Ana Isasi Blanco

1990 Florida Folk Heritage Award

Ana Blanco (Orange Park) learned the art of bolillo, or bobbin lace, while growing up in Cuba. She emigrated from Cuba in 1962. Among the many styles of lace making, bobbin lace is considered one of the most intricate. Blanco used many patterns–the Fan, the Spider, and the Honeycomb— characteristic of Cuba’s lace tradition. In particular, the types of tools she employed, such as a lace-making pillow, cylinder, and bobbins, are typical of those utilized in Cuba. Although she often used traditional lace patterns, her artistry was most evident in her original designs.

Bobbin lace making is undergoing a revival in popularity, but few lace makers have the skill and expertise to develop original designs. As a highly accomplished lace maker, Blanco taught the handwork to novices throughout Florida. She had been especially active in teaching lace making in the Jacksonville area. Blanco published Brussels Lace Making, a manual describing an advanced form of free lace.