"Having first mastered the technique of traditional Carrickmacross Lace Theresa began pushing the boundaries of the craft . “What lies beyond conventional Carrickmacross Lace is what interests me most. My work is informed by the lace stitch, but I am constantly striving to find my voice in that intangible place of shifting rules and boundaries, creating a different aesthetic while always remaining faithful to the essence of the lace itself.
Historically lace has always been associated with the most opulent of fabrics and jewellery but Theresa’s work explores a dialogue between lace and the raw earthiness of objects found in nature. Using patterns of lace juxtaposed with patterns in the natural world her work is characterised by the contrasting use of textures and design to create an abstract and expressive art form. Theresa notes “within nature everything is cyclical, nothing is static, and for a craft to be vibrant, dynamic and reach new audiences it must continue to change and grow as I continue to do with my own work.”
Theresa grew up with threads, her mother’s sewing room was the heart of the house. After studying Art & Design and following a move to Co. Monaghan in the 1980’s, Theresa discovered the intricacies of Carrickmacross lacemaking expertly shared by Kathleen Flanagan. It is within these gossamer threads that Theresa has remained. Theresa, one of Ireland’s most influential lacemakers has shared her skills in Ireland, Australia, America and most recently the UNCON Lace Congress 2021.
She has exhibited extensively in Ireland and abroad and has won many awards for her innovative lace design including the inaugural Eleanor de Branchiere award with the R.D.S. Dublin and the Sally Johansson Award at the O.I.D.F.A. World Lace Congress.
Her work can be viewed on Instagram @theresakellylace