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Lace Pillow

May 28, 2014

On Lost Art Press’s blog there was a wonderful picture of a Renaissance woodworker– but that did not catch my eye, the lady working on the lace pillow did.  The original image comes from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


I set about to make one and here is the results.

pillow1 pillow2

Front (left), side (right).

The wood used on the sides and front are green oak; the top is pine.   The under side is open; the sides rest directly on the lacemaker’s legs, as shown.  The dimensions were made to roughly match the size relative to the original image.  The pictures don’t show it very well but the top is a trapezoid, with the front a narrower than the  back so that the bobbins can be fanned out as the lace is worked.  I changed the carved design to a simple bullet pattern because the samples I made, trying to learn the pattern in the inspiration image, just didn’t look right.

I got help with the upholstery from my lovely wife. She sewed up a shaped “bag” that is packed with sawdust and tacked to the wooden top, covered with batting, and finally with velvet for the lace pins to stick into.

The project was a success. The joinery on the angled sides was difficult; I think those joints could use a little improvement.  I wanted to not have end grain showing on the front, so I had to figure out a complex rabbited joint.  The top is nailed on to the sides and front, which provides more rigidity than the pegged corners alone.

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