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Angela Czintelová: Bobbin lace and its place in textile creations of Gemer Region

The Gemer region is well known for its near 200-year tradition of creating bobbin lace. In the past, two types of laces could be found in Gemer – old Gemer bobbin lace with a straight or zigzag edge whose origin dates back to the mid 1700s, and bonnet lace known since the nineteenth century. In recent years, a third type was added – the current Gemer bobbin lace that is alive and constantly developing and was created based on the two previous ones.

One of the turning points in Gemer lace was the period around 1920 when making old bobbin laces for edges ceased to exist and only bonnet laces were created. The work of bobbin lacers was alive; every bride received several bonnets for her wedding. Despite this, production started to decline in the mid twentieth century, a time when only a few women were devoted to making bonnets. Even at that time, a significant place in this field belonged to Žofia Vilimová, who continued making bonnets until her death in 1989.

The workers of the Centre of Folk Art Production (ÚĽUV) came to Rejdová village and made the tradition of bobbin lace alive again. Žofia Vilimová cooperated with several artists who designed bobbin laces for ÚľUV. This skilled bobbin lace maker and her works have a special place in bobbin lace creation in Gemer in the second half of the twentieth century. She also created artistic designs of the national artist Elena Holéczyová. Several of them can be found in the collections of Slovak museums and galleries, and they also decorate Slovak embassies and other cultural stands in abroad.

Even during the life of Žofia Vilimová a new generation of lace makers started to grow. The Mining Museum in Rožňava prepared an exhibition of Gemer bobbin lace in 1989 that brought in an overview of traditional bonnet as well as current bobbin lace of this region. The Gemer Cultural Centre in Rožňava organized bobbin lace courses. A base of lace makers was created that in the year 2000 established the Bobbin Lace Club. Their intention is to continually learn to bobbin lace typical Gemer patterns.




Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 01/2006:


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