10ª Biennial 2011

  • 10biennale it

    10th International Lace Biennial

    organized by the Lace Promotion Committee will take place in Cantù from 16th October to 6th November 2011

    The exhibition is spread over three distinct exhibition sites in Cantù, each tackles and examines in depth a different theme to give visitors a wide-ranging insight into the world of lace, from the design to the finished object.

    The main site is Villa Calvi, via Roma 8, Cantù, which hosts the exhibition Lace & Design and is organized in various sections:

    - a historical section will offer a wide-ranging reconstruction of this area, with some unpublished documents, photographs and lace which illustrate both craft production, with large pieces for furnishing, and more innovative pieces.

    - a section entitled “A proposal: new design for unique pieces”, will be dedicated to contemporary lace design and will have a designer of international reputation as a testimonial.

    - a section will be dedicated to the lace schools and associations which are active in Cantù and neighbouring towns and which presents the works created in the course of the last two years (2009-2011).

    Another site is the Baptistery of Galliano which hosts the exhibition: “Nineteenth century and contemporary lace and embroidery” curated by the Artistic Lace Association, where nineteenth century and contemporary items from the collection of Rita Bargna will be exhibited.

    Finally, the Artistic High School “Fausto Melotti” Cantù, where “Lace: teaching, design and innovation” exhibits the most significant lace works created at the school between the thirties and the fifties, as yet unpublished.


  • xmerlettidesign


    dianaCantù boasts a four-hundred year history in the production of handmade lace. A history which finds its moment of broadest significance in the thirties when the fundamental drive for experimentation led to the collaboration of important architects and artists in lace design. The historical section of the 10th Biennial proposes a wide-ranging reconstruction of this aspect, with documents, photographs and lace which illustrate both craft production, with large pieces for furnishing, as well as the more innovative work.

    Our aim is to propose a new appreciation of handmade lace outside the logic of serial production. We wish to transform lace into a high-end design product, to obtain unique exemplars as works of art. Therefore attention is concentrated on designer lace seen as an expression of the most advanced design. Some examples will be exhibited which show contemporary experimentation and innovative research carried out by lace artists. The setup of these spaces will be completed by design objects and furniture created on the theme of lace.

    Given the success of preceding editions with the associations of lacemakers, schools of lace and amateur groups, this section dedicated to contemporary production is proposed. These are lace works from the Cantù area created over the last two years, directly with this exhibition in mind, and keep the precious craft tradition alive. To document all the stages from the design to the final artefact, preparatory drawings and patterns will be displayed alongside the finished product.

  • merletti800

    Baptistery of St John the Baptist

    Monumental complex of San Vincenzo - Galliano, Cantù

    from Tuesday to Sunday 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-19.00

    Closed on Monday

    In the prestigious setting of the Baptistery of St John the Baptist in Galliano, the exhibition curated by Rita Bargna, president of the Artistic Lace Association will propose lace on a liturgical theme. Starting from the service for the Mass, from her collection will be exhibited cassocks and borders for priests’ albs, baptismal gowns, brides’ veils and handkerchiefs. The enormous range and richness documented in this collection have an international resonance and allow one to fully appreciate the manual skill and creative imagination of the women lacemakers.
    galliano merlettibattistero

  • didattica

    Lace: teaching, design and innovation

    Library of the State Art Institute "Fausto Melotti" - Cantù

    Tuesday and Thursday 10.00 - 18.00
    Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10.00 - 14.00
    Closed on Sunday and Monday

    The evergreen charm of lace, its delicate poetry, its candid and refined lightness conceal a body of knowledge and experience that only careful and sensitive observers are able to understand. Knowledge of design and graphical skills combined with technical experience characterize the selection of lace proposed the Fausto Melotti Artistic High School. In the exhibition space of this school one can admire a group of precious works which not only document the stylistic, aesthetic research promoted by the lace course since the end of the nineteenth century, but above all highlight the innovations in teaching and design carried out by teachers and artists who have worked in the Institute over the years. Among the most important figures who have contributed to the success of the course we may remember Giorgio Wenter Marini, Fausto Melotti and Francesco Scaini.

