Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

01 April 2006

International Tatting Day!

Okay, it's April Fools Day, and you are probably thinking I jest! But no, it is indeed International Tatting Day, the day when tatters all over the world eat chocolate (gotta love a day that includes the eating of chocolate) and tat, preferably in public, and hear those famous words:

That's a lost art!
Two tins of estate-sale vintage thread, a few of my shuttles, and a tatted doily. (Even though it looks like those plastic ones you sometimes see at garage sales, I assure you it isn't!)

My theory on the whole "lost art" thing is this: tatters tend to be isolated, and before the internet they didn't know of each other. You could have two tatters living within a mile of each other and they might never know the other one existed. If the only person I know who tats is my mother or my great-aunt, and she tells me, "No one tats any more," then I figure when she is gone, tatting is indeed lost.

Take heart, tatting is by no means lost! There are hundreds, maybe thousands of us, all over the world. And the internet is where we have found each other!

The most active tatting list I know of is e-tatters on Yahoo, with about 1200 members.

We share sources of thread and shuttles, swap discontinued thread when someone runs out in the middle of a project, and share new techniques at the speed of email. When a manufacturer discontinues a thread size or color (DMC seems to do this with disappointing frequency), the news flashes around the world, and we snaffle up the remaining balls into our stashes before they are gone. If we find a new manufacturer from India or Turkey, we spread the word and before we know it a local-to-us supplier is buying from them and selling to us.

Even Michigan is home to at least three lace groups that I know of: the West Michigan Lace Group, the Great Lakes Lace Group, and the Capital Area Lacemakers.

I belong to the West Michigan Lace Group, and despite my current obsession with knitting, I enjoy seeing what other tatters or bobbin lacemakers are doing. We are an active, friendly group, and when we recently switched meeting places, I have to point out that none of us got lost!

Our May meeting will be a special one: we are welcoming lace goods vendor Kathy Kirchner for a trunk show. In the past, she has rented a hotel conference room, filled it with all sorts of lace goodies for sale, and we have had our meeting there and spent the time spending our money!

This special meeting will be held on Monday, May 8, at the Hampton Inn North, 500 N. Center Dr. NW off Alpine Avenue, behind Hobby Lobby and Cracker Barrel. The meeting itself is held from 7pm to 8:30pm, and interested lacemakers or wanna-be lacemakers are welcome to join us.

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Blogger Crystal Kini said...

What a beautiful stash of tatting thread and shuttles! My grandmom taught me to tat... I don't know anyone who does it! I haven't in ages. I was just looking for a decent shuttle this week in my local crafts stores... how diappointing!
Good luck with those goodies!

8:12 PM  
Blogger Isdihara said...

Happy International Tatting Day to you!

I am a shuttle tatter and my goal for today is to tat a Celtic fish. Now, if I could only find a pattern for one! If I don't find one I will play around with my shuttles hoping to create a fish using traditional two-shuttle tatting method.

Wishing you lots of tatting time and delicious chocolates too!


10:11 AM  
Blogger TattingChic said...

What a fabulous stash! I love that International Tatting Day is on April Fool's Day. I find it so humorous for some reason!
I just barely found out about Tatting Day last year!

10:01 PM  

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