Sunday, February 17, 2013

A True Collaboration

"Our" mannequin, from the blog, secretlifeofmannequins also from the book,
"Handbag: The Making of a Museum" by Judith Clarke
One year ago, some of the members on the Irish Crochet Lovers forum read a post from Rosie Taylor-Davies.  She quietly requested help in making some Irish Crochet motifs for a project in which she was involved.  Little did we know that our humble motifs would become part of a beautiful museum piece.

Sally tells of how she originally connected Rosie to the group:

"What happened was that one morning in February last year, I had just returned from the supermarket and was putting away the shopping when the phone went. It was a very unusual phone call from someone I had never met or heard of - Rosie Taylor Davies. She carefully explained her background as a former head of the Royal School of Needlework in London. (By the way, they produced the lace for Kate Middleton’s wedding dress!).

Rosie went on to say that she was phoning me because of a recommendation from a member of the Knitting & Crochet Guild whom I had taught at an Irish Crochet workshop a few years before.

We talked for ages about Irish Crochet - and it became clear how interested in it Rosie is, though she hasn’t done any - she knows the Priscilla book through and through - it felt quite weird discussing several of the illustrations and each knowing exactly which one we were talking about.

I told her all about our group on Ravelry, and Maire and Clones and more. She explained about the Handbag Museum and the Irish Crochet she wanted done. She talked of exhibitions she had worked on, including one at our famous Victoria and Albert Museum in London. But it was all very difficult to take in, and to be sure that this was all for real and not some fantasy.

I said I would tell people in our IC Lovers Group about her project and see if anyone would like to take part. Before doing so I did lots of googling to check it all out, and did indeed find confirmation. Then Rosie joined Ravelry, and it all took off."

Sally's Motifs

Kim's Motifs
Indeed it did take off!  I saw Rosie's video from the VandA Museum, and was so impressed and thrilled at the idea of working with someone so talented, that I jumped in right away.  I thought it was so exciting, all of us from all over the world, making motifs and sending them to the UK,  to be prepared for their final destination in Seoul, Korea.

My little motifs are to the right, and can be found on the back of the mannequin and on the lower sleeve.  I couldn't find them in the photo above, or in Judith Clarke's book but at the museum's website listed at the end of the post there are more photos that show more detail of the making of the mannequin.

At Rosie's request, we all used Ecru DMC thread in size 80, and a .6mm hook.  The Priscilla 2 book and the Hardouin Vol. 6 book were our sources for patterns.  Rosie asked us to choose a few motifs we liked, and then narrowed down the final motifs to be made.  Pat joined the motifs in the final piece--amazing!

Below are some more of our contributions.  We had ladies from Ireland, England, France, the US (California, Florida and Washington ), and Russia.  I know I am missing some images and don't mean to leave anyone out. I'm happy to add photos to the post!  These images are not to scale.

Lori's Motifs

Simone's Motifs

Eileen's Motifs

Maire's Motifs

Roz's Motifs

Roz's Passion Flower Motif, found along neckline of the piece.

Some of Olga's Motifs

Olga's Motifs in scale of one another.  I remember being amazed at how quickly she made these!

Here is the museum's webpage about the making of the mannequins:  The first row of photos show our motifs being assembled and joined onto the mannequin.

If you would like to order the book about the museum, you can do so here:

I am so proud to have been a part of such a wonderful collaboration.  It's a modern version of how old Irish Lace used to be made.  Individuals making unique motifs to be sent to a central place and joined.  Thank goodness for the internet!  


IVELISE said...

Hi KIm... I have no words to say how beautiful is this irish crochet work! The idea of joinning many crocheters around the world, was great!
I am a lover of irish crochet, but, as Màire TReanor told me once, I make "modern" irish crochet, I still have a lot to learn, but I'm having a great time doing that!
I want to send my congratulations to everyone who has made piece by piece this project come true!
Greetings from Brazil :-)

Unknown said...

This is so fabulous! I was wondering where I could find the pattern for the flowers in the top left photo of Eileen's motifs? If someone could send it to me or something, I'd be really grateful. These are all so lovely!

Irish Crochet Together said...

Hello! Eillen's motifs are all from the Mme. Hardouin books, volumes 3 and 4. They are in French and are available on the site.