Contents in This Month's Issue
We have rather exhilarating news to share, everyone! Lacis Museum is unveiling a brand-new exhibit...
Day's End: Personal Glamour
on Friday, April 28th, 2023
Returning home at the end of a long day spent out in and about in society can be the sweetest feeling. And while "glamor" has performative associations, it doesn't necessarily have to be indulged in for the gaze of the general public. It doesn't even need to be just for our nearest and dearest: it can be equally for our own enjoyment.
Day's End will be a joyful celebration of all the sensuous, gorgeous things we wear in private, such as nightgowns, robes, and pajamas. It's the perfect way to commemorate an age in which loungewear truly seems to have turned a corner and come into its own, and remember the fashionable trends and changes in practices of the past.
Current LMLT Members will be invited to the opening day event, with tours by appointment commencing thereafter. We can't wait to take you on this journey with us! And for a sneak peek into a couple of our most romantic white nightgowns, don't miss this month's Textile Trivia about depictions of Cupid in lace!
We're looking forward to hosting another year of Máire Treanor's amazing Clones Irish Crochet Lace extravaganza! Don't forget, all you need is a $50 deposit to hold your spot. If you've mastered the basics (chain stitch, single crochet, and double crochet), and you've had a desire to make lace, this is one of the most beautiful art forms in the world.
Is it any wonder that Italian fashion icon Chiara Ferragni wore an Irish Crochet wedding gown designed by Dior's creative director, Maria Grazia herself? It's lace fit for angels and Chiara is a literal ray of sunlight. — And shown above right is a cream-colored sweater that's in the LMLT permanent collection. Just in case you need some Irish Crochet inspiration today!
On Thursday, January 26, several Berkeley City Council representatives, LMLT curator Jules Kliot, and a small crowd of community members convened for the official inauguration of Doran Dada's new mural, The God Shu on his Flying Chariot, which now graces the Lacis Offices and Warehouse.
Berkeley councilmembers Kate Harrison, Sophie Hahn, and Ben Bartlett, the mural's sponsor and representative for the district in which LMLT resides, were all in attendance. Harrison, concomitantly acknowledging both Lacis Museum's work in preserving our textile heritage and Doran Dada's artistic activism work, urged us to remain mindful "not lose the past; and here is a perfect instance of present and future coming together." For her part, Hahn declared, "Everyone deserves a beautiful, well-maintained neighborhood. This is an act of generosity — a generous gift from the artist and the building [owner]."
Doran puts the finishing touches on his mural the week of the unveiling; LMLT Director Jules Kliot and mural sponsor, Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartett, admire the finished piece and celebrate its completion on the day of its unveiling.
Doran Dada, explaining his inspiration for this monumental work, said its source came from "looking back through time and culture, where things seemed to be in harmony. Look at the ancient Egyptians: their culture lasted thousands of years—they must have been doing something right. Look at the Native American ethic of planning: they were mindful to always give something seven generations forward."
Doran expressed his humble gratitude to the Ohlone people for their long stewardship of this region. His intention, by depicting the "God Shu, coming in Peace and Love, is intended to bring positivity to the world," and he was "thankful for the synchronicity and magic that allowed this piece to ultimately come together."
"This could be the beginning of something," Jules enthused. "We made it through dark days and long nights, terrible storms, but Doran persevered, and now we're rewarded with this amazing candy to the eyes and spirit; and that's what I want this area to be—a good place to be." He thanked our "great councilman" Ben Bartlett who, Jules said, really understands this neighborhood.
Also notably in attendance was the renowned Bay Area treasure, Edythe Yvonne Boone. For decades Boone has been an important muralist, activist, counselor, and art teacher, both here and in New York City. In 1994, along with a sisterhood of five other women artists, she painted the Women's Building mural, titled "Maestrapiece", in the Mission of San Francisco.
Legendary Edythe Boone and the next generation: a young protégé of Doran's, aspiring artist Ra Bey of Oakland, was honored to place his name on the signature of the mural following the ceremony, having provided some invaluable technical assistance during the painting process.
Boone's dignified presence lent a particular gravitas to the occasion, confirming that, though a relatively intimate public affair, this was truly a historic occasion.
