Lace

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A bystander looks over the lace-maker’s shoulder, and his eyes are met by a dizzying array of wooden bobbins.  The lace-maker’s fingers shuffle the bobbins around in quick darting movements known only to her, and slowly the individual threads intertwine and knot in such a way that a delicate pattern begins to take shape.  The bystander steps back, eyes rolling as he exclaims,  ¨Ooh-la-la, now that takes patience!¨

 

Lace making in Switzerland today is mainly a hobby, but as early as the 1600’s it was a well-regarded source of income.  In fact, in the region of Neuchatel, the industry claimed far more workers than the watch industry.  Today the ancient patterns are kept alive and sometimes embellished upon by a few passionate souls.   While examining the dainty work, one can wonder at the anonymous creativity that gave it birth ever so long ago.

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