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2012/81/1 Necklace, 'Chantilly necklace', enamelled copper wire / Swarowski crystal beads, designed and made by Lenka Suchanek (b. 1961), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 2010. Click to enlarge.

‘Chantilly necklace’ by Lenka Suchanek

Designed by Suchanek, Lenka in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, North and Central America, 2010.
This necklace was designed and made by Lenka Suchanek in 2010. Now based in Canada, Suchanek is a lace artist who first learned to make lace in her native Czech Republic, a country renowned for its contemporary lace design. Her work has been informed and refined by the study of historical lace techniques as well as patterns in publications and museum collections around Europe. A winner of many prestigious prizes in Europe, Canada, Czech Republic, Spain and Italy, she was a finalist in the 2001 Powerhouse Museum Lace for Fashion Award. This necklace, together with another work, a bobbin lace panel 'Are we made of lace?' represented Suchanek in the Love Lace exhibition of finalists of the 2011 Powerhouse Museum International Lace Award.

Wire bobbin lace, the medium used to make the 'Chantilly necklace' is Suchanek's particular strength. The title of the work refers to Chantilly lace, the finest silk bobbin lace originating in northern France and prized in Europe particularly from the 18th century. Suchanek writes about the necklace: ' I fell in love with Chantilly lace at first sight. I love its irregular free flowing pattern and shading of fine black silk. I love the feminine beauty and sensuality of the designs. In my own work, Chantilly lace continues to be the most difficult technique. The traditional patterns were designed for extremely fine silk, and it is a true challenge to adapt them for metalwork. The bee design was inspired by the Alencon lace commissioned by Emperor Napoleon I on the occasion of his marriage to Marie Louise in 1810. It featured the golden bee, one of the emblems of France'.* Napoleon I encouraged and sponsored the revival of Chantilly lace under his reign when it became again a highly profitable industry in France.

*(artist statement published in 'Love Lace, Powerhouse International Lace Award', Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, 2011, p 123.).

Eva Czernis-Ryl and Lindie Ward, 2012.


Object No.


Object Statement

Necklace, 'Chantilly necklace', enamelled copper wire / Swarowski crystal beads, designed and made by Lenka Suchanek (b. 1961), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 2010

Physical Description

A necklace formed with daisy-like flower components and stylised round foliage made from black-enamelled copper wire frames filled with black nets of bobbin lace. The necklace consists of a foliate choker with two flower heads positioned just above a suspended larger central flower applied with a gold-wire Napoleonic bee in the middle. Attached to the central flower motif are three smaller flowers, positioned one above another and interspaced with foliage, which cascade in one single, gently curving line, towards the bottom. Small black Swarowski crystals are attached in places to simulate berries or flower buds.


No marks.



540 mm


210 mm


20 mm



Made by Lenka Suchanek from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 2010.

The necklace is constructed through the use of the bobbin lace technique.

For any lacework, the most important step is to use the right size of thread (or wire in metal lacework) and correct density of threads in the pattern. Suchanek usually makes four or five samples on a small area of the pricking to find the right combination. Once the pattern is established, many bobbins are prepared, wound in pairs. The winder is the only mechanical tool that is used in the process of bobbin lace. The pairs are taken into the work as necessary. There is no need to count the pairs, they are just added or taken out according to the pattern. The large number of pairs, especially in the widest area of the design, might seem quite intimidating to the viewer but it is not the real challenge of the work. A lace-maker usually concentrates on two pairs at a time, performing two basic steps of cross or twist, so the real skill lies in a sustained concentration on one step at the time. After thousands of these simple steps - if done correctly - the lace appears.



This necklace, along with six wall hanging panels titled 'Are We Made of Lace?' (panels on loan only to Museum), were made for and displayed in 'Love Lace: The Powerhouse Museum's Third International Lace Award, 2011-2013'.

Cite this Object


'Chantilly necklace' by Lenka Suchanek 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 August 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title='Chantilly necklace' by Lenka Suchanek |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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