Tatting artist Brown featured at Town Hall

Carollyn Brown of Farragut can get completely lost in tatting.

“Sometimes I feel I am tatting some complex DNA chain and thoroughly enjoy intricate directions or very old directions that are hard to understand,” she said. “The possibilities are endless and I find that different groups of people tend to gravitate to a style or look.”

Town of Farragut presents Brown as its featured artist for July and August. The exhibit, on the second floor of the rotunda in Farragut Town Hall, features tatted doilies, a baby bonnet, ornaments and baby clothes plus handmade shuttles from her collection.

Winding cotton thread around two tiny shuttles creates tatted lace.

“This tatting lace is, of course, made with different-sized threads and nowadays, there are many colors to choose from,” Brown said. “Jewelry and frames and doilies, purses and edging can be designed and made with just one or two shuttles.”

She referred to tatting as “an old art that is not as lost as it used to be.” She uses her blog, Carollyn’s Tatting Blog, to share tips and patterns with tatters from around the world.

“I have designed several of my own patterns and love to be inspired by nature’s colors, as well as works I have seen in museums or historical places,” Brown said. “I have made several baby bonnets and given them away. I have found babies don’t mind wearing them because they are so light they don’t notice. 

“I give some works away to family and friends and have made snow flakes to give and show appreciation to teachers at Christmas time,” she added.

Brown also has taught classes and enjoys teaching tatting.

“I have a YouTube channel and it’s called ‘madtatter80.’ I don’t have basic instructions — I feel there are many — but have invented a new way to make a new technique for a tatted leaf called ‘clunies.’ I have other movies with some tips, too,” she said.

Brown’s love for lace-making started when she was a child.

“When I was a child my mom let me have a handkerchief that my grandmother had tatted the edge,” she said. “I was fascinated at the tiny knots and beautiful design. Unfortunately, she passed away when I was 8 years old. This is my first memory of this art.”

Brown has been making lace for 17 years. However, she told of “many failed attempts years before this; I was trying to teach myself with a book my mother let me purchase when I was young.”

Now, she added, “I love to tat lace and can get completely lost in it.”

Brown also enjoys calligraphy, sewing, weaving, quilt making and cake decorating — but said tatting is her favorite art form.

Coming from a creative family, Brown has passed her creative pursuits on to her children while her husband, Richard, helps her make beautiful shuttles that are also works of art.

Each month, the work of an artist or group of artists is featured in specially designed cases on the second floor of the rotunda in Farragut Town Hall.

For more information about this exhibit or to access a Featured Artist of the Month application, contact Lauren Cox, Farragut Parks and Leisure Services special events and program coordinator, by calling 865-218-3372, at lcox@townoffarragut.org or visit www.townoffarragut.org/artsandculture.

Farragut Town Hall is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is located at 11408 Municipal Center Drive directly across from Farragut Post Office.