Lace Reimagined: 30 Inspiring Projects for Making and Using Lace Creatively by Elisabeth Healey is published by Search Press. When we think of Lace, often a traditional image comes to mind, something old fashioned. This book helps us to reimagine our conception of this textile embroidery technique, featuring some thirty step by step projects which showcase lace making as a modern and contemporary form of art.
About The Author
Healey originally specialised in graphic design, studying it at the London College of Printing, getting into book illustration. On the side, she took at interest in making things from cloth and mixed media. Coming from this contemporary view, she comes to lace with a fresh approach, focusing on creating modern pieces, rather than the traditional kind. She has now contributed to many magazines as well as written several books. Examples of her work are available to view on her website.
Who Is This Book Aimed At?
Those with an interest in lace, who hope to move away from the traditional look. many have reported that this book is suitable for most abilities, as the step by step projects are easy to follow.
Okay, so lace, what is your personal definition? Ours comprised of words like traditional, time consuming, complicated, always white…..
Well, this book is going to make you scrap that preconception! Try mixed media, concrete, paper….need we say more?! Surely those words combined with lace will make you pick this publication up just for the curiosity factor alone!
So, lets go through some of the contents so you know what you are getting into…
Looking at the contents list, we note three definite sections, The Basics, Found and Made and Reimagined.
The Basics covers just that, from explaining how to set up tools, what’s required right down to the details of each lace making style; i.e. tatting setup. The following sections get creative and may turn your imagination alight; lace and fairy wings? Lace and shadows? Read to discover more!
Lace, what is our impression of this traditional, often seen as fusty, unchanged technique? This book may turn your head – our impressions are challenged even through this introduction. Where do we come across lace? When we start to think about it, we may be surprised…..we won’t say any more!
On a warning note, we recommend reading this book through before beginning any of the projects. We would have been totally stuck if we hadn’t, as preparation is key for a lot of them – i.e. we may need to go purchase some tools first.
The first section covers the basics, which is something this author certainly covers within this section. She pays proper respect to the tools and techniques: bobbin lace, tatting, net darning, needlelace and more are covered, yet she doesn’t bog us down – it all feels achievable.
Diagrams are a large part of why we are not overwhelmed. These are set out clearly so that we can follow along step by step…..
Here is yet another example….
We enjoyed the variety of subjects and related projects covered it this book; it certainly is no dry, staid publication. As we leafed through, we found ourselves surprised by what we uncovered. Our prior views of lace were wiped away by the array of 3D projects. Take for example this doll – who would have associated a doll with lace?
Really we have only just touched the surface of this book, we do not want to spoil it for you! Yet already you can see its potential – boredom? We think not!
Some projects also feature ready-made lace, either entirely, or as something that can be added to. This may make it feel more achievable for those with less experience.
The wealth of subjects covered in this book really allow for beautiful imagery. Nature comes to the fore here, leaves have been used as a canvas for lace. The unusual projects really make us excited, we find ourselves questioning – what is possible?
Close up shots and focused views not only help us to visualise and interpret the ideas better, they also show the skill of the artists work. There’s no where to hide, so any mistakes are on exhibition! Yet really, there are none to observe, at least to our eye!
What Makes The Book Special?
One little thing we must mention before we forget is the quotes throughout, they dabble the book, giving a little extra which we would never have thought about, but would now miss if not there. Have a flick through and find them at your leisure.
We have previously waxed lyrical about the surprising projects and subsequent photographs throughout this publication, yet it does not harm to raise it again! This hand is a key example of lace making on the edge – we will not look at a piece of lace the same way again!
Even the more traditional types of lace making and photographed to look current. We may have all seen a little lady sitting in a hot country doing some traditional lace, yet this really turns our views as to what these traditional ways of working could become – it is very much in the hands of the maker.
Plants have definitely got a following, even more so recently, This project jumps on this trend, giving it a lacey overhaul. Many of us lack the vision to see where traditional concepts such as lace can come into the modern day – the author cleverly opens our eyes, using projects such as this one to educate us.
Mending to get seen is another trend such currently holds its ground. The link between lace and mending gives us ideas to play with – we may all have heard about darning socks, but why not add lace instead?
Anything Wrong With The Book?
The exceptional exploration of lace makes this a publication tempting for all – the sign of a clever author.
Lace Reimagined: 30 Inspiring Projects for Making and Using Lace Creatively by Elisabeth Healey is published by Search Press. Get your copy from BookStore and support independent bookshops!
While we are on the subject of lace, have you checked out our awesome column Adventures in Time and Lace? Check out this section of our site to discover lots more lacey inspiration!