Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Making lace in Barcelona

Spanish Dancer Wearing a Lace Mantilla by Mary Cassatt
One day in Barcelona on my way to somewhere else, I passed a little shop where women were gathered around a table making lace. It was the Escola de Puntaires de Barcelona, a school that teaches the centuries'-old art of lace-making with bobbins in a style specific to the region of Catalonia.   (Here's the link to their Facebook page.) To the left is a painting by Mary Cassatt featuring a Spanish mantilla or veil, a traditional item of clothing that is often thrown over the top of a tall comb called a peineta.

I found a link to an informative website on Spanish lace making that includes a remarkable "old timey" video in Spanish about lace. And here's another link to information about Spanish lace written by the lace-making expert Carolina de la Guardia. Additional internet searches for Catalonia lace show that clothing designer Calvin Klein has used it to decorate a line of women's underwear.

The women making lace at Escola de Puntaires welcomed me into their shop. I, with my limited Spanish, and they, with their
limited English, managed to communicate friendship and mutual joy in the creation of beautiful objects.

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