Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Designing bobbin lace

Preparing a talk on designing bobbin lace made me go back and look at some of my earliest attempts at designing. These pears were one of my first designs and are basically outlines with fillings in the central areas. My inspiration came from two places, first of all, the garden, as we have several pear trees, but also Ann Collier’s book ‘Creative design in bobbin lace’. Her book gave me the confidence to have a go at designing and showed the way by describing how braid lace can be used to form the outline of a design. She also has a chapter on filling stitches that can be included within in the braid outline to give the design more interest and make the lace more stable. For this design, I first drew the outline of the pear as a continuous braid, allowing a split in the central area for the pip. Then selected some plait and picot fillings that suggested the texture of pears for the interior. Once I’d finished my bobbin lace pears I then needle laced some leaves incorporating wire into the edges to give them a slightly more three-dimensional appearance. It is a simple design, but for me it represents a huge step as it started me on a journey of lace design that I’m still enjoying.

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