The exposition displays works of the three lace centers of Croatia – Pag, Khvar and Lepoglava, which compose the captivating, fascinating “lace triptych”. It must be said that if you visit Croatia and enjoy its sceneries and landscapes you won’t be surprised that such a lace, so varied and harmonious, here is made by many generations of lace makers.
Suffice it to say, the lace of Croatian triptych cities is included into UNESCO world heritage list as an outstanding artistic value to the world.
Croatia is an only country where every place has saved its unique lace making technique. This variety is caused by different cultural influences which Croatia has been having throughout its history. During the period when it was divided into two parts, North Croatia and Slavonia were under the influence of Hungary and Vienna – the bobbin lace-making technique had started to evolve. Istra and Dalmaciya, which are situated in the South, for a long time had been under Venice influence, that is why needle lace making was shaping up there. Up to the present time Croatia has had its traditional Lepoglava bobbin lace, Pag needle lace, Khvar sewn with a needle lace made of agave leaves and “sunny” lace of Sikirevtsi.
On the picturesque island of Pag they create magnificent needle lace which is characterized by unusual amazingly beautifully and correctly made geometric pattern. Tradition of Pag lace making has been lasting for about 600 years.
In the monastery of Saint Benedict nuns on the Croatian island of Khvar the unique lace is made of agave leaves. Its production started in the middle of XIX century when local sailors brought with them a lace sample from Tenerife. Khvar lace is made of thin and strong threads retrieved from fresh agave leaves and is distinguished by original pattern and beauty of design. In the whole world the tradition of such lace making has been saved only here.
The lace of Lepoglava city is made on bobbins, it is characterized by rich and varied floral pattern, flow lines and zoomorphological motives. It was this Croatian lace the samples of which became the winners of a contest – exhibition “Lace Maze”, which took place within the framework of the International lace festival Vita Lace in June 2011.
Apart from various panel pictures and table tissues, at the exhibition one could see colorful national Croatian costumes, snow white blouses, made in different techniques, lace making tools and a photo panel picture.
Opening the exhibition, Alexander Suvorov, the general director of Vologda Historical- Architectural and Fine Arts Open Air Museum, said: “We are very glad to have guests from Croatia. Vologda Museum of Lace has become the meeting place of different directions of this art, different countries, different art traditions. Our museum takes a worthy place in the line of institutions connected with the history of lace.”
Museum of Lace tells the story of not only Vologda lace making but of other countries’ as well. Thanks to close cooperation with large lace making centers, the funds of the museum are actively filled in, big projects are being carried out, taking for instance Vita Lace festival. The development of this direction happens thanks to the support of Vologda Oblast government.
All the people who came to the opening of Croatia lace exhibition were greeted by Maria Morozova, the deputy of the head of the Department of Culture and Cultural Heritage Protection,: “This exposition became the next step of international cooperation tradition. The Museum had already displayed Swiss lace, and now we can see elegant images of Croatian lace. Its grace and beauty will conquer Vologda citizens and they will get real pleasure when they get to know these wonderful works.”
Sunchana Katijashevitch, the creative director of uncommercial international cultural cooperation association “Intermezzo” , Karmen Shoshtaritch, the director of association “Lepoglava lace” and Miriana Tkalchets, a lace maker of the Pag lace makers union, came from Croatia to the opening of the exhibition to demonstrate their lace.
There are quite many legends connected with lace in Croatia. For example, the island of Pag is distinguished by it rocky and cut up ground – a curious rocky “lace”, the motive, which is well used by lace makers , that’s why the Pag lace is called “the stone’s flower”. But the most exotic for Vologda people technique is lace made of agave leaves – which is characterized by special work content: it can take about two years only to prepare the threads. One other feature of such a lace is the process which is accompanied with prayers. Today, in the monastery on the island of Khvar there are eight nuns, with only three of them knowing this unique lace making technique. In contrast to other types of lace, Khvar lace is not used to wear and is only considered to be decorative. Svetomar lace was used for head-dresses of married women in the North-East of Croatia. Mariana Tkalchets told us the history of Pag lace: “With great pleasure in such a wonderful place I want to introduce you the lace from our city of Pag which is situated on the cognominal island. The city had been geometrically planned and this is the way our lace is being made as well. It appeared in XV century. Back then, white fabrics and light silk were popular – for them the lace was used as a decoration. The particularity of the Pag lace is its transparency, freshness and luxury”.
Looking at the samples displayed at the exhibition, you can’t but surprise at different techniques of lace making, the talent and skill of lace makers.
Exhibition “Captivating triptych” of Croatian lace” will be open up to the middle of February 2013 in the Museum of Lace.