Glass/Enamel Tatting Shuttles–Very Unique!

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The ShuttleSmith Glass/Enamel Copper Tatting Shuttle #194

I knew my The ShuttleSmith Glass/Enamel Copper Tatting Shuttles were unique….I just didn’t realize HOW unique until I just recently did a Google search for ‘enamel tatting shuttles’ and ‘glass tatting shuttles’. I was surprised by what I found (or should I say what I did NOT find!).

In my Google search, it was no surprise to me that Heidi Nakayama’s name, photos, and website came up….she is the ‘Queen of Tatting Shuttles’. Heidi wrote the book on tatting shuttles, literally and physically: Tatting Shuttles of American Collectors is a must-have book any tatter interested in the beautiful tools that have been a part of tatting’s history. Check out her website at: Tatting Shuttles of American Collectors Website . It is full of eye-candy and great articles on contemporary tatters and shuttle collectors. Heidi has Dora Young’s shuttle & tatting collection as well as rights to Dora’s very unique book, which she is planning to republish.

A chapter about my The ShuttleSmith Sterling Silver Tatting Shuttles (I used to make) is included in Heidi’s book. I had the good fortune to meet Heidi at the 1998 IOLI Convention in San Diego, California. It was at this time she was still actively researching and writing her book and had taken photos of my handmade sterling silver shuttles. It was there that Heidi asked me if I had ever considered enameling my silver shuttles. At that point in time, the answer was ‘No’–I had a full-time job, two small children, an active family lifestyle, and active ‘in my spare time’ teaching needlework and lacemaking techniques, teaching weekend motorcycle safety classes and creating silver tatting shuttles….there simply was no time for another hobby!

Now flash-forward to a year or so ago—I stumbled into a class on enameling and was hooked! Of course, my first thought was applying the artform to tatting shuttles (everything is TATTING related!). I don’t want to know how much money I dumped into this new artform….but I have had alot of fun in the process. And just now after doing a search on enamel/glass tatting shuttles I have realized how very unique my shuttles are.

What I did find on the internet was a couple of photos of old/historical enameled shuttles. Most have a thin layer of glass/enamel over silver. Many times, the underlying silver is patterned. This is an enameling technique/style called ‘quilloche’ or ‘basse taille’. I have seen a few enameled shuttles in other peoples collections but have never found one myself in antique stores. I believe old enameled shuttles to be fairly rare. Now that I am an ‘enamelist’ I know that enameling does not work well with ‘sterling silver’. The base needs to be ‘fine/pure silver’. The impurities (the 7.5% of non-silver metal) in ‘sterling silver’ will not allow the glass particles of enameling to fuse to the metal base.

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Webster shuttle with a thin layer of transparent purple enamel over a patterned silver base

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Old enamel shuttle with a thin layer of tranparent white enamel over a patterned silver base with flower decal decorations.

Beyond the historical enamel shuttles, probably from the early part of the 20th century, I could not find any reference to Enamel Tatting Shuttles until I created mine. Now if you Google search ‘Enamel Tatting Shuttle’, my The ShuttleSmith Glass/Enamel Copper Tatting Shuttles come up in big numbers. I use copper as the base metal for my tatting shuttles–A. it’s alot cheaper to buy, B. it’s easier to use, & C. why use a precious/expensive metal when you are going to cover it up with something like glass?

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The ShuttleSmith attempt at creating a Basse Taille type Glass/Enameled Tatting Shuttle

ShuttleSmith Glass/Enamel Copper Tatting Shuttles are a layer of copper metal upon which glass particles are fused/melted to the base metal using high heat (ca 1300C) from a hand-held torch. Both sides are coated in glass, though the backside is quite plain due to enameling process limitations. The result is a flat, hoare-style tatting shuttle that IS glass. It ‘tinks’/sounds like glass. And it can/will break like anything glass if it is dropped (usually from a distance to a hard surface such as concrete).

Check out ShuttleSmith Glass/Enamel Copper Tatting Shuttles for sale on Etsy: The ShuttleSmith Etsy Store

Tatting-Embellished Denim Shirt

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This pattern was published in The Tatter’s Treasure Chest, edited by Mary Carolyn Waldrep, Dover Publications, NY, 1990. This was an out-of-copyright pattern republished by Dover Publications from a J. & P. Coats Tatting publication. The pattern can be found on page 78-79 of The Tatter’s Treasure Chest.

While updating/cleaning up my website recently, I realized that I had only posted two of the variations of patterns that I had done for my ‘Tatting Embellished Denim Shirt’.  So, in several postings, I will continue to share my variations of a classic pattern (seen in the bottom photo) that I used to embellish a denim shirt.

Not counting the original pattern (used along the button placket) I created 5 different variations.  Look for them in upcoming blog posts!

 

Highlighting (Part 2) & Cleaning up my Website

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Photo from an Old Blog Posting–“Tatting Embellished Denim Shirt–Patterns Included”

I do know that my website is ‘messy’.  The theme that I chose to start creating my website probably wasn’t the best choice.  But all this web/computer stuff is not my thing!  I’m a tatter-first, a designer & shuttle maker-second, then the computer/web stuff comes after that so that I can communicate with other tatters.

So in an attempt to clean-up my website, I spent a few tense moments with my husband trying to figure out something  and I have persevered!!!!   I actually want to sing the song “I have survived…” here now.  Anyway, I worked on the OLD BLOG POSTINGS pages and instead of having a drop-down submenu item, I only have one page in which I have all the pages listed and linked to open in a new tab/window.  I’m not sure if opening the page in a new window is the right thing to do or not, but that would involve another (probably tense) conversation with my husband to figure out.  I choose my battles –I mean conversations–regarding technology very carefully.  The problem with him is that he doesn’t realize everyone is as technically savvy or as smart as he is.  (Do keep in mind that he is a Vice President for an IT section at a Fortune 500 company.)So talking ‘technical talk’ to this ‘tatter’ can be very painful to him too.

So take a look at my OLD BLOG POSTINGS section.  It is here you will find information that I had posted in the past to another blog site in the past.  In an attempt to keep what may be the good stuff (not just ramblings/dribble) I decided to move certain things to this website and this menu.

I’d be interested in hearing what you think of this format.   Email me direct at:  k.bovard@yahoo.com  or leave a comment on the page.  BTW, does the ‘Comment’ section work?????  Again, my lack of web knowledge is showing.