State of Lace

Ah - the weekend. For some, a break from the nine to five bore and snore. Families are pumpkin picking, men are losing bets over football, and classes take a backseat as college students booze. Wait, I’m in college, so where’s my vodka bramble? Oh ya, that’s right.. I’m in grad school - different kind of college. My weekend gets sucked into a big vacuum made by Hoover, model name "all work and no sleep", and the remains? Well there are none. The lack of weekend begins Friday evening after leaving my assistantship to go straight to an artist’s lecture. I return to my pad around 9:30, work on half drop repeats until the early morn, and then go back to my assistantship for the Saturday gallery hours of 11-4.

I admit, I make it sound grueling, but every second is worth it when I realize how surreal it is. The home of my assistantship is a 7,000 square foot sprawling ranch called The Design Center. Think Case Study Houses, or the Singleton Residence, now you’ve got the idea. This gem of a house was inhabited by Goldie Paley, the founder of CBS’ mother (a.k.a mom-in-law to style icon Babe Paley), before being donated to my university. TDC contains a huuuuge textile archive, as well as textile-manufacturing relics, apparel, and three lovely ladies behind the scenes. As if this isn’t enough to overwhelm the midwest doe-eyed girl in me, the Design Center also has gallery space where the lace-inspired work of three international artists resides: Demakersvan, Tord Boontje, and Cal Lane.

Ok ok, I’ll stop gushing and show you the damn pictures. First we have Tord. As you can imagine, hours and hours went into making this raffia curtain:


Tord's Design Studio was well-known for their beautiful light fixtures for artecnica prior to this exhibition.


Above: Midsummer Light,

come rain come shine

Above: Come Rain Come Shine Light,

Below: Garland Light  (Give me this, now, in black please):


Good stuff, huh?

But check these one of a kind bad boys out:


raffia light

Tord's maquettes of raffia designs, based on Quaker Lace sample(in top of photo):


Tord didn't stop at the raffia curtain and light fixtures.

How would you feel about this being front and center in your living room?


Yes.  This is a couch.  Yes, I've sat in it.  Yes, It's super comfy.


above photos: courtesy of The Design Center

With his lace-making approach to the couch, Tord has created a (very) modern rendition of a Victorian love seat, IMHO:


Furniture I found outside of Tord's Lace in Translation work includes the Shadowly Armchair / Chaise Lounge:

shadowly armchair and chaise lounge

Which brings me back to one of Erin's finds, a hooded wicker chair from her Round Top Round Up.

Enough with Tord, onward to Cal.  Cal Lane that is.  She's Canadian, and pretty much amazing.  She's the artist whose lecture I mentioned above.  I had seen her work in these next three photos before I saw her Lace in Translation work, which you may be familiar with also:



That's some durrrrty lace

lace shovels

Seeing her work in person, not to mention at the place I work at, is ten times better than any photograph:



Cal used a Quaker Lace Sample from the Design Center's collection as the inspiration for her burnout pattern in the grass (which as a result of mulching, I was able to give my classmates a whole new way to experience her work: through the smell of cow.)

The same design was used for her massive oil drum sculpture atop the pool.





above photos:  courtesy of The Design Center

Like I said, amazing, right??  Well, that's my rant.  Back to my unweekend plans of relaxing print work.  Ciao.

The Lace in Translation Exhibition runs September 24th through April 3rd. Visit for details.