretty little half-stitch spider. This variation doesn't call for a pin placed in the center; it's woven and closed in one pass.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #lacemaker #bobbinlace #silkscarf #luxuryscarf #silkandcrystals #artisanmade

I'm often asked how much time bobbin lace takes to make, so here's an idea for this large piece. I use a time tracker app to help me calculate labor costs on my pieces, and it tells me that, from design (the actual drawing of the pattern on paper) to this point, it's been around 43 hours. That includes designing and preparing the pattern (making the pinholes), winding the bobbins, and doing the work. So yes, it's time-consuming, but the time flies for me as the piece takes shape, and I can't imagine anything I'd rather be doing!⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #silkscarf #lacescarf #bobbinlace #artisanprocess #slowbeauty

Another spider variant: this one is called "pececito" in Spanish, which means "little fish." Very fun to make, and looks really unique!⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #bobbinlace #lacemotifs #silkscarf #ooakhandmade #artisanmade #lacescarf #luxuryaccessories

Going down the center of the scarf; this is where I'm incorporating all the spider variants. After the basic model above, I went with this star-shaped spider motif, since it's one of my favorites. It's the one I used on the purple edging I made recently.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #ooak #silkscarf #lacescarf #bobbinlace #lace #handmadelace #artisan

These is the spider motif variant that will go down the outside columns of the Arachne scarf. It consists of four interlocking spiders: you work the top one first, then the sides, and then the bottom one. I always love the look of this one!⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #bobbinlace #ooak #handmade #artisanlace #handmadelace #lacescarf #silkscarf #blackscarf #luxuryscarf

Here's a look at how one of the scarf's motifs is made. I'm calling this piece Arachne, because it centers around a bobbin lace motif known as a spider. The one in this photo is the basic form of this motif, the one most lacemakers learn first, but there are actually many variants (someone once told me there are probably 50 documented versions!). My goal is to incorporate as many of these as I can into the piece.⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #bobbinlace #silkscarf #ooakscarf #fiberarts #artisan

Another important lacemaking center: Le Puy en Velay, France. I love the lace that comes out of this region, and the fact that there's an actual school for lacemakers!⠀

Bobbin Lace Learning Center - Le Puy en Velay - France - Le Puy's Lace - Introcution http://buff.ly/2sydzJb⠀

#ancientsparkcreations #historyoflace #lacemakingcenters #puyenvelay #frenchlacemakers #bobbinlace

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