koronki koniakowskie, koronka koniakowska, największa koronka, koniaków
A small village of Bobowa in the south of Poland for more than 17 years has been the real centre of bobbin lace! Every year there are numbers of lace makers from all over Europe and even other parts of the world. During the last XVII International Festival of Bobbin Lace the place was visited by 19 delegations from the following countries: Great Britain, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy and Poland.
Lace makers from Koniaków were also there, represented by Mariola Wojtas and Lucyna Bytow, together with Aneta Legierska and Lucyna Ligocka-Kohut of the Istebna Culture Centre. Koniaków artists attended the Festival for the second time.
In 2000, after a visit from Bobowa in Koniaków house of Helena Kamieniarz, the visit called “Lace bobbin vs crochet”, our lace makers went to Bobowa, where the first Festival was taking place. Remembering the visit in Koniaków, Mrs Józefina Myśliwiec from Bobowa, a 92 year old lace maker, showed us some photographs in which together with the late Helena Kamieniarz they were making lace. It was an unforgettable moment to hear such warm words from this elderly woman telling us about best lace makers who hosted them in Koniaków then and are not among us anymore. She was recalling her memories of one afternoon when they were sitting behind Kamieniarz’s house on the grass, making lace in this beautiful surrounding of mountain views. In her memory remained also the taste of traditional Koniaków yeast round pies filled with white cottage cheese which were served with coffee. At the end of the visit then every lace maker from Bobowa was given a small Koniaków lace flower and Mrs Józefina received a doily crocheted by Mrs Helena herself. The stories of those meetings moved our hearts deeply.
We were able to participate in this year’s edition of the Bobowa Festival following the activities of the project Lace Visegrad II which has been carried out with the Visegrad Fund by the Istebna Culture Centre. The project aims mainly at Koniaków lace promotion. We were the only crocheting participants of the Festival, other lace makers were using the technique of bobbin lace.
There are numbers of lace festivals, fairs and meetings in Europe, but mainly devoted to the bobbin lace technique. Surprisingly, we find it quite difficult to cooperate as the majority of people who do not know much about Koniaków crochet lace think it is quite easy to make by everyone. Hence, those who organize the events mentioned above, do not consider our participation very attractive. Having been working on lace promotion projects for several years now, I try to take part in lace devoted events engaging our lace makers, and on each of the occasions we must give evidence and show people how precise and unique skills you need, to be able to make Koniaków crochet lace.
We are slowly becoming successful at this and, most of all, different lace making circles begin to understand that our lace is very specific, not to be found anywhere else in the world and indeed very difficult to make. That is why it is so important to preserve our tradition here where we live, but also to show it outside. In my opinion this can encourage lace makers to cultivate the tradition of crocheting heklowania. If the lace has wide recognition in the world, it will be made more willingly and lace makers will feel greater appreciation.
The Festival lasted for four days, from 6 to 9 October, and there were not only lace presentations from different countries, and the presentation of the Biggest Koniaków Lace in the World, but also concerts and parades with children wearing traditional regional clothes and holding flags of the present countries. There was also a fashion show – with lace outfits combined with fabrics by Polish fashion designers: Monika Madej, Beata Rząca and Joanna Róż as well as Czech artists: Ivana Domanjova, Dana Maskova and Jolana Davidovicova who were showing their collection “A Dream about the Sea”.
Another attraction was a photography exhibition devoted to the Bobowa bobbin lace which can be found in Poland and abroad. Furthermore, in “Koronka” Bobowa events hall, there was an art exhibition by Czech artists: Iva Proškova i Jitka Egermaierova von Lindern. There was also a workshop of bobbin lace making for beginners. On the last day of the Festival the organisers invited the public to the Polish Handicraft Fair held in Bobowa town square with a lot of folk artists present. In the evening the stage was taken by Future Folk, encouraging to join in with singing and dancing by the sounds of Janko or Oh, Raspberry Girl.
Our participation in the Festival let us gain a lot of new experience and ideas for organising Koniaków Lace Days. Personally I wish we had such a big event on our Lace Days in Koniaków, but on the other hand, there in Bobowa they would like to have so many lace makers as we have in Koniaków. There will always remain an unsatisfied feeling. Perhaps this is fair? Anyway together with the Koniaków lace makers we are very happy that we could have met such wonderful people and made very useful contacts.
Lucyna Ligocka – Kohut
The Calendar of Events during the “Lace Visegrad II” Project
1.) Koniaków lace making workshops in Koniaków Nr 2 Primary School from 06.09.2015 - 23.06.2017
2.) Translation of the website www.koronkakoniakowska.pl into German and English from 05.09.2016 – 23.06.2017
3.) International Lace Conference in Kozard, Hungary from 01.06. – 04.06. 2017
4.) Folk Art. Fair in Kazimierz Dolny from 23.06. – 25.06.2017
5.) International Lace Makers’ Meetings in Vamberk in the Czech Republic from 29.06 – 02.07.2017
The project carried out with partners from three different countries of the Visegrad Group, i.e. Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.