The Summer School of Lacemaking – 2018
Lace dates back as far as ancient times. Due to its beauty, it gained popularity in European sacral and secular, courtly art. Over time, it also began to appear in villages – as ornaments for the house, fineries and in some regions it was even worn on a daily basis. In some places, girls learned lacemaking at school, later moms and grandmas passed on their knowledge to daughters and granddaughters, thus giving birth to lacemaking centres we know today.
- The umbrella term “lace” includes many techniques. Among them are crocheted items made with a variety of different stitches, but also bobbin lace or tatting. Every technique yields different results, which along with regional diversity of patterns or lace applications form a treasure trove of Polish lacemaking traditions”, says Bartłomiej Drozd, programme coordinator of the Jagiellonian Fair in Lublin.
Lublin welcomed lacemakers from all over Poland, as well as Slovakia and Lithuania. The organizers invite individuals who represent regional arts and techniques. Among them was Eugenia Wieczorek (Jarocin) who specializes in tatting lace characteristic for Greater Poland. She picked up her skills from her grandmother and later studied under one of the lacemakers from Greater Poland. After some time, she became a tatting instructor, training more people in this art. Since the 1980s, she’s been winning awards in many local, national and international contests. In 2013, she received Oskar Kolberg awards. Another worthwhile stop was the stall of Czesława Lewandowska (Ostrołęka), who represents the tradition of Kurpie Zielone. She makes crochet lace for doilies and elements of traditional Kurpie aprons. She learned the technique from her grandmother and mother when she was a teenager. She has been a member of Folk Artists’ Association since 1997.
More gems were available at the stall of Mariola Wojtas (Koniaków). She has learned crochet lace from her mom and later she honed her skills studying under other local artists. Mariola makes lace using cotton and silk threads and creates her own pattern following Koniaków tradition. Her work has brought her numerous awards in the contest for The Most Beautiful Koniaków Lace.
Irena Sapiejka (Sieradz) inherited the interest in handicrafts after her grandmother, aunt and mom. Since early days, she had an opportunity to observe crochet lace. Sapiejka’s work is dominated by mesh and reed techniques. She runs workshops and demonstrations for various interested groups. She is a member of Folk Artists’ Association.
Interesting creations were also presented by Magdalena Cięciwa (Marcinkowice), who specializes in Zakopiane-style bobbin lace. Her grandmother specialized in bobbin lace, but she didn’t manage to pass on the skills to her granddaughter. Magdalena learned the art from artists in Bobowa. She makes doilies, tablecloths, runners, collars, cuffs and traditional Lachy corsets and blouses. She has won awards in the National Bobbin Lace Contests and Folk Art Contest in Bukowina Tatrzańska. She has received the award “Distinguished in service to Polish Culture”, the silver cross of merit of the President of the Republic of Poland.
Other notable Polish lacemakers we met at the Fair were Teresa Buczyńska (Toruń), Lucyna Bytow (Koniaków) and Anna Karwacka- Kosińska (Biała Podlaska). Lacemakers from Slovakia were represented, among others, by Soňa Bezúchová (Banská Bystrica), Gabriela Kravcová (Banská Štiavnica), Darina Lichnerová (Modra) and Terézia Vitková (Bratislava). These ladies specialize in Bobbin lace. Lithuanian lace was represented by Ramutė Kraujaliene (Vilnius) and Gitana Navickienė (Grigiskes).
Presentations of crafts at the Handicrafts Fair were accompanied by demonstrations and workshops which introduced the visitors into the world of lace and allowed them to appreciate the finesse and meticulousness of the work of the masters of this art. The participants of the Summer School of Lacemaking had an opportunity to learn one of five lacemaking traditions which developed in Poland. Over four days of workshops, the instructors, all experienced folk artists, shared their experience and lacemaking skills. Registrations bega at the start of August. It was also possible to study lace during Teneriffe lace workshops at the stall of Uniwersytet Ludowy Rzemiosła Artystycznego in Wola Sękowa, Bobbin lace workshop under the supervision of Darina Lichnerova or tatting workshop conducted by Teresa Buczyńska.
The main theme of the Jagiellonian Fair – lace was also presented at themed exhibitions showcasing, among others, the works of several renowned lacemakers from Koniaków. Her Majesty Koniaków Lace, the title of the exhibition in Gardzienice Gallery at Grodzka 5a, will familarise visitors with the broad range of lace applications, from the most traditional and archaic forms, namely head caps used in regional costumes, through doilies and tablecloths and modern clothes and jewellery. The second exhibition, entitled The Summer School of Lacemaking – field research exhibition is the summary of the preparations the Jagielloniajn Fair’s organizes have made for the lace-focused edition of the festival. The exhibition will be available for viewing in the cloister of the Dominican Monastery at Złota 9.
The Summer School of Lacemaking – Field Research Interviews
- interview: Eugenia Wieczorek from Jarocin (English subs available)
- interview: Magdalena Cięciwa from Maricnkowice (with Eng subs)
- interview: Czesława Lewandowska from Ostrołęka (coming soon)
- interview: Zuzanna Ptak from Koniaków (coming soon)
- interview: Irena Sapiejka from Sieradz (coming soon)