Tarmo Thorström (born 1983) is a Finnish teacher and artist who works with lace in different formats. His path crossed with bobbin lace making purely by chance in 2005 when he was digging into the essence of his relatively new hometown Rauma. The southwestern small town Rauma is the traditional lace centre of Finland where locals have been celebrating lace making in the form of nine day festival for 50 years already. There Tarmo met a local grand old lady of lacemaking, Impi Alanko, who offered to teach the basics of bobbin lace making if he would be interested. Curious by nature towards all sorts of things as Tarmo is he accepted the offer and learned the basics with the 80-year-old master.
After a couple of years Tarmo decided he wants to do something else than the local traditional patterns. As there was no ready made patterns fitting his visions he decided to start drawing them by himself. Unfortunately at that time his teacher had already passed away and Tarmo had no one to guide how to start designing patterns. By trial and error method he taught himself and started to learn the laws of bobbin lace structure.
You can follow Tamo on instagram @tarmot
During the years of working with lace I have not only made lace art from textile fibres but also of light, paint and wood. My works include lace graffiti, XXL scale installations and light projections. In 2019 I published a book 'Moderni pitsinnypläys' (Contemporary bobbin lace making) which is a guide book to unconventional materials methods and equipment, modern interpretations to 21st century bobbin lace making in the form of ready made patterns and also guidelines how to use bobbin lace making for "drawing with thread" and especially how to use computer software in the making of the pattern. An English translation is to come, though Corona put obstacles to that process.
Currently I am fascinated by the old maritime skill of working with ropes. In the summer 2020 I learned to splice and now I am developing methods to combine these two fibre techniques that are the opposite ends of physical scale but still both very symptomatic to the coastal town of Rauma.