As of the unveiling ceremony, Doran still had one last coat of veneer to apply over the piece to seal and preserve it for many years to come. The impact of this image—enormous, jewel-like, poignant with emotion and significance—will be felt by all the neighborhood and those who visit it for long to come. The Lacis Museum is honored to furnish its wall for this purpose, and proud to bear this distinction.
James Rael, videographer for the city of Concord, captured the event on film for a documentary in the making on the project. Follow him on Instagram—he's @james.rae1—and Doran Dada—@dorandada—so you can see it when it comes out!
Don't forget, The Bird in The Textile Arts closes April 15!
See it while you still can!
We love it when our talented Lacis visitors are working on a project and show us a photo, or even bring in the project itself! Inspiration abounds in this place, and that's in no small part thanks to you. Read our Customer of the Month section for even more amazing work done by our Lacis friends.
Artist Juliana van Tellingen's relative found this embroidered piece at a garage sale situation. Look at that splendid variety of stitches—lazy daisies, straight stitches, French knots...! How cute is that?? It must have been a decorative chair back—it had rusted staples all along the edges—but she's given it a whole new lease on life, quilting a border around it of all vintage fabrics, practicing her beading on it. The red fruits are sequins, and you can see her intention of lining the bottom of the thatch roof with bugle beads.
Juliana has plans to bling it up even further along the path, and to add an applique figure, using a ceramic tile face piece she's been saving for exactly this sort of occasion. The fringe at the bottom was inspired by the tanka borders in the Faith Ringgold exhibit she saw at the DeYoung. Juliana calls it "A Friend's House." And no wonder: it's certainly an inviting place to visit with the eyes and imagination!
Blair Van Tassel's "Sleeping Beauty"-inspired corset in linen, shown left, had us swooning. Along with a matching skirt, it'll make its debut at this year's Costume Con in San Jose.
We found the subtle floral embroidery symmetrically embellishing its front to be the perfect touch: total "Briar Rose" vibes, and just like something out a fairy tale.
Also stunning were Marta Burn's Bunka cord tassel earrings. Bunka cord is a highly flexible, silky rayon yarn. While Bunka embroidery is a topic of its own (it's accomplished with a punch needle, to put it briefly), the yarn makes for really deliciously tactile tassels, with lots of drape and movement.
For years, Marta's been making these unique dangly textile earrings, and this particular pair in emerald green is a more minimal version of her typical pieces—they often have much more body, but we loved the spare, pared-down look of these. Super contemporary, super fun, 100% Marta.
Last March, Greater Bay Area Costumer's Guild member Barbara Tassielli took a workshop with one of our favorite Lacis teachers, Lynn McMasters, and under her tutelage, made this incredible feathered floral headpiece. Shown left is how it looked when she brought it into Lacis Museum: she needed just a little bit more ribbon to finish it up. The next picture that follows, below right, is the finished product.
The general design is based on an 1850s feathered headband Lynn saw at the Victoria and Albert Fashion Museum. (They actually have many such "floral" works of art made from feathers, including this stunning spray.) So look closely — even the leaves are made from feathers! "The yellow center is made from colored salt on a Q-Tip while the little bunches of stamen were store-bought," noted Barbara. And because Lynn McMasters provides practical solutions for every problem, bobby pins attach the piece to the head.
If you love what Barbara made, you'll love this: We'll be hosting Lynn's very special "1850s-60s Bun Wreath" workshop here at Lacis in the Spring—dates TBA, so stay tuned. Shown above is a sample of what students will be making for themselves! Isn't it gorgeous??
This show will be closing on April 15, 2023!
Detail from "6 Fighting Birds on a Buddhist Shawl" 
Our avian friends in literature and on canvas have long held a place of pride through all civilizations and all times.
The bird captured in thread and textiles is more obscure and less defined. Depicted by a single thread, a bountiful palette of threads, a thread following a hook or threads flowing in harmony through the bobbins of lace, the bird is captured by the hands of the creator.
This amazing presentation captures this spirit from Pre-Columbian Peru to the earliest of laces to a world of unbound wealth of thread, color and needle.
