Catherine Whall Smith . . . marvels at the handwork in a crochet doily

At a recent Antique show in Manchester, CT I stopped at Doris Olson’s booth of “Eclectic Choices” titled Sunshine Attic.  Amongst her vintage bags and linens I spotted “IT” an amazing crocheted centerpiece doily.  The colors were perfect for my Easter table and the execution of each stitch was just amazing – so perfectly done – so I purchased it.  Below is a close up of the piece, and a full view.  My thoughts at the time were who made it, how many others did she execute, how long did it take to complete AND, is this not a one-of-a-kind piece of art?





Did “the maker” of this piece consider herself a woman artist or a craft person?  Over the years bed quilts have been hung on walls and today’s Fiber Artists keep trying new techniques and pushing the boundaries of the words “Quilts as Art”.  When I show my hand stitched Fiber Art at all media art shows, usually someone will ask that same question “How long did this piece take to complete?  A question that is hard to answer, as the hand stitching on a large piece could take a month – but who’s counting.  Recently I’ve started working on my PARTS series, made up of 12h x 12w inch squares that duplicate sections of my larger quilts.  Two of these “Parts” will be shown at The Art League of New Britain, which will be hosting the Connecticut Women Artists (CWA)  all media juried show.  The show opens the week-end of April 7th with a talk on Sunday, April 8th, from 2 – 4 pm. Titled “At Home Abroad: American Women Artists in Late Nineteenth-Century Italy”. Free and open to the public. Presenter: Jacqueline Marie Musacchio, Professor of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art at Wellesley College.  Hope you will be able to attend, view the art, and find out what some of Connecticut Women Artists are up to!

Note: Six years ago at Easter time, I posted this on my blog, That attention to detail has stayed with me, just as the maker of this doily paid attention to the details of each stitch. Wishing you again a Happy Spring, Happy Easter, and Happy Passover!

About Catherine Whall Smith

Fiber Artist working with contemporary textiles.
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