WISCASSET — International award-winning tatter Elaine O’Donal will be featured during the Nickels-SortwellCraft Show on Thursday, July 26. 

The show starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. The Wiscasset Art Walk is from 5-8 p.m.

O’Donal, who lives in Gorham, has been tatting for more than 30 years and began learning the craft because she loved lace. 

“I still tat in a traditional way but make non-traditional items,” she said. “The mitts, or fingerless gloves, are my original pattern. However, there really isn’t a pattern at all. It depends on a lot of judging by eye and measuring.”

The intricate and detailed work of tatting can be repetitive, O’Donal said, so coming up with new ideas and uses for her creations helps to keep her work fresh and interesting. 

“Although your grandmother would recognize my tatting, I have taken tatting to new uses that grandmother would have never thought of, such as shawls and suncatchers,” she said. 

O’Donal also accepts custom orders and has created exquisite tatted pieces for weddings and christenings, some of which can be seen at tattedwebs.com.

Historically, patterns for tatting were passed along by word of mouth, and often were never written down, like O’Donal’s mitts, making it difficult to pinpoint the earliest use of this lace-making method. While there’s documented evidence that tatting originated in the early 19th century, O’Donal suggested that it was done much earlier. 

For information, contact Pam Shockley at [email protected], or Lucia Droby, [email protected]