For Katherine Bond of Berkeley, the exhibit was, in her words, "Spectacular!" She was "speechless at the display of time, quality, variety and geography of the works."
Visitor Virginia Davis was similarly floored, enthusing that it was "totally FABULOUS."
Paula and Rob Patterson, who came to visit all the way from Colorado, said that, "As birders, we so appreciated this exhibit. Thank you!"
Lacis Museum member Blair Van Tassel felt the same way: "Beyond amazing details," she agreed.
These pieces from our collection are terrific examples of a number of different lacemaking techniques! Be sure to check out our display that contains these, and many more gorgeous doily specimens—it'll be in a display case on your left-hand side, almost the first thing you see when you come into the shop.
Sections of the Shetland Lace Sampler of Cathy Adair-Clark
This generous donation of decorative textile artworks from Cathy Adair-Clark is a tour de force of talent and devotion to the world of needlework, specifically her world of knitting and Shetland yarns: "I fell in love with Shetland sheep and their fleeces, and that has ruled my life since 2007."
The magnificent Shetland lace sampler she constructed in 2012 is 8 feet by 6½ feet, comprising 67 different fleeces of yarn, all hand-spun by Cathy herself. We also have her personally compiled tome of sketches available for your perusal, with each motif and its pattern, along with sources and progress reports, all passionately and fastidiously documented.
We sent these strappy 1970s high-heeled sandals to the production crew of a film set on location in New Jersey! We'll have to watch The Day of the Fight when it comes out, just to see if these shoes show up on screen. Based on the title, it looks like it's going to be somehow related to the 1951 Stanley Kubrick documentary. Joe Pesci will be in it! (The film, not the sandals.)
We also sold this adorable doll in a nurse's outfit, as well as these pretty crocheted wall sconces.
We shipped this bustle skirt, shown right, to the Portland Opera—exciting!
Cupids in Lace
Representative images in lace frequently draw on figures and themes from Greek mythology—remember this needle lace piece (below, left) we featured in last June's newsletter with Bacchus in it? And this filet lace piece, too—helpfully labeled "Apollo"—is another example. How wonderful are they??
But the motif with Classical Greek and Renaissance European origins that we most frequently see in lace is that of Cupid — in his cherubic form, anyway.
As Eros, in Classical Greek art, he's a slender young man. It's only later, during the Hellenistic period, that he is more frequently depicted as a pudgy infant boy. It makes sense to see the little god of love and desire in this context, since today lace so often comes in the context of sensual loungewear and nightwear.
Here's a tantalizing preview of some pieces that will be on display in our upcoming exhibit, Day's End: Personal Glamor, on pajamas and loungewear that feature beautifully embroidered cherubs — and a little bit of trivia about the cupid motif in art.
If you've ever explored a fine arts museum in Europe, you've probably noticed a lot of putti — they were extremely pervasive during the Renaissance, and you can find them sculpted in wood furniture and they're a pretty ubiquitous occurrence in paintings.
They're everywhere, really: this tapestry, which lives at the Met, serves up a healthy dose of putti (in case you'd enjoy a visual). It's actually called Six Putti Dancing Around a Globe and a Palm from a set of the Giochi di Putti.
So what is the difference between putti and cherubs, anyway? A putto (that's the singular form) is a small, naked, winged child; on the other hand, a cherub is a cherubim, an angel that attends to the God of the Abrahamic religions.
Putto may have started out as having connotations of profane desires, but by Baroque period it came signify something much more religious. A putto representing a cupid, though, is an amorino or amoretto.
These mischievous little babes are often shown sleeping, however (or sometimes approaching a sleeping figure, as shown above left) and perhaps for that reason, as much as their resemblance to the infant form of Cupid, are appropriate for nightgowns.
The clothes we wear out in society in order to make a public statement are naturally well-documented.
But are the clothes we wear in private any less important to our textile culture and sense of self? What might what we wear at home say about us, our interior worlds, and our personal lives?
We're going on a cozy adventure to slumberland!
This coming April, Lacis Museum will be unveiling a new exhibit dedicated to the nighttime world of dressing gowns, pajamas, and other clothes to be worn in the privacy of one's own home. Get ready to get intimate with us!
