Contemporary lace designer Louise West is about to revolutionise the heritage craft and make it accessible to future generations with the help of digital technology.
This month she is launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise the cash to pay for a laser cutter, printer and software to enable her to create ready to work lace designs that do away with the need to prick out the patterns.
Louise, who is based at Friar Gate Studios in Derby, first had the idea when working with a laser cutter during her BA course at university 12 years ago but it is only now she has gained the knowledge and experience to realise how it could benefit people worldwide.
“Many people struggle with the preparation required to make bobbin lace, either through difficulty with sight or with their hands, or sometimes through lack of time, this project aims to remove this barrier to being able to make lace, by producing the lace patterns ready to work – with markings on card and holes ready pricked,” she said.
“The attention to detail on the preparation is crucial for good lace, and this takes the effort out of that process. I have seen the problems that students face in struggling with the preparation, when all they want to do is get on and make lace.”
She explained that the ready to go prickings would initially be from her own published designs, but ultimately she would offer the service to other designers, and lacemakers’ own patterns.
“Lacemaking is a heritage craft and by using technology I hope to engage more younger people into the craft, prolong the participation of existing lacemakers, and help to ensure the craft survives for future generations.”
To back Louise’s project go to http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/digital-lace-patterns