Lace fabric is practically synonymous with bridal designs. Women currently shopping for or who have purchased a dress will recall the flurry of fabric choices that open to them the moment lace is selected as an option.
Here’s the Eve in Eden crash course: all the basics you’ll need to distinguish Chantilly from cutwork, Tambour from tape and macrame from Mechlin.
For centuries, lace was manufactured exclusively by hand; entire cities economies were buoyed by the industry and regions lay claims to certain styles or signatures in the design of their lace. In 1768, John Heathcoat created the first lace-making machine and turned the industry on it’s head – handmade lace became a hobbyist’s project and industrial lace manufacture took the reins.
Lace exists in many varieties; the broad categories are needle lace, bobbin lace, crochet lace, knotted lace, knit lace and machine-made lace. Many modern wedding gowns employ antique (ie not machine-made) styles but are in fact machine made; finding a hand-made lace, even when shopping for a vintage dress, is uncommon. There are exceptions, though! Sonia Kasparian of Urchin Redesign, a Portland-based line of couture-level handmade gowns, jewelry and accessories sources and incorporates antique and vintage laces in her designs, available at Eden and through custom order!
Now, a short primer: needle lace falls into two broad categories which each contain their own subcategories: embroidered lace and cutwork lace. A few examples of embroidered lace:
Clockwise from top left: Teneriffe lace, Tambour lace, Reticella lace, Filet lace.
A few examples of cutwork lace:
Catherine Middleton’s royal wedding gown was made with Carrickmacross lace. Top right, another example of Carrickmacross lace. Bottom right, Battenburg lace.
Bobbin lace also comes in many forms: ancient, continental, point ground, and Guipure. A few examples of those:
First row: Antwerp lace, a type of ancient lace; Mechlin lace, a type of continental lace; blonde lace, a type of point ground lace. Second row: another example of blonde lace; Point de Venise lace, a type of Guipure lace; Chantilly lace, a type of continental lace.
Finally, a few examples of knotted lace, knit lace and crochet lace:
Clockwise from top left: tatted lace, a type of knotted lace; knit lace; macrame lace another type of knotted lace; and crochet lace.
Eve in Eden has many vintage lace gowns, veils and accessories available for purchase. View some of our selection here; to see it all, stop by the shop!
I might have been the last person on the planet to encounter Arthur Russell’s music last year. During a sweltering summer week of repeatedly playing old school disco and dance (along the lines of ABBA, Donna Summer and Dee D. Jackson,) I came across Loose Joint’s “Tell You Today.” During college, I worked at my University’s student-run radio station. We’d take the equipment to someone’s off-campus house on weekends and my friends who ran the show paid homage to Russell (and his bandmates in the Loose Joints project) by calling the series of parties they hosted Loose Joints Dance Parties. It wasn’t your average college-kid-learning-to-use-a-turntable situation; most of the djs brought stuff that wouldn’t get popular for another four or five years (this was when indie-rock was all anyone wanted to listen to, and disco hadn’t yet begun to make a comeback.)
Finding the precious few Loose Joints recordings brought back some memories, and kindled my interest in Russell. His biography is a sad read – Russell lived during an era when precautions against HIV and public health knowledge were not what they were today – he contracted HIV near the end of his life, though ultimately died of throat-cancer related complications. A life-long cello player, Russell experimented over the course of his career with countless genres of music – electronic, avant-garde, minimalist, orchestral, disco, tech house, electro-pop. He also helped foster the careers and music of many underground musicians through collaboration, producing and offering a venue for them to play – Russell acted for a time as music director of The Kitchen, an avant-garde performance space in New York.
One of Arthur Russell’s most well-known – and acclaimed – albums is Another Thought, a series of recordings made during the last decade of his life and released posthumously.
