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Handmade Lace Designer Małgorzata Szpila

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

Malgorzata Szpila | @handmadelacedesign

The tradition of lacemaking has always been at my home. Bobowa (name of my hometown) it is the oldest lace center in Poland, where lace traditions are cultivated up to this day. However, when I was a little girl, it was the last thing that could somehow interest me. The breakthrough occurred in 2000 when the first International Festival of Bobbin Lace took place in Bobowa. My mum, with other lace enthusiasts, has decided to invite lace makers from different countries and create a few days of the exhibition. For the first time in my life, lacemaking becomes something interesting. Jitka von Linder Egermaierova, Iva Proskowa, Jana Frajkorova, and my first lace teacher Hilde Dumon become my biggest inspiration, and since those days, I cannot imagine myself without laces. With my mum, Ewa Szpila, I was improving my basic stitches by doing simple bracelets and earrings. Here is my small secret – I have never done any pattern typical for the lacemaking from my hometown, but I promise that I will make a massive tablecloth from the pattern of my great-grandmother one day. Now I am one big mix of different influences because:

Malgorzata Szpila | @handmadelacedesign

My first teacher was from Belgium (a flat pillow with small bobbins). She has shown me the first stitch on pedant patter, which was drawn for me by Jitka von Linder (Czech Republic). At that time, I was living in Bobowa, where we have a round pillow with large bobbins.

Malgorzata Szpila | @handmadelacedesign

So, I end up with a piece of polystyrene covered with brown fabric (made by dad), bone bobbins with beautiful beads, a gift from a British Lady, and linen threads available in my small village. It has pushed me to think creatively. Together with my mum, we started to travel around Europe and participate in International Lace Festival. Thanks to her I have already visited Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Scotland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary and two years ago I have made my first exhibition in Russia.

Malgorzata Szpila | @handmadelacedesign | International Lace Festival

I would not call myself a lace artist. I want to make beautiful and feminine laces. But to get to this point, I was trying various ways. For example, in 2012, I made a lace stair. The goal of this project was to create a stair that would help people in their understanding of others. As well as themselves, I wanted to create something that would be in opposition to the Tower of Babel, which made people so different. Each step was created with a different motif that was inspired by poetry.

Tower of Babel by Malgorzata Spzila

A few years after I have made a couple of cloths with laces, but I am not so proud of them. All that time I was teaching, and I also wrote my master’s degree about lacemaking in Europe. I graduated with, and I owe it all to bobbin lace.

I think if it were not for lace in my life, I would not be the person I am now. Lace lets me travel around the world and meet amazing people. Marc Anthony - quotes, “if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life”. This is so true.

Małgorzata Szpila

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