Clay as a medium, is ideal for creating art infused with texture. It wasn’t long into my relationship with clay that I began to collect anything that would create imprints on the surface of the clay. Leaves, stamps, buttons and shells became tools for embellishing my pieces. Then one day I came across a couple of doilies that my Grandmother had crocheted for me and I quickly discovered what rich texture they could create. I began experimenting with flat plaque shapes with the doily prints. At first I tried to cut around the edge of the doily shape with a fine sharp knife but it made the edges too clean and straight. I discovered that I could use a pin tool to make hundreds of little holes around the edge of doily impression which then allowed me to pull the excess clay away like it was perforated paper. This left a much more natural, fabric looking edge to the pieces.
I was so happy with the results that I began to collect more doilies with different patterns. It shocked me to find stacks of doilies in thrift stores, at yard sales and antique shops for mere pennies. As I liberated more and more doilies (I currently have more than 100 in my collection) my Doily Rescue Project was born. I give new life to these beautiful examples of craftmanship through my pieces.
I am happy to create custom pieces with doilies. Most people no longer use doilies as part of their home décor but many families have heirloom doilies made by Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers. The process does not harm a doily, I reuse them over and over again. I use a white bodied clay that doesn’t stain the threads. They are rolled into the surface of the wet clay and then carefully pulled back out before firing, leaving only the impression behind. I then wash and starch the doilies to return to you, better than new. I can make bowls, pendants, Christmas decorations or wall plaques using your heirloom doily.