Via AllMusic: “Compiled from selections from a daunting number of tapes and recordings made by Arthur Russell over the last decade of his life, Another Thought serves as a somewhat unintentional sequel to the majestic World of Echo. While it’s a primarily vocal/cello recording, Russell himself might have arranged and performed a final version differently, given his never flagging interest in the possibilities of dance and disco. Whether seen as a tribute, a collection of demos, or something else, it’s still a truly excellent record, Russell’s evocative, soulful-in-its-own-style singing and performing given a sweet showcase… His cello performances are jaw-dropping on their own, at once pop and not pop. Brief appreciative liner notes aptly convey his successes and the tragedy of his death, but it’s the songs that serve as the best epitaph for a unique artist.”
You can stream the whole album here.
Our diverse jewelry selection just expanded with the addition of a new designer at Eden! Kiowa Rose jewelry is designed and created by Rosie Long, our newest Featured Artist. We chatted with Rosie about her background, influences, aesthetic, and love of beading. This woman has a really deep passion for what she does, and it shows in her intricately crafted jewelry and (we think) this interview! Read on…
Rosie Long: I have a very vivid memory of being 8 years old. It was the day after Halloween. At the bottom of the porch steps was a broken strand of Victorian hollow black glass beads – I was awestruck! I think that was my first realization of what beauty was. I carried them in my pocket all day feeling the coolness and the shape of the beads as I ran my fingers over them. I still wear those beads today, and they are still so beautiful.
My mother bought me a bead loom when I was 10 years old. I learned quickly and would create little pieces of loom work but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. In my early teen years, I started buying seed beads at the craft store. I figured it out all myself as at that time, there were no classes or books. It was really a matter of evolving. I remember trying to do Native American style beading when I first started, but that did not satisfy me. I just started doing what satisfied my soul. As I continued to learn through experimentation I realized that possibilities of what one could do with beads were endless, which is why I have always loved this medium: you never get bored. The only limit is your imagination! There are no rules, you can make anything work. If you have an idea, you can make it happen. It may not always be easy, and therein is the challenge: figuring out how to put it all together. People ask what inspires me, and all I can say is everything! I am one of those people that sees the beauty and the “silver lining” in everything. Each day inspires me. I wake up inspired and excited that I get to do bead work today.
I never intended to open a store, it is another thing that evolved. I was approached by some photographer friends with the idea of sharing studio space in a store front in a historic old town area, and I said “yes.” The space was 9 1/2 feet wide by 50 feet deep. I had the front half, so I moved all my studio items in there. Niles is a town that tourists visit on the weekend, so I thought, why not sell my things out of the studio? I set up a space in the very front with some beautiful antiques because I love interior design in addition to beading. I made it very pretty and opened the doors on the weekends. After the year lease was up, my partners decided to abandon me for greener pastures. I had a choice: either close the shop or figure out how to make the full rent! I had to be able to make $23.00 a day to pay the full rent. (That sounds so easy now!) I decided that I wanted to continue with the store, so that meant teaching beading classes, so I figured I might as well sell beads too. And there you have it!
Eden: If you were to have taken a different path in life, what do you think it would have been? (Something creative or artistic, but in a different medium, or something totally different?)
RL: I was going to school to be a geologist, and I wanted to be a park ranger. I also did historical research and recreated 1500s portrait jewelry and did Elizabethan costuming. I loved doing that and still do some of the portrait reproduction work. I dabbled in some other are forms, but I felt they were limited; for me, bead work is not. I am still learning and creating new styles and stitches. As I have gotten older I found I truly enjoyed and I am good at interior design. The bead work has always been there for me, and I have a husband of 30 years who has always encouraged and supported my artistic endeavors!
E: What other pursuits do you enjoy – hobbies, travel, interests… what activities outside of making jewelry inspire you to make jewelry?
RL: I garden, and I love to bead in the garden but beading is really about it, I am pretty obsessed! I like to read. I wish I could hike, but I can’t, so my husband hikes and I sit at the trail head and guess what? Yep, I bead. It is really all I want to do. I probably get at least 3 or 4 ideas for things to make at day, sometimes lots more. I am happy and very content!
