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Soul Woven in Threads

This year my son celebrated his thirtieth Birthday, and I wanted to give him a personal gift, something unique. You can go to the store and buy anything these days; however, I wanted him to have something special, something that you can not buy.



I have been contemplating his birthday gift a great deal, and then I came up with the idea to make his portrait. Using his recent photo, I went to work. My first attempt was not good. I did not realize how small it was, and the final product was just decorative. I starved for expression. I wanted his portrait to be talking to be expressive.


I chose black threads with different thicknesses and just a few different stitches, which allowed me to create the illusion of shading. Of course, when you take the piece down from the pillow, it looks a little bit different. After all, the final product is a kind of fabric, and the fabric has its own life. But I was satisfied. This portrait captured my son's energy, his inner power, his kindness, and his positive outlook on life.




I stayed in the Czech Republic for six months and worked on my lace. I did not want to create larger pieces; therefore, I stayed with portraits. The next piece I did for my friend. She is a very kind, very spiritual person, and I thought she was a very quiet person until I started to work on her portrait. Making a portrait in lace is a little bit different than drawing or painting it. Actually, it takes more energy, and I think this way, you discover more and connect more with the person on a totally different level. While portraying my friend in lace, I discovered how much wild energy she has hidden inside her and how much passion she holds under her calm appearance.


I wanted to take my adventure a little bit farther. My father is a talented artist himself; his portraits are sensitive. I like his work very much, and this was the reason why I asked him to work on a few portraits with me. It was very interesting to see how he sees the same person. I know it is impossible to compare bobbin lace and drawings, but still, to collaborate and compare the two techniques in college was a very interesting venue for me.



This time I started to work with colors. I really like the result of using two contrasting colors; it brought more life to the portrait and more closely corresponds with an expression of this person. The second portrait I did with my father was our long-time friend . I hope I will be able to work on more projects with my father; it was fun, and I learned a lot.



My last two portraits are of my father and my husband. For me, it was very interesting to see that each portrait I had to do in different colors. I wanted to create a portrait of my husband in blue colors. I put the blue thread on the bobbins, but I was unable to start. I saw orange and brown colors in my strong feelings and vision; therefore, I could not continue with blue. I had to start over with different colors.


I told my husband that I am making his portrait with orange color. He panicked, asking, " Am I some kind of clown?" No, I smiled. You are not, but your soul is speaking in those colors. Yes, I understood his concern. Orange hair, yes, it is a little bit strange. But when lace developed a little bit further, it was not orange that was so significant; it was an imprint of my husband's energy, his strong will to live, his strong will to overcome any difficulties, his fighter spirit, but also his spiritual side, something magical, something archetypal inside him. Maybe I even saw a glimpse of his previous life.


When I did a portrait of my father. I had to use lighter colors. I was not sure if it was the right choice; however, when I was finished, I realized how much this color composition reflects my father's kindness, his inner spiritual life, and his stillness when it comes to matters in which he strongly believes.


These bobbin lace portraits are examples of how you can capture the essence of a friend or lover and have them come to life. I would appreciate your comments!


If you are interested in having your own bobbin lace portrait made or having a portrait made for someone special, please contact me at danielabanatova@gmail.com


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Thoughts become things... choose the good ones!


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