Jane Atkinson, from the UK, is currently working through her bucket-list of the projects that challenged and eluded her during 45 years of lace making, tackling them anew from her accumulated experience.
This has led her into the largest work she has ever made.
Atkinson is a former journalist who has written three books on lace design and contemporary lace. She has taught design on three continents, encouraging students to draw from their own landscapes and experiences as she does herself.
She has also travelled extensively through Europe to exhibit at lace festivals, collecting threads, equipment and ideas to add variety to her practice, which focusses on climate ecology and pattern inspired by nature and human ingenuity.
She has had two solo shows, shared one with Denise Watts in Arenys de Mar, and has contributed to group exhibitions, local and international, since she first taught herself to design lace nearly 40 years ago.
Her work can be seen here at contemporarylace.com
Over that time, my ambition has always been to hand on to others the independence I cherish of controlling our own work. Starting from the simple process of Torchon lace, I have pushed its geometrics into abstract, stylised and fluid imagery, making the basic ideas available through two books and offering all the discoveries I made for teaching with many dozens of patterns.
I have travelled the world with the message that anyone can design, with a few simple strategies. I have taught across Australia and around the US, in Spain, France and Switzerland, as well as exhibiting the length and breadth of Europe, in Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Germany, France and Spain.
Lace is an international language – we all do the same thing … differently. We may not speak the same tongue, we may use different systems – tape-based ideas in Central Europe, or grounded laces further West – but a strong community revolves around this wonderful medium, nurturing fabulous skills. It has been a huge privilege to be part of it.