I love that lace can be decorative and frivolous . Something I also love, is when the beauty and intricacy of lacework is brought into everyday life, brought to life in something beautiful but also practical and visible. Cue Niels Van Eijk and Miriam Van Der Lubbe and their bobbin lace lamps. I think I need to say at this point that although yes, a lamp can certainly be considered to be an everyday object, there is nothing ordinary about these lamps, they are truly exceptional. We’re not talking about your average household lampshade here , we’re talking full on, large scale chandelier!
In their profile about their bobbin lace lamps , Dutch designers Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe tells us that woven lace lampshades of fibre optic filaments create a fairy-tale feel. Combining traditional craftsmanship with a high-tech material adds a new dimension to lighting. Where the filaments are knotted, they break, releasing the light. The thousands of resulting luminous strands transform the lampshade into a light source: the lampshade is the lamp.
The lamps are woven with traditional lace stitches – plaits and windmill crossings. There is something about the transparency of the fibre optics filament which really displays and highlights the stitches. I particularly love the way the fibre optics hang as if they are the lace bobbins themselves, left dangling there, having weaved the shade. I like how this exposes the process, suggests the process itself is part of the finished piece.
These lamps have been available for commission, handmade to measure. Imagine one of these in your home! Certainly a talking point! For more on Van Eijk & Van der Lubbe’s bobbin lace lamps, and to explore more of their vast range of design work do visit their website.
Tracey Wright is an NHS Recovery Worker by day & trying to be creative at all other times! Tracey is a member of the Aragon Lacemakers, who work to keep the making of handmade Bedfordshire lace alive by learning & making lace together. Tracey was taught to make handmade bobbin lace at school as a child & has returned to this craft in the past few years. Tracey is interested not only in learning about the history of lacemaking & its vast range of styles & techniques to contribute to preserving this traditional craft, but also in exploring how lacework is being used in art & craft today in new & exciting ways to show it is still fresh & contemporary.