"You know, lace was something only nobility was allowed to wear," Wahneta Dunn explained as she showed off her pizza box filled with lace made by her mother and herself.
It made me realize how very much a part of the American experience the democratizing of lace was.
But on the flip side of things. European lacemakers, rather than being honored, used to be virtual prisoners, living their entire lives within the confines of the workshop, to protect their masters' designs from being stolen. Wahneta told me the story of one of her students whose mother used to make lace in Europe. When she came to America, she refused to teach her daughter, because it was a reminder of her servitude. Only after her mother passed away was she free to learn the art.
American HandsWahnita Dunnartisancraftspersonlace makinglacemakingtattingpizzaboxfilledlace