Irish Crochet Clones Lace – with expert Máire Treanor
Crocheting is an art many people try to learn but only few master. Especially it is true for Irish Crochet Clones Lace. While it requires gifted creativity and skill, one cannot overlook the level of specialized expertise involved. Máire Treanor stands as one of the few names in the world of Irish Crochet Clones Lace who enjoy the mastery of the skill on both artistic and technical level. Her foremost passion, however, is Clones Lace – a beautiful yet complicated form of Irish crochet.
Máire Meets Clones.
Clones (/ˈkloʊnᵻs/ kloh-nis; from Irish: Cluain Eois) is a small town in western County Monaghan, Ireland. The area is part of the Border Region, earmarked for economic development by the Irish Government due to its currently below-average economic situation.
Máire had always been interested in knitting and crochet, but her passion grew stronger after she came to Clones from Armagh in 1988. That is when she was introduced to the classic Clones Lace. This unique style gets its name from the town itself.
The style of Irish Crochet Clones lace technique developed in the nineteenth century, at the height of the Great Famine. It started as a part of famine relief program. Within a few years, the demand for this beautiful lace grew across the country, and almost every family in the town was involved in the production.
You can read more on how Irish Crochet lace saves the nation in this blog post – The History of Irish Crochet Lace.
From Learner to Trainer
Máire fell in love with this unique lace and learned the skill from some of the best instructors and trainers including Elisabeth Monahan and Nan Caulfield. She became one of the most brilliant Irish Crochet Clones Lace artists of our time. She has introduced her own variation of knots and motives. However, she is mostly known for her revival of freeform elements of the original Clones Lace.
In 1989, Máire started with her first Clones Lace class. She has never looked back since. She has taught in many summer schools and training courses not just in Ireland and Europe, but also in the US. She is a regular instructor at the ‘The Clones Lace Summer Workshop’, which will celebrate its 26nd anniversary this year.
Work and Publication
In 2002, Máire published her first book Clones Lace: The Story and Patterns of an Irish Crochet republished in 2010. The book is a perfect insight into the forgotten art and the way it is revived by Máire. The book has detailed instructions and well as creative patterns that can inspire and encourage many gifted minds interests in crochet.
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Her dvd Interweave Crochet Workshop – Irish Crochet and Clones Lace was published by Interweave and you can purchase it here. It is a great start for people interested in traditional Irish crochet styles.
Currently, she is working on her second publication due to be launched next year. According to Máire, the book will cover crochet art and form from all across the world. Over the years, she has worked with masters from different regions such as Russia, US, and various parts of Europe and Asia. She has learned a lot about different art forms of crochet, and also invented a few patterns and styles of her own.
Máire’s books, classes, and efforts all sum up to mission of keeping the art of crochet alive, and accessible to those who value it. Not only is she reviving the older forms, but she is also encouraging students and crafters to create something new and different every time.
Recently she give an interview to International Organization of Lace, Inc. and below is a small excerpt.
What direction is your work moving in?
Over the years, I have tried to stay loyal to the traditions of Clones Lace,
while at the same time, being open to modern influences. Although I love the vibrancy and color of Modern Irish Crochet, I like to stay loyal to the fine subtlety of Clones lace, which made it a lace, rather than crochet. I travel to other countries, researching the popularity of Irish Crochet throughout the World. At the moment, I am working on projects and articles for Vintage Crochet – a Piecework publication, while at the same time, working on a second book.
Where and what are you teaching in the coming year?
Since 1999, I have been traveling to the States to teach Clones Lace and Irish Crochet. In 2016, I have confirmed workshops at
the Winter lace Conference, Costa Mesa Ca
in February 13-15, Durango Crochet Retreats CO on May 3-8th hosted by Donna Mae Baukat
and Lacis Berkeley, Ca July 27-30,
but I also hope to organize workshops in NYC, Boston, Seattle and Alaska.
To find out more about my upcoming workshops, visit Clones Lace Workshops Facebook page.
I’ll be checking her page frequently to find out when she’ll visit NYC so I can attend her workshop. How about you? Maybe you attended her workshop previously and would like to leave your comments or share your work then use our contact form or just leave comments below.
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