Don't forget, Lacis Museum Members receive 20% off of books purchased in our Museum shop
The latest in the series: twelve doily patterns from international tatting superstar Iris Niebach. This one has been a long time coming. We love the colors, the intricacy, the flair! It's not for beginners, but we know many excellent tatters among our museum visitors who would delight in these designs.
New from Abrams Books: "Learn to sew simple, stylish, wear-everywhere garments with How to Sew Clothes: each chapter is filled with super-easy instructions and patterns written for sewists of all skill levels."
"If you can sew a straight line, you can sew anything (and, in this book, we'll teach you how to sew a straight line!). We will help you get started from scratch, with detailed sewing instructions and techniques that will soon become second nature." All Well is a creative sewing studio by Amelia Greenhall and Amy Bornman dedicated to helping sewists at all levels learn and stay curious about the craft.
It's finally here—the next best thing to actually visiting the Threads of Power: Lace from the Textilmuseum St. Gallen exhibit at the Bard Graduate Center in NYC.
We have a copy of this incredibly gorgeous tome right at the entrance of our shop, so check it out! On page 337, you'll see a splendid Egyptian motif on a Chantilly lace veil made in the 1920s — an item in Lacis Museum's own permanent collection. This item was also a part of the SFO Museum's exhibit Egyptian Revival: An Everlasting Allure, back in 2015.
Bethia Stone is a longtime Berkeley resident whose studio is located in the Sawtooth Building. She's been making fine art prints since the '70s, mostly monotypes. These pieces measure 14" by 12", for some perspective.
Artist Bethia Stone painstakingly stitched over these prints she pulled. Originally from Washington, D.C., she came to California and devoted herself to environmental studies and landscape design, as well as art. She does her work in the historic Sawtooth Building in Berkeley, and is an active member of the California Society of Printmakers. While she's been juried into other competitions, this time she is submitting her work to be included in the Printed & Stitched exhibition co-sponsored by California Society of Printmakers and the Studio Art Quilt Associates.
To avoid unnecessary bending and creasing of the stiff rag paper (it's Reeve's BFK, mould-made in France), she had to be very intentional and precise with each stitch. Each time the needle pierced the surface, Bethia had to flip the entire thing over! It's a symphony of "precision and randomness": she even measured and used a ruler to keep her raindrops mostly equidistant and parallel. She used a variety of threads to create that embroidered-surface texture, including bookbinding linen and our now-discontinued old favorite, Gutermann silk. Beneath her layering, collaging, and textile embellishment, you'll just be able to spy her monotype prints based on a Hokusai print (it's a bridge scene) and another of Mount Fuji by Hiroshige. We think her piece will do well in the juried show—it's just stunning, a true labor of love.
Do you have a passion for...
Preserving your cultural textile arts heritage?
For cultivating and educating the textile arts community?
For spreading the love of needle, bobbin and thread?
Do you happen to teach lacemaking (bobbin lace, needle tatting, crochet or knitted lace, etc.) or historical costuming and hatmaking skills? Perhaps you've already led similar workshops, or have designed an interesting textile arts workshop that would complement these fields.
If this sounds like you, we'd love to hear about it. Fill out an Prospective Instructor form and email it back to us at email@example.com!
This class is actually sold out, but if you'd like to be added to the waitlist, just let us know!
Do you look at images of Victorian ladies and wish you could dress just like them? Now you can!
Come make a late-Victorian bodice from 1870-1899. You can wear it to Victorian balls, teas, SASS events, or any occasion you desire. You can even use it as a base for a modern or fantasy gown!
You will start with a Truly Victorian bodice pattern of your choice and augment it with authentic 19th-century dressmaking techniques to make a custom gown just for you! This class will cover measurements, pattern adjustments, fitting, period sewing techniques, trimming, boning, hand finishing, and much more.
In the first session, you will cover a brief overview of the styles worn in the era. You will take measurements, trace off the correct pattern pieces, and then make and fit mock-ups.
In the second session, you will then move on to cutting and constructing your bodice and finish the day by adding boning. You will finish out by concentrating on closures and facings.
