Kohtudes Anu Rauaga / Lace Retreat at Heimtali and meeting an Estonian Fibre Artist and “Living Treasure”

Tekst ja fotod: Penelope Piip, ERMi Sõprade Seltsi liige/ Member of the ENM Friends Society

Kui mu ERMis töötav sõber veetis ühe augustinädala vabatahtlikuna Heimtali Muuseumis, palusin luba kaasa minna. Esimest korda käisin ma Heimtalis koos abikaasaga 2005. aastal, mäletan väikest pitsiväljapanekut ning et ostsin eesti- ja ingliskeelse raamatu „Anu Raud“.  Mõtlesin Heimtalis tegelda oma poolelioleva niplispitsitööga, samuti süstikpitsiga; seadsin plaanid nii, et oleks aega puhata ja aega pitsiga töötada.

Mu sõber Aivi Ross rääkis, et ööbida saab muuseumi kõrvalhoones, kuid kui ta kohale jõudis, leidis ta majutuse ja toidu naabruses asuvas Anu Rauale kuuluvas Kääriku talus. Ka mind kutsuti kohe sinna. Järgmised kaks päeva olid imetoredad.

Sõitsin bussiga Viljandisse, jõudes kohale veidi enne keskpäeva. Mind ootas seal ameeriklasest sõber Paul Firnhaber, kes mu lahkesti muuseumisse sõidutas. Parasjagu oli oma ringkäiku lõpetamas väike grupp Rootsi turiste ning mind tutvustati Anule. Kahetsesin, et mul polnud kaasas temast rääkivat raamatut, oleksin saanud autogrammi küsida.


Olin mõningaid Anu töid näinud Tartu Laulupeomuuseumis, nüüd avanes mul võimalus näha tema väiksemaid vaipu. Osa küünist oli ümber ehitatud näitusepinnaks, kus oli väljas tema endiste tudengite töid. Oli huvitav näha, kuidas on vanad mustrid inspireerinud uue põlvkonna tekstiilikunstnikke.

Aivi sulges muuseumi lõunapausiks  kl 13.30 ning me jalutasime tallu, et istuda lõunalauda koos Anu ja nelja tekstiilitudengiga, kes veetsid siin nädala, otsides ideid uueks õppeaastaks. Mind tutvustati  ka seltskonnaga ühinenud Anu emale, tõlkija Valda Rauale. Olles näinud mu perekonnanime,  jutustas ta, et oli sündinud 1920. aastal Tartus, enne Tartu rahulepingu allkirjastamist 2. veebruaril, samuti mäletas ta oma lapsepõlvest  professor Ants Piipu, kes on mu abikaasa isapoolne vanaisa.


Sel pärastlõunal istusin muuseumi lähistel päikese käes, tegelesin käsitööga ning vestlesin külastajatega, nende hulgas ka neli juba mainitud üliõpilast. Tagasi talus, kasutasin õhtusöögieelset aega oma töö korrastamiseks. Külalistetuba oli väga hubane, imetlesin  pastoraalseid kardinaid akendel. Tuba kaunistasid ka pitsiga voodilinad ning seinal armas pilt Anust noorena.

Suviti kannab Anu meelsasti lihtsat ja mugavat väikeste kaunistustega puuvillast kleiti. Ta oli üliõnnelik, kui ma andsin talle kingiks väikese pitsist sinimustvalge südamekese. Mulle meeldib selliseid südameid teha kingiks meretagustele külalistele ja uutele eesti sõpradele.


Reedel tegin ma veel käsitööd, suhtlesin tudengitega ning tutvustasin neile ka mõnd käsitöövõtet. See oli üsna intrigeeriv ja üks tütarlaps jagas oma avastust kohe ka käsitööhuvilise emaga.

Päiksepaiste ja soe ilm kestsid pea kogu laupäeva, kuni mu abikaasa saabumiseni.  Siis algas paduvihm. Aivi tuli koos meiega Viljandisse Pauli juurde, kus saime enne Tartusse sõitu juua tassike kohvi ja napsata kaasa mõned õunad lookas okstega õunapuudelt.


