Now that I am not waiting tables and only teaching at Montessori school, I am experiencing this beautiful thing known as weekends. They are in fact amazing. I also have these things called evenings too, but that is another story. These weekends are giving me a chance to see my friends again. I went over to Oaklandia to visit a friend and she popped my Laci's cherry. An explanation for those of you who have not experienced that which is Laci's: it is a museum of lace and textiles. The front part of the building is a store. There are shelves of books, separated by subject. There were crafts I had never even heard of before. There were hat forms and parasols, hoop skirts, fans, tools, wig making. It was amazing. After you get through the front, there is another 2 rooms that is just the museum part. There were wedding dresses and veils in the first room and an exhibit on embroidery in the second. My friend is an embroiderer. I dabbled in it in high school, counted cross stitch, but she is the real deal. It was amazing to go through it with her and her input about the various techniques. I would definitely go back. I love museums and seeing the evolution of crafting but it was a different take to know that people had done this hundreds of years ago and were still using the same techniques today.
Going to Laci's made me think about the the nature of crafting. Most things there were fairly recent, within the last few hundred years, and many of the fabrics were falling apart. The intricacy and size of the stitches and patterns indicated that the artist had spent hundreds of hours creating each piece for something that would would only last a finite amount of time. I also thought that it was interesting that none of the pieces I saw seemed to be made with the intention of being in a museum one day. It was all something functional: a piece of clothing, a sampler, etc. It makes me wonder what we have lost, what was see as something frivolous and meaningless because it was being created by a woman. Not seen as art but as something less. I wish I had more answers. It was a thought provoking weekend.