Prerequisites: Students must have made at least one dress or blouse from a pattern and know how to use a sewing machine.
A Tatted Valentine's Day Heart
with Kevin Baum
Saturday, February 11, 2023 — 12:30 to 4 PM
Elevate your tatting skills to create an heirloom tatted Valentine. Designed for past students of Kevin's Beginning Tatting classes and those familiar with the basic techniques, students will choose one of several hearts of varying difficulty.
Bust(le) A Move: Constructing a Bustle-Era Skirt
with Catherine Scholar
Two Saturdays: March 18 & 25, 2023 — 10 AM to 5 PM
Come make a late-Victorian skirt from the Bustle era of 1870-1889. We'll start with a Truly Victorian skirt pattern of your choosing, and augment it with authentic 19th century dressmaking techniques to make a custom gown just for you. We'll cover measurements, pattern adjustments, fitting, period sewing techniques, hem facings, trimming, hand finishing, and much more.
In the first session, you will cover a brief overview of the styles worn in the era, including examining the instructor's collection of antique and reproduction clothing. You will take measurements, choose the correct pattern pieces, cut out your skirt, and start on the hem stiffenings.
In the second session, you will construct your skirt, finish the waist and hem, and add a closure. We'll finish out by concentrating on period details like pockets, internal ties, and hanging loops.
Prerequisites: Students must have made at least one dress or blouse from a pattern and know how to use a sewing machine.
A Ribbon Class: Delightful Daffodils
with Patrice Krems
Saturday, April 8, 2023 — 12:30 to 5 PM
$55 + $20 kit fee (payable to instructor)
Spring will be in the air as you make a delightful pleated daffodil out of French wired ribbon!
You will learn how to transform flat ribbons into a three dimensional ruffled confection. If there is time, you will learn how to make a beaded tassel cascading from the end of the calyx.
Depending of whether you decide to make the Small or Large Daffodil, this versatile flower pattern can be finished to turn your daffodil into a brooch, pin cushion, a hat decoration or even a drip catcher sitting jauntily on the spout of a teapot!
Clones Irish Crochet: A 4-Day Workshop
with Máire Treanor
Wednesday-Saturday, April 12-15, 2023 — 10 AM to 5 PM
$300.00 for all 4 days (or $200.00 for any 2 days)
Máire is excited to return to Lacis once again!
Lacis is once again pleased to announce the return of Máire Treanor, master of Irish Crochet, for a 4-day in-person workshop of Clones Irish Crochet.
In the first two days, newcomers will work on Clones lace jewelry, learning the basic stitches of Irish Clones lace, before progressing to traditional motifs of wild rose, shamrocks, vine leaves, grapes, and other motifs familiar in Irish Crochet, which use packing cord, as well as the unique Clones knot filling stitch and edging. Returning students are invited to bring a project on which they have been working, getting advice and help on finishing it.
Students will discuss how to read antique Irish Crochet patterns and the international charts used in Ukrainian, Russian and Japanese books, with samples of garments in Modern Irish Crochet.
Prerequisites: For this captivating workshop series, students should be familiar with the basic crochet stitches of chain, single crochet, and double crochet in yarn. During this special workshop, Máire encourages students to work at their own pace, with individual help and encouragement.
The Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. We are a unique legacy museum located in Berkeley, California. We host a wide range of hands-on workshops, several galleries of rotating exhibits, and our Museum Shop carries an extensive supply of vintage goods, craft- and costume-related books, and needlework supplies.
Our purpose is to:
• Preserve lace and textiles of all cultures from all periods
• Provide a resource center for research and documentation of these objects
• Educate and disseminate knowledge of lace and textiles
For just $25.00, you can become an official, card-carrying Lacis Museum Member for a year—and enjoy exclusive benefits! Get your membership via our Etsy shop, or alternatively, contact us in a number of other ways to join this vitally important circle of Lacis friends. We thank you for your support!
• 10% discount at our Etsy shop for purchases over $50
• 20% off books purchased at the Lacis Museum shop
• Free museum admission for you and up to (4) guests
• Special invitation to show openings
• Class discounts
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The Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles
2982 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703