Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Amy Atkin lace designs

I’m making progress on my Amy Atkin lace project. The image shows my sketchbook and preliminary ideas for the finished lace. Amy Atkin attended Nottingham art School in the early 1900s and claimed to be the first female machine lace designer in Nottingham. Some of her designs and other items are held in the Collection of Nottingham City Museums, which is where I saw them. I decided against working her designs directly because they didn’t fit the short narrow format I’m using and also because I am working them in needle run lace on machine net rather than using a lace machine, which is what she designed them for. I’ve designed four panels using motifs from her designs and working in the same way as she did with a large motif at the base of the design and stylised flowers and foliage leading up from that. I’ve just finished the first panel and found the needle run lace worked well. It’s a technique I used on my response to the Battle of Britain lace panel and has relevance to the early machine lace trade, before the invention of the jacquard pattern system, when much decorated lace was made by using a needle and thread to add the pattern to plain net, so it seems relevant to the work of a machine lace designer.

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