Manca Ahlin received comprehensive education in handcrafts (everything from bobbin lace and knitting to basket weaving and carpentry) from her grandparents during her Heidi-style childhood in the highlands of Western Slovenia. She augmented her practical knowledge by studying product design and architecture in Ljubljana and Barcelona. Currently based in New York Manca explores the intersection between traditional craft and contemporary computer driven methods of design through her brand Mantzalin. She moves easily through several levels of scale in her fabrications, from jewelry pieces to architecture.
Her work can be seen here at www.mantzalin.com or on instagram @mantzalin .
In the spatial lace works Manca explores the potential of bobbin lace to form three-dimensional shapes and to transcend the domain of a mere decoration to become an independent functional object in space. 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 hemp rope. The open weaving structure of the lace is playing a crucial role in these works where the shape of the object is designed in a way that its own fabric is able to hold its shape in space and no additional support is needed.
Nature’s organic shapes are the most common inspiration for Manca’s works in which she looks for the primary forms to combine them with the decorative geometric shapes of the lace structure to give lace a new, spatial significance.