MANTZALIN explores the intersection between traditional craft and contemporary design. Being true to the traditional fabrication method of bobbin lace, Manca works with unconventional materials used in lieu of the thin thread – for various scales different materials are used from metal wire and cable to thick rope.
“While lace has always been made and used as a flat piece of fabric, either as interior decoration or in fashion, I want to subvert this conviction. Also following the principles of sustainable and zero waste practice it is my intent to make lace again a relevant player in the field of contemporary design and to discard its stigma of benign little doily on grandmother’s shelf. Through the computer aided design methods that allow me to create shapes previously impossible to conceive by hand, with the change in scale and use of construction materials and tools, I was able to add to the traditional two dimensional lace structures a third, spatial dimension and expand its scope of functional uses.”
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WHO IS MANTZALIN
Growing up in the highlands of Western Slovenia, away from all distractions of social city life, Manca (not much unlike Heidi), needed to feed her creativity with constantly exploring hand crafts that were present in the daily farm life. From her parents and grandparents she learned everything from crochet and knitting to basket weaving and carpentry. During entire primary school she was attending also the Lace School in Žiri, which is with its 110 years of operation one of the main centers of lacemaking in the region. Studying product design and architecture in Ljubljana and Barcelona she stepped away from traditional crafts and directed her focus towards contemporary, computer driven methods of design. Besides architectural design she would also create virtual environments for a number of architectural offices, private clients and museums.
After years of successful collaborations in architecture, where she also won numerous awards, Manca became increasingly interested in the connection between architectural space and lace (its appearance and structure, material and decorative possibilities, etc.). Her latest works in spatial lace installation have received international acclaim and been published worldwide. Currently based in New York, Manca moves easily through several levels of scale in her lace fabrications, from jewelry pieces to large architectural installations.