Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Japanese lace fan

Just to show that my interest in Japan and things Japanese goes back a long way I thought I’d blog about this Japanese lace fan I made for City and Guilds many years ago. I remember researching Japanese patterns for kimono fabric and finding one depicting weeping willows, on which I based this design, and another of fan shapes which inspired the idea of producing a single fan as a hanging. The leaves and stems are all lace plaits and leaves, with four plait crossings where they intersect. I also added small gold beads at intervals to catch the light and add some highlights. The golden full moon was also inspired by another kimono fabric. The sumptuous black, red and gold colours epitomised Japanese style to me and were picked out from the clothing of some Japanese dolls in my collection. As part of the C&G exam I remember producing design boards to accompany the lace with all these samples on them, as well as showing the various stages of the design process, stitch samples and images of the lace being made. It was a lot of work but a good exercise in recording every step and formalising the process of designing. I learnt a lot from it - it’s a great shame that C&G in lacemaking no longer exists.

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