Wilma Stevens


“Black Mask”; Cotton polyester thread, glass beads, ribbon; 7 x 3.5 inches

I have been making tatted lace for over 30 years, and creating patterns for new pieces is still the most exciting part of it for me. As a graphic designer, I’ve always been interested in working out visual problems. I have gone from making traditional flat lace pieces such as handkerchief edges and wedding chains to sculptural pieces such as jewelry, calaveras and 3-dimensional Christmas ornaments. Creating tatted masks is a new part of that evolving process.

It is rare for a garment to be made of tatted lace. Unlike knitting or crocheting, the lace has no give, and its use is limited to items that don’t need to stretch. It is perfect for masks. Even though the see-through quality of the lace seems to be revealing, it maintains the anonymity required by the wearer. The challenge is to keep the lace intricate and creative in design while ensuring that it is functional enough to be worn.