Alessandra Polleggioni was born and raised in Umbria, at Porano in the province of Terni, where she began to crochet as a child, showing a particular and precocious gift for filet. One day her aunt Velia Polleggioni, an expert lacemaker, said to her: ‘If you’re able to crochet like that, come to me and I’ll teach you how to make Orvieto lace’.
Embroidery and Lace
And so Alessandra learned from her, at the age just fourteen, all the secrets of this ancient art. Her aunt and teacher always urged her to improve her talent and her technique through experience and training.
In 1994 she took a diploma at the Istituto d’Arte in Orvieto. The course of studies helped her greatly in developing autonomy and mastery in lacemaking and constant practice allowed her to acquire and perfect a range of abilities and skills.
She at once showed great competence and imagination, making designs and then translating them into lace for tablecloths, sheets, trousseaux and wedding dresses. Among other things, she created a unique masterpiece in which she took her inspiration for the design of the ornamentation from details of the façade of Orvieto Cathedral: two and a half years of work!
With the passing of the years she has produced an ever growing series of little marvels, extraordinary both in their designs, of rare delicacy and poetry, and in their execution, works of masterly skill that offer a personal interpretation of the complex and refined technique of Orvieto lace. In 2017 she collaborated with Máire Treinor (a well-known Irish lacemaker), on an exceptional work that combined the technique of Orvieto lace with that of Irish lace.
Alessandra Polleggioni has a deep love for her craft, and she teaches it in order to pass on her art and her consummate technique: together with Maria Vittoria Ovidi Pazzaglia, she has presented the technique of Orvieto lacemaking at the International Summer School in Clones (Ireland) to students from all over Europe.
With the Bolsena Ricama School, where she has taught for many years, she has become involved in the project to obtain the recognition of Italian lace by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.