Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Flower doily

I was honoured to be invited by Maria Bissacco to take part in the recent exhibition at The Lace School in Valtopina entitled ‘Interpretare il segno’. Maria sent each of the participants a series of drawings of stylised flowers and asked them to interpret the drawings as they liked. As I have previously designed and made some unusual lace doilies I decided that I would make another non-functional lace mat. I selected one of the flower shapes and expanded it to a diameter of about 25 cm, then widened the petals so that they touched one another and formed a unified mat-like shape. I wanted to acknowledge the floral origin of the doily without it looking exactly like a flower so I added chains of lace and fringes at certain points around the edge of the design, which also held it together more effectively. I worked the piece as a continuous tape lace, following the curves of the petals, and joining the sections as I worked around the design. Once I’d finished the main outline I added fillings to the shapes by working a continuous two-paired plait across each petal. I had to work out the path of my threads before I started and make sewings and crossings as I needed them, but mostly I managed to fill the entire space with just two pairs. As I made some of the crossings I also inserted some small strips of iridescent fabric to add a third dimension and give the suggestion of butterflies resting on the flower. They also subverted the idea of a traditional lace mat by making it completely non-functional.

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