nature’s “lace” is a great source of inspiration

February 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I think about lace I guess I don’t typically think about it as having any direct relationship to Nature. However, when you start looking at where “lace” exists in Nature, it’s easy to see just how much it has inspired us, whether directly or indirectly.

The Japanese artist Mitsuru Koga, creates beautiful lace leaf cutouts inspired by the lace Japanese beetles leave in their wake:

I would say it’s easy to see where Niels van Eijk and Miriam van der Lubbe got some of their inspiration for their fiberglass bobbin lace lamp:

I wish I could say I have some God-given, natural ability for making lace, but in my case, I just have to learn the technique from the ground up, using the tools humans have fashioned for themselves.

For the past day, I’ve been learning the basics of Bobbin Lace, using a starter kit. I imagine it is better to have someone teach you, but I did not find any lace classes in the area.  In the past day I’ve worked 3 patterns that start from learning the basic Half Stitch (Cross + Twist):
to the Whole Stitch (Half Stitch + Cross):
and finally to the Torchon Ground (HS at 45 degree angle, closed) which is finally starting to resemble something that looks like it could be heading in the direction of lace:
Wow, lace is a very tedious thing to make. Despite the book saying you should try not to look at your hands, I think it would be impossible for me to keep all the bobbins in the right place. I definitely made a few mistakes, but all in all it feels like I’m learning a bit of the technique! I can’t imagine this is good for your eyesight but there is something soothing to the process of making it.

So far in terms of design and construction, I’d say Nature has me beat.

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