Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Aemilia Ars needle lace from Bologna - Part Two

After stumbling awestruck from viewing the Aemilia Ars needle lace at the Collezioni Comunali d’Arte Museum (see Part One) my two lovely companions took me off to an exhibition of pieces displayed for a limited time by the Association I Merletti di Antonilla Cantelli. This association is composed of past pupils of the maestra Antonilla Cantelli who practice the Aemilia Ars needle lace as it was taught to them in order to keep the art alive. At this exhibition there were pieces made by her pupils but also pieces made by the master herself on loan from her granddaughter. This is actually where I broke down and cried – overwhelmed by the beauty of these laces. I wish I could show you all my pictures but here are just a few of my favourites:

If you ever get the chance to get to Bologna, do not leave the city without experiencing this incredibly beautiful art!

Okay, now for books!

Merletti e Ricami della Aemilia Ars
is hard to find but worth the hunt. This is a reprint of the 1929 publication showcasing the masterpieces of the original Aemilia Ars Society. Text in Italian, tonnes of good black and white photos!

L’Aemilia Ars di Antonilla Cantelli
– A granddaughter's tribute to the maestra, showcasing her designs and laces. Text in Italian, lots of great photos.

Aemilia Ars, Arts & Crafts a Bologna 1898-1903
. Exhibit catalogue full of photos and the history of the original society and more. Text in Italian, difficult to find but well worth it.

Old Italian Lace
, Volume One by Elisa Ricci - downloadable in .pdf format from the Online Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and related topics. Lots of black and white pictures and some history too!

If you want to try your hand at this lace there are a few technical manuals out.
For florals there is: Fiori - Quaderni di Aemilia Ars - Nuova S1, 2009. The text is in Italian but the book is packed with step by step clear photos.

For geometric designs, there are a couple to choose from here. These texts are in Italian and English with lots of diagrams. There is also an exhibition catalogue with historical info and pictures.

If you've got the May/June 2009 edition of Piecework, there is a small project there.

To learn more about Aemilia Ars needle lace, visit Tuttoricamo (click on the British flag for the English pages, there are articles under both the "History" and "Techniques" headings. While you're there check out "Prominent Characters": Antonilla Cantelli, Virginia Bonfiglioli and Christine Bishop for even more photos and info. Check out the book reviews to help you make a decision!

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