I am often witness to some amazing things that I see people making, or have made, in my travels to museums, or in my own groups. It always amazing me how people can turn sticks and wool, or just one little stick with a hook, into the most gorgeous pieces of art.
Lacemaking is, to me, the highest form of these miracles, probably due to its complexity and the sheer amount of labour that goes into each piece. Added to that the fact that I can’t do it and that always makes them seem more complicated!
I had been waiting to post about our recent visit to the Venice Lace Museum, in Burano, until our own brilliant Lace Day, here in Spain was over, so that I could post pictures of both things.
You may remember that I first went to Lace Day last year. Vivienne in our sewing group is an amazing lace maker, and we had a workshop led by her in the group as well in November. It was a brilliant day once again, not only seeing the work of the other groups, but also the beautiful crocheted sunshades everywhere in the park.
It was also wonderful to spend time with my friends from my knitting and sewing groups. I know that I may have said it before, but I am so pleased to have met these wonderful women, who have become very good friends over the last two years. There is just something about people who craft that make them my kind of people 😉
The Lace Museum on the island of Burano was the second lace museum that I have visited, the first being the one at Nottingham Castle. This museum was housed in the school of lace that was opened in 1872, located in an old Palazzo. I particularly like the old sign for the school displayed on the wall here.
It is is very well interpreted museum, with a small display area that changes periodically. It looks not only at the techniques of lace making, but also the social and historical context of lace in fashion.
They also have a brilliant map in the entrance showing different lace from around the world and the coolest lockers of any museum I have visited!
Quite a lot of the interpretation is through video, which was excellent, and this is complemented by the wonderful pieces in the display cases.
As you know I am a little bit obsessed with seeing the wonderful people behind the craft, so it was brilliant to see these local ladies portrayed in the video, and learn about their work with groups of children.
I loved the fact that there were, not only pieces of lace, but some actual garments, such as this dress and wedding dress with veil.
I also loved these little baby bootees!
There were also patterns, dating from different eras, and paintings of people wearing garments with lace.
The earliest samples in the exhibition were from the late 16th century. Not only are they wonderful, but the fact that they have survived so long is amazing.
There were also lots of samples from the 1700 and 1800 hundreds showing different types of lace, such as bobbin lace, and lace stitched on tulle.
The island of Burano is one that is much visited, as it is famous for its beautiful painted houses.
You can also buy lots of small samples of machine made lace on the island, and purchase larger pieces of hand made work.
The Lace Museum was really quiet, so it is sad that more people don’t go as it is a fascinating part of Venice’s history. It is very centrally located in one of the main squares and is very much worth a visit, as is the island itself.
The advice given that I referred to in my last post, about more sustainable tourism in Venice recommends visiting the outer islands and less popular places and we were lucky enough to see lots of those, which I will tell you more about in a future post.
I am currently working on finishing up a pair of knitted reindeer for one of my friends at knitting group. Lots of little ends to sew in! I have also just got onto the hand quilting stage of the Liberty lap quilt. My wadding has arrived and I have done some of the basting. I have had fun choosing which colours of perle to use for each square.
I am running a workshop this week at sewing group doing some hand embroidery with perle thread and some of the designs I have collected over the years. I will take some pictures of that and share them at the end of the week. My friend Sarah, from Marsden, gifted me some small hoops a while ago, so everyone will be able to make a little framed picture to hang somewhere.
The weather has thankfully settled here and we are having lovely sunny days so I am going to the pool a lot. I can’t believe that in a few weeks time I will be celebrating 2 years of retirement 🙂 It has flown by and I am loving every minute of it. Who wouldn’t? Time to study, to craft, to write my novel, making new friends, and being pain free enough to enjoy exercise and life generally is so brilliant.
I feel so very blessed and am conscious that there are so many people who never have that opportunity. Like most of us, as we get older there are more friends who die far too young, and I am feeling incredibly grateful that I have had this time, and determined to make every single day count.
I hope that you are too, and that you are all having a happy life. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.