Meet the Crafters: LaceLounge

November 11, 2017 | Halifax Crafters Society

Have a love of lace? Then you’d better put LaceLounge on your list of “must sees” for the winter show. Tania Burenina’s stunning work is a perfect blend of history and art. Her beautiful jewelry, accessories and décor are made using an old technique called “tatting”. This style is hard to come by these days. “The lace is handmade, knot by knot.” She explains “Each piece consists of several hundreds or even thousands knots, and that really takes time to do.”

Tania, originally from Belarus, moved to Canada seven years ago and started LaceLounge in 2013. She’ll have all kinds of lacey creations for you to see at this year’s winter show! We know you’ll want to stop by Tania’s table to browse her selection first hand, and chat with this incredible artist! But if you aren’t in Halifax, or can’t make it to the show, don’t despair! “I’m always online! My Etsy shop has a good selection of my work. You can also contact me through Instagram or my Facebook Page under lacelounge.”

What is your process?

Tatting is a technique of creating a very durable knotted lace. I take a thread, put the thread on the shuttles and make tiny knots in a certain way to form a lace. I do the whole thing myself, which means my process starts from creating a pattern.

That is kind of engineering work, with some drawing and some math, and I create a symbolic pattern. Then I choose thread and pick colors for beads and crystals if I plan to incorporate them into my design. Then I start making the actual lace, knot by knot, according to my pattern. There is no machine work involved. When the lace is finished, I sew it together and decorate the work with beads and crystals.

What part of the process is most rewarding?

Pattern creation is a really difficult process. You have to imagine your idea in 3D, dividing the idea into pieces, then engineer each piece and find the way to combine them properly to receive the piece in whole. It’s quite challenging process, trying different approaches. And after many failed attempts, you get your idea implemented in lace, you get that real satisfaction!

What is your background/How did you get started?

I have master’s degree in History and History of Arts. Back in my mother country I had great job in History Museum. Coming to Canada, I realized I could transform my hobby and long-term passion, into full-time work.

Why do you do what you do?

As a professional historian, I like the idea that I am one of very few people who tries to preserve this old lace making technique which is not well known in the modern world. I try not just to preserve it, but also actively look for ways to make it more modern by incorporating new materials.

What makes Halifax Crafters different from other shows?

Halifax Crafters is really different from all other shows I’ve taken part in. It’s got a  unique atmosphere. All the crafters are really proud of their creations and happy. Volunteers are always ready to provide assistance. The people who come to the show! They are really involved, they show true appreciation to the crafters and their work. They understand how much effort is involved in creation of every single piece and value the efforts!

Where do you get your inspiration?

I have no clue where I get my ideas from! I just get them in my head and try to not loose while implementing one. The lace creating process is really time-consuming, that’s why the ideas have to wait in a queue to get implemented. I still have that queue, and it seems it’s getting just longer and longer.

Where do you do your work?

I can create my work everywhere. All I need is time, free hands and my shuttles. But when I’m doing final decorating, I need a table where I can place beads, crystals and other elements, and a good light to make the work perfect.

What do you listen to while you work?

I always listen my own playlist including everything from Pink Floyd, Queen, Deep Purple, Depeche Mode, Black Sabbath, Radiohead, Muse, Placebo and Yan Tiersen, Apocalyptica and Lacrimosa.

A place you love?

Anywhere near the ocean.

Favourite time of the year?

Winter! Frosty air, snow and Christmas!

What’s something that is always on your desk/ workspace?

My coffee mug and my cat!