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  Selected Makers

Louise West

Louise is a designer/maker and teacher of traditional and contemporary bobbin lace making. She uses the traditional techniques in exploring new materials and formats for the contemporary three dimensional sculptural pieces. These pieces explore the 19th century plant hunter’s influence on lace, and the today’s issues of plant breeding, resulting in large ‘plant stems’ genetically modified for the 21st century. Materials used for the sculptural pieces are wire, wound onto bobbins and worked in 3D, but using traditional stitches. (Plant Stems)

The traditional side of her practice is sustained by producing new and original designs for students to learn the techniques while exploring new patterns, enthusing students for the future.  The designs still feature plants but in a more contemporary style, using the knowledge and experience gained through historical research and contemporary exploration. Louise uses both traditional techniques while exploring contemporary outcomes, and less traditional materials in contemporary pieces.  This results in a fusion of tradition and contemporary, bringing lace into the 21st century. The ethos of lace was always to make the wearer feel good about themselves; today this translates into participation craft, where students feel relaxed and distracted from the fast moving digital world, resulting in a creative and therapeutic experience. Lacemaking is now about the journey of engaging in it and this being more important than arriving at the destination of a finished piece of lace. Louise continually seeks to maintain this ethos, while continuing to question ‘what is lace’ to feed the contemporary strand of her practice. 

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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 86 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.