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Lace Bonnet Light Sculpture

This past fall we discussed the work of an artist who projected huge lace designs on buildings. It seems that interest in supersize lace is on the upsurge, and here is another impressive example from the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Amsterdam celebrates the year end and new year with the Amsterdam Light Festival, which runs from December 1, 2016 to January 22, 2017. The festival's mission is to encourage the creation of art that uses light as a significant element. One of the highlights this year is a suspended sculpture called The Lace, designed by the international architecture and design studio Choi+Shine.

The Lace, created by Choi+Shine Needle-lace design by Theresa De Dillmont

The shape of The Lace is based on traditional lace bonnets worn in Holland and elsewhere in the 18th and 19th centuries. Its design is based on needle-lace designs by the well-known 19th century French author and needle expert Therese De Dillmont. For the purposes of this exhibit, the designs were executed in polyester braided cord and were crocheted. Eighteen individual rectangular panels and 32 triangular panels were made and shipped to the site, where they were joined at ground level, then hoisted up on suspended cables and connected to nearby trees and lampposts. Multiple light sources illuminate the structure from above and below. Over 20 miles of cord were used for the project, which weighs just over 1,400 pounds.

Jin Choi, the primary designer of the project, had never crocheted before and taught herself how to crochet for this project. She created the overall design as well as the six individual motifs and the border patterns seen in The Lace. Many other crocheters were enlisted to complete the work. Due to the scale of the project and the weight of the material, some suffered from cracked fingers, sore joints and muscle aches. Many of them gave up and only a few were able to contribute to the project.

The installation is on a quiet canal, Herengracht. Visitors to Amsterdam often ride in boats along the canals to view the lovely old city. Imagine what it must be like to come upon this magical structure during the trip!

On Choi+Shine's website the work's themes are explained: "The Lace symbolically weaves different people and cultures, different urban textures and the past with the future of Amsterdam. Lace is used as an embellishment, a special celebration and a little bit of luxury. The Lace is delicate, and inherently soft and feminine, creating visual poetry while celebrating the light festival and the cultural richness of Amsterdam."

More can be found at this link:

The Lace is one of many displays that make up the festival. Artists from all over the world compete to participate, and this year, some 35 works of light art were on display. For those interested in learning more about "light art," here is a link:

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