Design Your Own Lace Ground

With Veronika Irvine

In bobbin lace, grounds are key to defining the aesthetic of a style. In this workshop you will design your own lace ground.

Starting with the familiar Rose-ground, we will experiment with a variety of cross-twist combinations.  For each combination, we will examine what happens to the path of a thread and ask “How do the threads interact?” and “How does this affect the appearance and durability of the ground?”

We will then look at some lace grounds that I can guarantee you have not worked with before.  Starting with just the pair diagram, we will walk through the important ideas for determining what stitches to use, ideas such as symmetry, structure, appearance.  You will then choose which cross-twist combinations to use and experiment with several samples.

The last step is to design a pair diagram.  We will discuss the rules that a lace ground must follow.  You will learn how to avoid heroic measures such as sewings, cutting and adding threads or querflechter.  You will design your own lace ground, determine which stitches to use and make a sample.

About your tutor:

I began making bobbin lace in 1995 through a course offered by the Ottawa Guild of Lacemakers. I have a Master’s degree in applied mathematics and a Ph.D. in computer science. During my Ph.D. studies, I learned how mathematicians are revolutionizing the art of origami. Origami is 2000 years old but, for most of its history, artists only folded simple shapes. Over the past 50 years, by understanding the mathematics behind folding, the variety and complexity of possible shapes has exploded and origami is now being applied everywhere, from aerospace to medicine to TV commercials. Inspired by their success, for the past 8 years I have studied the mathematical principles that govern how we construct bobbin lace. Using graph theory, topology, knot and braid theory, computational geometry, combinatorics and many other tools from mathematics, I have been working to broadening our understanding of what is possible with bobbin lace.

You can see Veronika's artist page here.