Now my ‘No No’ lace is finished I’ve started designing the next piece in the veiling series. This one is to be a black veil and I want the lace along the edge to reference vampires. The essence of a vampire is its fangs with blood dripping from them so I began by making a footside and then arches coming off that to represent the fangs – the blood will be added later in the form of red glass beads! I then needed something to suggest the rest of the mouth so I decided to add a smaller arch within the larger one, but crossing it, to link the lines together and add some interest. Once I had the basic idea drawn out I then copied it on to tracing paper, so I could try out filling ideas and work out the links between each part of the design, without having to keep rubbing out parts or redrawing the outline for each trial. I decided to have an area of rose ground within the main arch shape, as I thought that reflected gothic architecture quite well. What I was unsure about was whether to make the lace in a Torchon fashion, on a grid with blocks of cloth stitch either side of the rose ground, or in a Bedfordshire style, with plaits feeding into it. You will not be surprised to learn I went with the Beds option, because I like that style of lace, and also because I thought the plaits resembled gothic tracery. However, designing with tracing paper made deciding easier, as it meant I could keep superimposing the two ideas until I was happy with the result. Once I’d chosen the design I liked, it also allowed me to trace a series of them, one after the other, to form a length for a pricking.
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