Monday, December 7, 2009

Tatting Demonstrations Forever!!!!

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Today’s Blog Post
Tatting Demonstrations Forever!!!!


How do you best demonstrate Tatting?

I am a Tatter and love doing Tatting. The second thing I love is showing others how to Tat.

The fact that 99.999% of people in my area do not know what tatting is – is a bit of challenge to say the least. Why would they care if I Tat or not? Why would they want to know anything about Tatting at all. Their lives are already too busy and too full to even consider something new – let alone consider something as odd as Tatting… that they have no idea about.

Think of it this way… you are standing beside a table with something special you have made of BRICKS… no WOMAN passing knows what it is nor does she need one. Hand fashioned items made from BRICKS is not something that 99.999% of the women need nor want to know about! Plain and simple….!

Well Tatting – a finely made lace is in the same category for most MEN… and in fact almost all WOMEN too. Everyone is too busy to do something that appears to be so time consuming. Let’s just say that Tatting is not number one on their lists this past week!

BUT… after two very full evenings of demonstrating Tatting I can honestly say that at least 1000 people out of the approximately 1300 that visited Lang Pioneer Village’s “Christmas by Candlelight” over two nights – now know that Tatting may be just about the most important thing they have ever watched done.

I love Tatting and almost 1000 people found out that it may be the most important thing that people of long ago did around the kitchen table in the evening. AND it is very likely that there will now be about 4 new classes that I will conduct over this winter period to produce some more Tatters. As they stood at the table and listened to what I was sharing with them… they WANTED TO LEARN! I mean that THEY REALLY WANTED TO LEARN!!!! So in the near future we will have our first Tatting classes of winter 2009 and 2010.

I wish I could have taken a video of the long lines and large groups of people that gathered around my display table. As they came to the table I asked, “Do you know what Tatting is? Have you ever seen it or seen it done?”

99.999% answered honestly and said “No, what is it?” Then they look at the table and see the display of doilies… which stops them… and they follow with a question… “Who made all these?”

My answer is honest and straight forward, “I did.”

Almost 100% of the 99.999% of the folk passing stopped completely and asked… stated… “YOU DID???! No kidding… a man did these!!!?”

It helps being a man sometimes in a largely Lady Dominated Lace Making World… or in a world where people’s perception is that THIS IS SOMETHING ONLY A WOMAN WOULD DO.

“You’re not kidding me… YOU actually made all these!?”

“Yes I did… would you like to see how simple it is to do… and how much fun… and how great it is to take your mind off a busy world?”

The first loud exclamation from every passer by brings more people… one average… another 15 to 20 people in fact.

I explain with the shuttle in my hand… “I am going to make a piece of tatting that will only take small motions of my hand and then something magical will take place… watch my hands… I go Under/Over then Over/Under… go Under/Over then Over/Under… go Under/Over then Over/Under… that is three double stitches…. You can’t see what I am doing because the double stitches are between my thumb and finger… but watch closely… add a space between the last double stitch… then three more… a space… and then three more..”

I then stop and look up, asking, “Are you ready? I take it off my hand… then pull this small cotton end… and it becomes… a Small Ring…! Isn’t that neat!???”

Without a doubt… the magic happened again and again… the entire group of 15 or 20 people uttered an amazed… "Wow… that is so neat! Isn’t that amazing! Did you see that!?”

Then I point to the large doilies and say… “Every piece of tatting is made with that one simple little knot that I make with my Tatting Shuttle. It is that easy!!!

Then I point to my collection of Tatting Shuttles… and the one that my Great Grandpa Ben Phillips made 115 years ago… I tell of how my Grandma Lincoln tatted for so many years and through difficult and good times… yadda, yadda, yadda…

In fact I Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda – so many times… that I would forget what I had just said to the crowd…!!!!

I spoke a lot of “Yadda” to 1000 people. I made a pile of 12 double stitch rings with three picots…and gave hundreds to the kids as souvenirs… which they either stuck deeply in their pockets or gave to moms to hold.

If you read yesterday’s post you will remember that ‘Father Christmas’ sat across from me. In a break last evening, when there was no one in the large room, he started to ask me questions about Tatting and other Lace… He had listened to all my Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda – and became interested in Tatting…

Imagine – the REAL SANTA wanted to know how and maybe even learn how to TAT! That was quite a compliment for me.

I was fascinated that so many men stopped to talk to me. This was almost a ‘Grunt and Scratch’ session… for the guys… they stood and talked the longest.

I guess when a ‘Man Makes Lace’… and shows that it is cool… other guys might just be interested too.

At the end of what I was sharing I told the story of the Civil War period and how it had affected our family… how my Grandpa had come to Canada to buy a small farm that was cheap and ready to be worked…

And just for the fun of it I throw in the fact that I am related to Abraham Lincoln… which then produced one more round of Yadda, Yadda… but that stopped when another group of new people pushed forward to hear what I was saying.

A CROWD will produce a CROWD! And when Dads and Grandpas are squeezed around the table … kids push past them to see what is going on.

How long did I Yadda, Yadda…? One Saturday evening I spoke for 4 hours and 15 minutes… and then on Sunday I spoke for 4 hours and 30 minutes…. My calculations are simple. I talked about Tatting for 8 hours and 45 minutes steady with no bathroom break, no coffee break… and Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

Don’t be surprised someday… when I pass away… and they lay me in that softly padded coffin… that I don’t suddenly pop up just one more time and while sitting there… begin…
… “I am going to make a piece of tatting that will only take small motions of my hand and then something magical will take place… watch my hands… I go Under/Over then Over/Under… go Under/Over then Over/Under… go Under/Over then Over/Under… that is three double stitches…. You can’t see what I am doing because the double stitches are between my thumb and finger… but watch closely… add a space between the last double stitch… then three more… a space… and then three more..”

I mean… you give me a potential crowd… and people that are likely to listen… and they have no idea of what Tatting is… well… I COME TO LIFE!

And my funeral may be the best place to do it ONE MORE TIME. And I think they will listen in that setting… too funny!

~ Murray Lincoln ~
www.murraylincoln.com/

2 comments:

Jane Eborall said...

Good for you. I know several tatters who are men (mostly in the USA) and they (like you) make the most amazing things. So, when and IF Santa visits me in a few weeks time do you think he'll bring me more thread and shuttles?!?!?!?
Jane

❦TattingChic said...

That is wonderful that you had so many people come and see your demonstration! Good for you for spreading the ♥tatting♥ love!
Glad to see a photo of your beautiful tatted pieces! You never know who you may have influenced in that line of people to tat sometime in the future!
I ♥ Tatting, too! My mother taught me how to tat almost 30 years ago!