Sunday, November 25, 2012

Deruta Drawn Thread Work Sample

I seem to have less and less time for my blog as I do more and more translations but I cannot give it up just yet. Quickly I want to tell you a fun story.

Some years ago I corresponded with Maria Elide Melani of the Associazione Ago Aga e Fantasia while she was researching Deruta Sfilato or Deruta Drawn Thread Work Embroidery. We have since met (at Italia Invita 2011) and correspond once in awhile. She wrote a lovely book on the technique, which I told you about here.

I have been very lucky with my internet friendships and I have been able to meet lots of great people who share my interests. I have been very enthusiastic in my reporting of Maria Elide and her endeavours because I find her to be a delightful person as well as a talented embroiderer.

Some time ago, a reader of my blog from the Netherlands wrote to me that she was going to Tuscany and wanted to learn about Deruta Drawn Thread Work. I put her in touch with Maria Elide and they enjoyed a lovely visit together. Then a couple of readers from other countries did the same and I was excited to assist in the discovery by stitchers outside of Italy of this wonderful Italian needlework.

But the best has got to be when you assist without knowing it. Maria Elide was contacted directly by a whole group of Japanese stitchers who were going to Italy and wanted to learn Deruta Drawn Thread Work while they were there. Maria Elide didn't understand how they had found her or why they would choose her over the many embroidery schools in Italy but when the group arrived they showed her a printout of my blog post about her! When she wrote and told me after they were gone, she assumed that I had known - but I was completely ignorant! 

I can't tell you how happy this kind of thing makes me. It is the whole point of this blog. This past week I received a thank-you gift from Maria Elide which, while unnecessary, is much appreciated. Lovely Deruta Drawn Thread Work done by her own hand. It barely fit into my scanner:

I'm very happy to have helped these people and hope that my readers find things of interest in the posts that I write, however infrequently they seem to be written these days.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Punto Maglie - prizewinner

Back in September I told you about the Hand Embroidery and Weaving Exhibition in Valtopina and how some Veronese Crochet Lace split the prize for the lace category with some Punto Maglie needle lace. I'm happy to tell you that I can now show you what the Punto Maglie entry looked like:

Napkin with corner insert of Punto Maglie needle lace. Image copyright Assn. Punto Maglie.

Central insert of Punto Maglie needle lace for the tablecloth. Image copyright Assn. Punto Maglie.

Following the theme of the exhibition: Green Monuments of Umbria - the trees, we can identify the leaves and the fruit of the Olive tree in the Punto Maglie pieces pictured above. Besides occupying an important role in mythology and symbology, the olive is also predominantly present in the two regions of Umbria (where the exhibition was held) and Apuglia (where Punto Maglie comes from) thus, this entry creates a bond between the two areas. Exhibition participants were required to demonstrate the development of their ideas for their patterns on paper and produce pieces of their chosen lace or embroidery for a six setting tablecloth (140 cm x 160 cm) with matching napkins (40 cm x 40 cm). The central insert of Punto Maglie needle lace pictured above measures 30 cm x 21 cm.

I wrote to Liliana Ciriolo of the Associazione Punto Maglie to ask her some details about this prizewinning lace which she made together with Anna Borgia, Mina Saponaro and Renata Skovran from a design by Alessandra M. Chiurazzi inspired by a 16th century model. It took them a month to make the pieces using white DMC no. 80 thread. Stitches employed were the buttonhole stitch, the cording stitch, picots and the net.

Congratulations to the women of the Associazione Punto Maglie and thank you for sharing these pieces with us!

On November 4th, the town of Maglie was featured on an Italian TV program "Ti ci porto io" [I'll take you there]. Around the 8:25 mark of the video below, you can see how they execute Punto Maglie needle lace and see some of the Associazione Punto Maglie's work which includes a bridal gown which took four women more than 5 months to make.
The interviewer says: Four people took five months to make it? Why do you do it?
Anna Borgia answers: For love.
The interviewer then asks how much it might cost and she asks for a ballpark figure.
Anna Borgia: Around six thousand euros.