"Mi Pequeño Taller" was born in 2003, with the intention of studying and investigating the different techniques of bobbin lace in a group. Some time later, the original workshop (which started with a few lacers from Guadalajara, Spain) became a "virtual" workshop, with lacers from all around the world.

With the creation of this blog, I want to share with you the information obtained.

Leave a comment in the space just below the article. I am looking forward to reading it. It will help me decide
what to write next.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Illegal copying of patterns, magazines and books

In Spain there is an extremely terrible problem of piracy: most magazines are for free download on the web (without the author's permission, of course) the next day of being published. And the same happens with so many of the published books! (Barbara Fay, Cristina Mirecki... so many others). 

Apart from these infringement of the law, against the work of designers and book or magazine writers, the problem in Spain is the lack of conscience of the lace makers themselves

Carolina Roca, proof of illegal business of copied patterns
Carolina Roca, from Madrid, selling illegal material
First, there are quite many sellers who sell photocopied patterns at lace meetings. They have big binders full of patterns. Mostly torchon. But if you look carefully, you can see patterns from Czech designers (Jana Novak, for example), German Schneeberg, jewelery taken from books... Sometimes the copyright mark has been deleted and the new seller's name is printed on it. Sometimes the original name remains there. Sometimes they photocopy the other way round, so that the name of author is reversed! (The explanation of the seller is that bobbin lace is worked from the wrong side!)

But the situation becomes even worse if we try to complain and tell these sellers that the patterns are ours. Then they almost insult us: they say they are working so hard to put these patterns on sale for the lace makers, they tell us off and even ask us to show them our copyright credentials.

After not having been successful complaining to the illegal sellers, we complain to the organization of the event, telling them that these people are selling copied material. Some of them tell us they cannot do anything to avoid this. Others say: everybody does this. Others say, you are right, perhaps next time we will not let them sell here. This has happened to us in Barcelona, in many towns near Madrid and also in the area of Almería.  

On the other hand, lace makers themselves buy lots of these patterns. They are happy to pay sometimes the same price, sometimes even more, than for an original pattern! They are contributing to this illegal copying of our work.

As far as I am concerned, I explain my students in almost every class that they have to buy original designs if they want to preserve this art. And I show my discontent every time they buy copied patterns. 

But sometimes I ask myself if it is not better to save my strength in making my work instead of trying to 
change the world. On the other hand, it is our work that they are using illegally, or said in a clearer way: they are stealing from us. 

I think that we, Spanish legal lace makers, need some help from our foreign colleagues to fight against this. Do you know how?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Remembering Eva Schaefer

I am very sad of the loss of Eva Schaefer, whom I met through Arachne, and with whom I had lost touch a few years ago. Thanks to her, I had the opportunity to learn a lot things related to bobbinlace. She put me in touch with Mariña Regueiro, whose courses I have been attending for many years. She tought me not to put a flowery cover to my pillow (so typically Spanish). She taught me to make a crochet strip to hold the bobbins to the pillow in a safe way. She showed me bobbins of regions I had never seen before. She showed me her collection of lace books when I only had two or three: she also transmitted me the passion for buying lace books and now I also have a large collection. I learnt from her to wetten the linen threads while working, so that it did not break. To make picots differently to left and right. To make a star crossing the way they do it in Almagro (Spain). And many other things which I will possibly remember after finishing this writing.

That's why the fact that  that she could never see the magazine I have founded and edited, because she couldn't see anymore in the last years, makes me also very sad. I will always remember her. 

For those who did not know her, Eva Schaefer was a German Lacemaker who lived in Spain. That's why I could get to know her personally and meet her in several occasions.