Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine January 2019 - Page 492
Saba Lace Art & Craft Galleries
Saba lace, or as it was known in the early period,
“Spanish Work” is handcraft of needlework
which began as a cottage handcraft on the
island of Saba at the end of the 19th century
and grew into one of the leading industries
on the island at the turn of the 20th century.
Until the 1950’s, lacework was one of the key
sources of revenue to the island’s economy. The
handicraft is still practiced and is a feature of
tourism for the island. Mary Gertrude Johnson-
Hassell was sent to study at a Venezuelan
Catholic convent and learned the intricate craft.
She returned in the 1870s and taught others
how to make the drawn thread patterns by
pulling and tying threads from cotton cloth into
lacework designs. An art gallery has existed in Windwardside
since the 1990's but under different names. In
October 2014, the new owners decided it was
time for a re-branding and changed the names
to Five Square Art Gallery (since Saba is 5 square
miles large), and Everyt'ings, which is more of a
The roots of this technique had been shared
all over Europe long before, and you still find
examples in every EU country, also even in
Hungary, and other middle European countries.
But in the Caribbean it is now a special feature
of cultural history of Saba.
You may find the Lace ladies still at work in the
center of Windwardside at Lambee’s Place.
If Five Square Art Gallery had a Mission
Statement it would be ‘to bring the best in
Caribbean art, and in particular Saban art, to the
residents of and visitors to, Saba’. To this end, the
owners are constantly on the lookout for new
artists; maintain regular contact with current
exhibitors; and travel frequently to other islands
in the Caribbean in search of new works.
The Kakona initiative pays tribute to Saba’s roots
while adding contemporary artistry, keepsakes
that are aesthetic, kreative, original, nature-based,
authentic works…striving to blend Saba’s past and
present—each with its own story.
In addition to several others, some important
artists represented in the gallery with their
artwork are Heleen Cornet and Els Mommers.
The gallery is in the Windwardside Shopping
Kakona is the Taino word for trinkets of value and
objects of worth. Indigenous cultures knew to
honor and respect the Mother Earth.
To see what variety Kakona offers apart from
antiques, jewelry etc. visit
Jewelery by Madame Jeanette
The gallery is in the Shopping Center of
Windwardside at Lambee’s Place.