During a leisurely blog hop I came across this, Tat-a-Renda: Tatting Treasures Unearthed., which I read out of interest at finding Jon’s blog finally (not that it was lost…I just hadn’t seen it yet, but know of Jon via intatters and the online tatting design course I am lucky to be a part of). She was talking about TROVE, an Australian Library Archive, and a wonderful source of information including old newspapers from 1800’s onwards. I had used this site earlier this year to search out some family history information and was addicted to it for weeks, searching and reading articles late into the night.
One of the clever ladies at intatters had found a ‘tatting treasure’ of old tatting patterns, written mostly by Australian Tatting Legend, Norma Benporath. I have a couple of her compilation books in my collection and was very excited to see this list of her work on TROVE. http://trove.nla.gov.au/list?id=1660
Reading on in Jon’s blog, some of the ‘intatters’ crowd are now working through these patterns and correcting the typos (all docuents on TROVE are scanned images and use OCR to generate text versions, which leads to some errors and incorrect characters). So I have just signed up properly to TROVE and have edited 2 patterns…hopefully mostly correctly. Jon has kindly offered to test some of the patterns and has put up a picture of the first finished piece. So very exciting!
This has also prompted me to look closely at my tatting book collection. I have realised that aside from the books post 1980’s there are very few with credit to the women (or men) who came up with the patterns and worked the designs. The book I often refer to as ‘Rita Weiss’ is, in fact, only edited by her and is a collection of patterns from a by-gone era. In my collection there were only 2 people with their names on the books, given credit for their hard work. These were by Norma Benporath and Marjorie Willis (NZ Lady)…amazing stuff. I find it interesting how much and how quickly times are changing to give credit where it is due to those who labour over their craft and contribute so freely. Thanks, it is wonderful to be a part of this generous community.
As always, Happy Tatting!