E: You’ve mentioned that Art Nouveau is a principle interest in your jewelry designs. Can you list a few other influences?
RL: I am inspired by Egyptian-themed things. When they discovered King Tut’s Tomb in 1922 there was an explosion of themed furniture, textiles and jewelry, which I love. I am also very fond of the Elizabethan era – I did lots of research about jewelry from that period and made jewelry inspired by it.
Another huge influence is other artists! For instance, I know a guy named Bob Burkett that does amazing cast bugs, bats, fairies, etc. I am working on 2 pieces right now whose idea stemmed from his pieces. The ‘fruit bat’ is a piece I am doing with one of his bats and Bob’s dragonfly I am using with a vintage sash pin and shoe buckles. His attention to detail is amazing.
E: What is your creative process like when you are beading? Do you create a color story first, determining colors of beads you want to use or make your designs starting with feature beads that you like and going from there?
RL: Quite often a single component will spark the idea. Then I usually have an idea of colors I want to use and a basic shape. I will go through all my seed beads, crystals, Czech glass and vintage items and pick out all the things that I think I might use. Sometimes this can be quite a pile. This piece started with a branch from a curly fig tree; it will be a wall hanging. My favorite and the most exciting beading I do is the bead embroidery. With this technique, I begin with a central component. The whole time I am beading the first row I am thinking, “what I will do for the next row?” It is a very consuming and exciting process.
E: What sort of a space do you work in? A dedicated studio, a relegated space in your home? Do you have a ritual for getting in the creative mind space to make things?
RL: I recently moved here to the Portland area. I have taken the living room and I use that room for a studio. I am still getting it all organized and things put away, and it will be so amazing when it is done! I don’t have to do anything to get into the creative mind space; that is where I always am, really!
Thanks, Rosie! To see more of Rosie’s jewelry, stop into Eden or click here.
Blogs like My Daguerrotype Boyfriend and F*ck Yeah, Victorians are always inspiring us with their excellent scans of early photographs of dapper fellows, darling children and pretty dames, and we’re excited to announce that we’ve recently received a large collection of vintage tintypes, featuring long-ago images of babies, children, married couples, brothers, sisters and little old ladies.
Find our full selection of tintypes available here in our web store and in our brick-and-mortar shop. Interested in learning how to make your own modern version of a tintype? If you have a smartphone, you can, using these instructions (via Instagram.)
Sweet summer days, as fleeting as they can be in the Pacific Northwest, often fuel our desires to get out of town, near or far. Consequently, we’re currently taking a lot of inspiration from a fantastic book at the shop: Early Travel Photography.
Compiled from the photographs of Burton Holmes (1870–1958), a man who spent his life traveling the world during an era when world travel was neither as efficient nor as common as nowadays, Early Travel Photography presents what would have been a first look for many Westerners and US natives at the world beyond their homeland.
Holmes took lengthy tours of regions of the world and, upon his return, toured the states giving lectures and presentations on his “Travelogues” (a term he coined.) Thanks to his hand-tinted photographs and the early films taken by his crew, Holme’s “Travelogues” were a smash success, and allowed Holmes & co. to repeat the process of far-off exploration and homeland exposition over and over again.
Holmes home in Chicago became filled with souvenirs from his voyages, he received a star on the Hollywood Boulevard, made several travel films for Paramount Pictures and wrote several books. Despite achieving quite a level of fame and success for his day and age, Holmes had this to say about life experience:
“The only things I own which are still worth what they have cost me are my travel memories… the mind-pictures of places which I have been hoarding like a happy miser.” – Burton Holmes
A well-traveled life, indeed. A few of our shop girls are travelers in their own right, too. We’ll be expanding on this theme here on our blog to present them an opportunity to share memories of their journeys in the coming months. Stay tuned!