In 2017 The Lace Heart Art Challenge was launched through the New School of Lace with the aid of Lenka Suchanek. Lenka first inspired me to try wire lace in her Wire Lace Workshop held in Melbourne back in 2000. I was instantly drawn to the sculptural quality of wire – suddenly there were so many more possibilities for lace forms.
The Lace Heart Art Challenge is an online challenge. Lace makers are encouraged to create a lace heart with colour and love in either thread or wire. Although patterns are provided, participants are encouraged to experiment and add their own additions and style to their hearts. This is the only lace exhibition I know with a section dedicated to wire lace.
The challenge was born in the Memory of Barabara, a young lace maker who participated in lace classes with love and enthusiasm until her her early departure from life in 2016. Barb loved to make lace hearts and to honour her memory this annual competition and exhibition was launched.
Fabulous, inspiring works can be found on the online exhibition for each year –
Below is a selection of images showing my creations for each challenge over the years. Each heart is unique.
My first heart was inspired by the colour and vibrancy of my daughter Izzy. She help select the colours.
The second was inspired from skills learnt during my time spent with another inspiring wire lace artist Lauran Sundin at the end of January in 2019. I only had 2 weeks to design and make the piece after returning from 8 months traveling around Australia with my family.
The Third is inspired by the harshness and resilience of Australia. it was made over the 2019-20 summer while witnessing fire and drought in my stunning country so the colours reference this. The red dirt, flame, black ash and the bright green growth of new life after the darkest days. It shows the power of life and love emerging and breaking through after periods of darkness. I felt deeply connected to this piece when making it. It reminded me of the strength and fragility of this land I call home.
Photographs by Lindy and Andrew de Wijn