Veelkord suur aitäh Anule külalislahkuse ja võimaluse eest näha nii mõndagi imelist käsitööd. Nautisin ka Sinu külluslikku aeda ning tervislikke ja lihtsaid toite. Olen väga õnnelik, et mul oli võimalus veeta need napid päevad koos Sinuga, jagades loovat kunstnikukirge tekstiili vastu.

In English:

When my friend, who works at the Estonian National Museum volunteered at the Heimtali Museum for a week in August, I asked if I could join her. It had been a long time since my last visit and I had been wishing to return there. The first time I visited the museum with my husband in 2005 there was a small display of lace and I bought a book titled “Anu Raud” that was in Estonian and English. I thought that I would bring my current bobbin lace project to work on as well as my tatting and so I considered this as a time to relax and make lace, or as a “Lace Retreat”.

My friend Aivi Ross had told me that we would be sleeping in the building next to the museum but when she arrived she found that accommodation and meals were provided at “Kääriku”, a nearby farm owned by Anu Raud. I was immediately invited to stay there also. The next two days were very pleasant and comfortable.

I travelled by bus to Viljandi, arriving just before noon, where an American friend Paul Firnhaber met me and kindly drove me to the museum. A small group of Swedish tourists were finishing their tour, and I was introduced to Anu. I wished then that I had brought the book about her, published in 2002with me, so I could have her autograph in it.


I had seen some of Anu’s work displayed in Tartu’s Song Festival Museum, now I could see some of her smaller rugs. Part of the farm barn had been renovated and was a show room for work made by some of her previous textile students. It was interesting to see how old patterns were inspiring new textile artists.

Aivi closed the museum at 13.30 and we walked over to the farm to join Anu and the four textile design students, who were staying this week to find inspiration for their next year of study. Anu’s mother Valda Raud, who had worked as a translator was introduced to me when she joined us at the table. I gave Anu one of my personal cards that had a drawing of our house, and Valda recognized my surname. She was pleased to tell me that she was born in Tartu in late January 1920, just before the signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty on February 2nd, and she also remembered Professor Ants Piip, my husband’s paternal grandfather, from her childhood.

After lunch Anu showed me two Swedish “Kristina” lace pillows that had recently been given to her. I found that there were two narrow prickings and a bundle of bobbins under the roller. The larger pillow had a length of lace that had been worked, but sadly the bobbins attached were all jumbled up (see photo #2). And under this roller there were two small sections of the same pattern, one for a corner, and a short length of lace which I could see had many mistakes.


That afternoon I was working on my lace sitting in the sun outside the museum, talking to the visitors, including the four students. When I returned to the farm I used the time before dinner to sort the bobbins out (see photo #3) and browsed through the little Swedish book that had come with the pillows. The guest room was very comfortable and I liked the pastoral curtain on the window. There was also lace on the bed sheets and a lovely portrait of Anu as a young girl.

During the summer time Anu liked to wear a simple cotton dress as it was so comfortable. There was a narrow edging of bobbin lace around the collar and sleeves as well as across the top of the pockets and the shoulders. And she was absolutely thrilled when I gave her a small tatted heart made with small white buttons and black and blue thread. I like to make these tatted hearts to give to overseas visitors and my new Estonian friends.


On Friday, I made more lace, as well as crocheting two cords to hold the Swedish bobbins in place on the pillow. I showed the students, the two Estonian lace books written by Eeva Talts, and I also demonstrated how to tat a chain and a ring on the snowflake I was making. They were quite intrigued, and one girl was keen to share this discovery with her mother who was looking for something new to learn.

The sunshine and warm weather lasted most of the Saturday until my husband arrived. Then the downpours started. Aivi came with us to Paul’s home in Viljandi, for coffee and to pick some of the apples from his overloaded trees before we headed back to Tartu.


Thank you, Anu, once again for your hospitality and the chance to see some beautiful lace, like the tablecloth edging (see photo #5) that had recently been donated to the museum. I also enjoyed walking through your bountiful garden as well as the wonderful healthy and simple food. I feel so very privileged to have been able to spend those few days with you, when we shared our creative and artistic passion for textiles.

2 thoughts on “Kohtudes Anu Rauaga / Lace Retreat at Heimtali and meeting an Estonian Fibre Artist and “Living Treasure”

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