Friday, 17 October 2014

Biology and lace

As part of my current research into the net curtain, I want to make some lace that conveys the idea of disease and the part germs played in the culture of cleanliness in nineteenth century women’s lives. I’ve decided to produce a strip of lace and incorporate it into a handmade curtain, the upper part of which will be made of silk fabric and the lower half of silk paper. The lace will lie on the boundary of the two materials to give the idea that the fluid silk material is gradually turning into a fragile, papery tissue, mirroring the idea of the disease taking hold but also the concept of the curtain clogging up as it traps the germs. As tuberculosis was so prevalent at that time I’ve decided to base my lace design on the bacterium responsible for the disease (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). The images I’ve collected so far show a series of capsule shapes. It’s nice to be incorporating biological ideas in my lace again, like the image above. My recent work has concentrated on social history so it’s interesting to combine the two themes.

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