(Read the story first, the photos are in the end.)
For the last six months I’ve been visiting frequently a local upper elementary school. I was leading a project that was a combination of visual arts and lace. Working with the 7th graders reached it’s goal today as we painted over one hundred lace graffitis to the main street’s paving.
Project description in a nutshell: First I introduced the students to the world of lace. Then we examined the essence, form, looks and structure of lace. What makes lace lace and are there other things, both man made and natural, that have the idea of lace in some means. After that the students got a homework to find these “laces” in their own natural environments. Their task was also capture them either by photographing or drawing. With the pictures we started to photoshop them into two-colour images. Those we could transform into a machine readable format so that a laser cutting machine could cut them of thin mdf-board. This is how we got stencils to use for spray painting lace graffitis to the pavement stones.
Rauma Lace Week starts in four days so I’m pretty sure they will last at least until that.
I want to express my gratitude to the students for the great work they have done both during Spring and today’s painting operation. And can you imagine: no-one even called the police for us being painting graffitis!
The making of Rauma Lace Graffitis was supported by the town of Rauma and the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Satakunta Regional fund. Great thanks to both of them!
Last fall, when I was in a Polish lace festival in the town of Bobowa, I got an invitation to participate in a lace conference in Kozárd (Hungary) in the beginning of June 2016. My physical presence was not only wished but also a participation in a collaborative lace artwork. This so called bridge of friendship was started by the Hungarians, Polish and Slovakians, but later on other countries have joined. The two latest just few weeks ago were Finland (by yours truly) and Croatia (Lepoglava lace).
The bridge that connects us consists of several lace pieces, each made by a different participant. The connected (= sewn together) lace pieces symbolize the friendship and connection among us. So I was asked to do alike. Measurements are 24 x 32 cm. Also it has to be sewable on both ends, so those have to be straight. Something typical and traditional was in the wishlist, so I chose to made border lace for a table cloth called “Rowan’s leaf”. I didn’t want to put any cloth in it even though that would have been traditional, so instead I made another lace to fill the center. I wanted to represent the theme of friendship so I picked up this motif of endless knot, which is known around the world. In India it is known by the name of Shrivatsa, it is a symbol of eternal love and friendship, so it fits the theme quite well.
Check out the whole artwork:
The bridge continues to become longer so new countries are to be expected.
In the market square of the town of Rauma there is one infamous stone bollard that falls down once in a while as sloppy car drivers fail to evade it. It has gotten a lot of publicity like this:
The headline tells that the bollard had an accidental day once again as it got hit.
My first attempt to increase the visibility of the bollard was two years ago when I made bobbin lace of reflective band. It wasn’t that pretty but it surely served it’s purpose – until it got stolen after being on the bollard for almost two weeks.
From this theft I got a good reason to make another one, but this time with style as I wasn’t that satisfied with the first one. I also documented the whole making process and turned it into a performance which you can see for yourself:
Unfortunately but naturally some moron stole this one also. So after this theft the bollard continuet it’s life getting hits by sloppy car drivers.
Until this fall I got an idea to make a reflecting lace that can’t be stolen, unless you steal the whole bollard as well. I made a lace stencil and then with reflective lace spray paint I just simply painted the lace. Or to be precise I painted the empty areas in the lace so in the bollard you can see the lace made of stone that doesn’t reflect light as well as the surrounding areas.
The old town hall in the center of Old Rauma is one of Rauma Museum’s attractions. It is known for its historical lace collection which includes several hundred lace samples. To modern people old laces and the art of making bobbin lace feel like they are from another world, even many light years away. The same way as star’s twinkle has actually happened long, long time ago, also Ancient light, spectaculum 79 Ceti brings forth in the form of light bobbin lace over a hundred years ago.
This public light art appears as the sun goes down and vanishes as the dawn comes. It can be seen during dark hours until the end of February 2016.
The artwork is a part of a national event Light for Art, which is produced by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland. More info (in Finnish only, sorry) in the web page: http://valoataiteelle.taike.fi/
Finnish art and craft magazine Taito (3/2015) presented a collaboration of my bobbin lace and hair plaiting of a local plait artist Matti Airola. This pitsiletti is our idea how to mix old handcraft skill to modern hair fashion. Matti writes a blog in Finnish, but you can also follow his work in Instagram and Facebook.
The first pitsiletti, plait and lace, was done to the lace princess 2013 Sivi Kuoppakangas.
The next pitsiletti was done to Viivi Pumpanen, the host of this year’s Pitsimissi contest. Freely translated the contest is Miss Lace contest.
So the question is what next? It seems that this has potential and deserves developement. If you ask me I’d say that these won’t be the last lace and plait combinations you’ll see. And I think that this might be a good hair decoration idea for a bride in a wedding or at any elegant evening party.