Monday, August 9, 2010

Ode To My Shuttle

Thought I'd share with you what I wrote a few days ago to a friend with whom I was discussing the various aspects of tatting: the pros and cons of tatting as an art-form.

I have to say, I do derive a lot of pleasure during the process, the
struggle and indeed in the handling and admiring of the final piece.

I am such a visual person; for years my hobby/obsession of choice was my photography.  Now, I derive that same fulfillment through tatting.

The satisfaction, I think, begins with the sense of wonder I get when I
realize I have used colour, shape, texture and form to create something
pleasing and pretty, where there was just a few strands of thread before. I
am still astounded at how that works!

Unlike William Morris, I do not demand that the finished work  have a
practical application.  It just pleases me in the moment - and often
thereafter -  not a work of art to anyone else, but wondrous to my eye.

And I love the process of creating it.  I love the way my fingers dance and
my eyes focus on  the tiniest detail.  I love the sparkle and the glitter of
the tiny multi-coloured glass beads.  I love the feel of the shuttle in my
hand, the way it fits there snugly, as an extension of my fingers.

Even the multitude of mistakes are appreciated, there to remind me that
there is nothing perfect except in nature. We humans are limited to flawed
replicas, in whatever arena we attempt to duplicate the natural world.
There was more but I think that about sums it up.

 It is fitting, I think in this very serious and rather studious post to sum up with the next cross by Mary Konior.  

 #21Motif Challenge

 I forgot to add that I took these two Konior patterns  with me to The Big Apple in December, last year, thinking I would at least get one of them tatted.  I could not figure out either pattern; it was a disastrous visit as far as tatting was concerned. I now shake my head when I realize how little trouble these two pleasurable patterns gave me this go around.  Progress to be sure.

Rockingham and Wrought Iron Crosses 
by Mary Konior

Thanks Jeff, the vintage thread is very pretty, though more like a #60 than a #20! ( We exchanged thread through T.T.E..)

With thanks to S.M, for the inspiration!


  1. So well said, Fox. Except for the beads, thing. LOL! I love the way they look, but so far, for me, they are a frustration. I'm either chasing them down before the dogs lap them up or they are in my way. I know! I just need to practice some of the newer techniques. So how about sharing a post of your favorite methods for loading beads, adding beads, etc. You obviously enjoy them tremendously. Maybe you'll inspire me.

  2. I always appreciate the evenness of your chain work. Usually if you don't like something you've done, it is the chains that are the weak element. But your chains in these crosses are great. I notice this, I guess, because I have so much trouble with long chains being consistent in work…to get the same curve on each side of a motif; hard for me….
    Beautiful crosses. Which MK book is it from, Visual Patterns? or another? Thanks

    xx bj

  3. Your description of tatting is right on target! Your two crosses are beautiful. I am also amazed at how simple a pattern can seem when revisited at a later date. I sometimes wonder if I'm just not meant to tat when I find a pattern I can't understand.

  4. Thank you!

    Diane, I KNOW I am meant to learn SOMETHINGwhen I have to hurl the pattern across the room... : )

    ELiz - okay, I will do one on beads sometime soon. Good idea for a post!

    bj, You are so right - those long chains can ruin a piece if they are too floppy - or indeed, floppy at all! Thanks for noticing.

    The book? "Tatting in Lace."
    ♥ Fox

  5. For me, it is not the finished piece that makes me happy. I am happier with where the journey takes me on the way to the finished piece!

  6. Your sentiments sum up perfectly many of the virtues of tatting. Brava!

    *gasp* No wonder I couldn't find those lovely cross patterns in my Mary Konior books. I don't have that one!

    I especially like the Wrought Iron cross, but the Rockingham is splendid too. Well done, well done!

    And I can't stop exclaiming over your new header image (with the large pink flower paired with delicate, beaded tatting).

    As my favorite French professor, Dr. Fortis, used to say, "Incroyable!"

  7. Very wise words Fox. You have summed up many things creative. I love your honesty and willingness to share all of your experiences...both positive and otherwise. This is how we learn. Thank you for sharing. Happy tatting...

  8. Love your crosses. I hate to mention it again, but, that thread isn't from me. You posted about mine already (Altin Basak Variegated). I don't know who you got this one from.

  9. Oh, dear! Jeff, I a sorry - again! Well, whoever sent me this vintage thread - thank you!

    I really messed up on saving the info on which thread is from which tatter. Apologies to anyone I may have overlooked!
    ♥ Forgetful Fox :O

  10. Bravo! you express perfectly what I feel about tatting and your text is very poetic too !
    I also like pastel thread of your beautiful crosses

  11. Hello Fox,
    That is an eloquent summation of the sensations evoked by tatting for many of us. Just LOVELY. As are the crosses - just LOVELY!
    :) Ann

  12. Hello Dear Fox,

    The 'Ode to My Shuttle' was so poetic and beautifully written; like fine satin.

    I too, feel so passionate about tatting, (and most people around me don't understand how and why I could become so giddy and happy about it).

    Unfortunately for me, words do not flow like a gentle stream, rather, they fall like a lump of mashed potatoes on to a plate. LOL

    Take care,

  13. LOL! Lily,
    Your words mad me guffaw! Obviously those potatoes are more 'Gourmet Potatoes Au Gratin' than you think!
    You can write!
    Fox : )

  14. Dear Fox,
    I agree your ode is right on the nose. My sentiments too. Thank you for putting it into words and sharing it.