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Christy Benoit Castille

Fiber / Breaux Bridge, LA

Artist Statement

I am inspired by looking at my great grandmother's tatted pieces and vintage patterns that are found on the internet. Currently I am using her shuttle, along with newer shuttles that are made of metal, wood and plastic. DMC and Lizbeth thread (100 % Egyptian Cotton) are used in most of my pieces. Once my piece is complete, it has to be blocked on a board and starched for shape. After 24 hours it is ready to be enjoyed.

Biography

I have been blessed to be born into a family of talented women. My earliest memories are of my grandmother and mom sewing. Tatting, hand embroidery, and sewing was also done by my great grandmother, who passed away shortly after I was born. I was told stories of her gift for making things with her hands, she left many beautiful pieces for me to study and learn to appreciate. I have always had a love for heirloom and vintage items, always studying items whether it is family heirlooms or a museum piece. My mom gave me my great grandmother's shuttles to play with. No one else in the family had been able to pick up tatting. It was very difficult in the 80's to find books and patterns for tatting, a class was offered at the Natural History Museum. I was able to attend this class and quickly learned the correct way to make basic stitches. As time went on I put my shuttle down to finish high school, start my career and get married.

Once I started my business, in November 2002, doing custom sewing for others, I picked up my shuttle again. I have enjoyed going through my great grandmothers treasures looking for inspiration and re-creating her patterns. Our heritage must be passed on to the next generation! The beauty, love and history that is shared through each piece is unique and cannot be duplicated. I look forward to sharing my love of tatting with others!

Phase I Apprentice - Tatters Across Time, Inc.
Member of International Organization of Lace, Inc.

Folklife Demonstrator:
LSU Rural Life Museum - Harvest Days 2016
Experience Louisiana Festival - 2016