    Design: Francesco Scaini
    Date: (1960-1965)


    Design: Giorgio Wenter Marini
    Date: 1932-1933

    merletto maestre
    Lacemaker: Teachers and pupils from the lace course
    Date: (1940-1965)

  • intrecciodifili

    Intertwining threads

    Children’s workshop organised by Rossocobalto

    Villa Calvi, via Roma 8, Cantù

    16th -23rd -30th October / 6th November

    The idea is to bring children to the art of lace by means of doing and playing. The aims of the workshop are to introduce children to the weaving technique by means of the intertwining game. Have them discover the traditional tools of Cantù lacemaking and entertain the younger ones with creative activity while their parents visit the exhibition.

    Cost € 5.00 per participant

    Compulsory enrolment
    c/o pro-Cantù
    From Monday to Friday from 15.00 to 17.00
    Tel. +39 031-716094
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    The workshop will take place only with a minimum of 12 enrolments and for a maximum of 20 participants. Age group from 5-11 years.

    The workshops are led by teaching operatives with a certificate of the Specialist Training Course issued by the Bruno Munari® Association

  • teodoro


    San Teodoro Theatre, Cantù

    Saturday, 29th October 2011
    9.30 – 13.30

    Conference organised by the Lace Promotion Committee in the context of the 10th International Lace Biennial

    • Lace today: function and imagination
    Report on the function of lace in today’s society and the presentation of different situations, statements and imagined prospects of the sector.

    • Safeguarding Cantù Lace
    The conference proposes to examine the theme of the intangible aspects of lace production as a typical craft product of a specific community, handed down through the female line. This theme has had attention from Unesco and studies and initiatives aimed at proposing Cantù lace as a significant example of collective heritage to be safeguarded are in progress. There is also the goal of continuing the dialogue started by the University e-campus, Novedrate which organized a first international meeting on the safeguard of intangible heritage.


    Chairwoman Renata Casartelli
    President of the Lace Promotion Committee

    9.30 am

    Tiziana Sala - Mayor of Cantù

    Introduction, Lace in the context of Cantù

    10.00 am

    Elisabetta Bertacchini – Director of Studies, University e-Campus

    Practical experience of the University e-Campus relating to:

    - The international conference on 29th April 2011 "UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage"

    - Collaboration in the training workshop organized by AESS

    10.20 am

    Marialuisa Rizzini – lace historian

    Lace in history to the present day

    11.00 am

    Annamaria Isacco - Art History teacher at the Artistic High School Fausto Melotti, Cantù

    Cantù Art School - Lace: teaching, design and innovation

    11.30 am

    Carlotta Bianchi – Como Silk Museum

    The importance of intangible heritage

    12.00 am

    Renata Meazza - Coordinator of the project E-CH-I, Lombardy Region

    Cantù lace. How to document technical knowledge and traditional craft skills

    12.30 pm

    Serafino Grassi – Deputy Mayor of Novedrate

    The Novedrate experience, lace, internationality and territory

    1.00 pm

    Tiziana Sala - Mayor of Cantù

    Closing address

  • 8conc

    8th Competition for a Bobbin Lace Design

    Seventeen entries were submitted to the competition.
    3 winning projects were selected by a public jury (visitors to the exhibition invited to vote) and by the technical committee, consisting of Marialuisa Rizzini, Renata Reina, Michele Marelli and Cesare Agliati.

    1. First prize went to:
    Elisabetta Barbaglia (from Cucciago, province of Como) for the project Pennuti á porter (Birds to wear)


    2. Second prize went to:
    Mariagrazia Giacomini (from Trieste) for the project Lunanera (Blackmoon)

    3. Third prize went to:
    Ilaria Rigamonti and Michela Mantica (from the Artistic High School Fausto Melotti, Cantù) for the project Edera (Ivy)

    The Lace Promotion Committee decided to award special commendations to the following Lace schools for the commitment shown:
    Amateur Course, Parish of John the Baptist, Lurago d’Erba Filo come arte (Thread as art), Monza

    The presentation ceremony was enlivened by musical entertainment by the New School of Music, Cantù.

    For further information please contct Pro Cantù (CO) Tel. & Fax +39 031/716094 – Cell. 348/2215068



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