The Not-So-Lost Art of Lace-Making - WDRB 41 Louisville News

The Not-So-Lost Art of Lace-Making

So you thought lace-making died with your great-grandmother, huh? Not so.

Welcome to the Bedford Indiana College of Lace-Making.

t has classes, students and a faculty of one, a former insurance company middle manager named Stephen Bowman.

The art of making lace in one form or another dates back to the ancient Egyptians; it appears in the Bible too.

It involves the twisting and knotting of threads to make intricate fabric designs.

It's a craft that demands sharp eyes, sharp pins and needles and above all, patience.

Bowman says, "If you enjoy making, and the process of making, you will get instant gratification. But an end-product takes a weekend at least."

So lace-making is not a lost art?

Bowman says, "In north America, it's coming back. It's very popular in Europe, never lost popularity in Europe. In Australia it's very big and tatting right now's very big in Japan."

"Everything ebbs and flows. In the bobbin lace making, in the Renaissance it was really really big. It was an industry. People's actual occupation was making lace," Bowman says.

The students confess they find the hobby addictive. They range from grandmothers down to sixth graders like Dorothy Timan, who's making a lace bookmark for her sister.

Timan says, "Most of my friends think I'm weird 'cause I do stuff like this.

"It's like a little rhythm, and you can keep a beat with it and if you can think of a song that goes with it, you can play it in your head, and work just all day," Timan says.

As the clock ticks away the hours, the wooden bobbins click together on the bolsters and stitch by stitch, each lace-maker finds an outlet for creativity and artistic expression, all under the watchful eye of Stephen Bowman, professor of lace-ology.

Lace-making may never regain the popularity it had in the Victorian era when queens and noblewomen were dripping with it but the college students are tying up a thread of history that's woven right into the 21st century.

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