Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Are You Going to Asheville?

The Arts and Crafts Conference in Asheville,
North Carolina, February 19-21, 2010

Cottage Lace exhibits at roughly half a dozen trade shows a year. Most of them are regional, meaning that their intended audience is from Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis and perhaps Pasadena, although the latter does draw folks from all over.

And then there's Asheville: this show is the grand dame of all of them, and folks travel from around the world to attend the antique show, the lectures and to visit the contemporary craftsfirms, amongst which is your favorite lace company.

This is our second year exhibiting at the 22 year old show, although I've attended in years past when I was working for another company. For that firm, and my own, I found that having a presence was invaluable; everyone is's like your entire address book is waiting in the bar for you. There's wheeler-dealers, scholars and enthusiastic homeowners all mingling for three days.

The event is held at the legendary Grove Park Inn, a magnificent stone edifice with a breathtaking lobby. Most folks try and stay there, and if you're informed that it's sold out, keep checking; rooms often become available as the show nears. The hotel also has an amazing spa, where I've often wound up meeting clients and verbally closing a deal.

Asheville, NC itself is a great college town, there are many lovely restaurants, including my favorite, The Laughing Seed. There are also good clubs for dancing or listening to music as well. For those of us who live in the North, the temperature seems balmy, even though it's the dead of winter. All in all, it's the perfect break for those of you passionate about the Arts and Crafts Movement, and it's always worth the trip.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Lace By Any Other Name... still a Madras Lace Curtain.

Not to belabor, but to educate, that's my goal. As a writer and a lecturer, my mission has always been to share as much information as possible with the public, so that they make informed decisions and we then can all preserve history together. Got a question about historic houses, interiors or antiques? Just write.

So, with that in mind, here goes: Cooper's Cottage Lace, LLC, known to many, and doing business as Cottage Lace, sells Madras Lace Curtains. They are woven in Scotland, on the outskirts of Glasgow, by really wonderful folks. They've been working diligently to keep the industry alive in the United Kingdom, and they're doing a great job. They help with the technical, production and shipping aspects of my business with breathtakingly fast speed, and they are a joy to work with. They've been helping me with a new line that should appear sometime this year (it's a secret, it's really cool, and I promise that you'll be the first to know).

The Mill has been in business for over 100 years, and they call our curtains and panels Madras Lace (or, sometimes Lace Madras, when they feel like it).

In addition, there's a very well-known company in downtown Boston, MA, who started importing reproduction lace curtains, well before other companies, and they call their curtains Madras Lace. In fact, another company that sells lace curtains refers to this particular weave as "Madras Lace" on their website.

I started this entry by paraphrasing Shakespeare, and I'll close by quoting him directly, from The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene III: "The devil can cite scripture for his purpose".