Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Doily Free Zone

I have been invited to attend a symposium in Italy this April. Doily Free Zone, the 1st International Symposium of Young Lace Makers, takes place in Pavia, just south of Milan, coinciding with Milan Design Week. 

I am very excited about this event, not just because it gives me the opportunity to present my work abroad, but to network and learn from a range of individuals who are creating incredible work with age-old techniques. I have never considered myself a lace-maker. I see lace as more of a medium like a type of paint, than my occupation. I drift from one textile skill set to another and back again.

However, most of my work over the couple of years have contained lace, or aspects of it. I have been drawn more and more to working with lace, and have really enjoyed this exploration. But I now realise the lace I have made to date, althought the design is not very traditional, the technique and materials are. Especially compared to some of the other makers attending the symposium. I never thought of myself as traditional, but I guess I am. Within the programme is the opportunity for the artists to attend each others workshops. This is what makes the event so exciting, I hope to come back wide-eyed and inspired!

I expect to be inspired as much by the synposium as by the event organisers. "Textile Support is a project initiated by Angharad Rixon, technical textile historian, who after years of teaching in the field of fashion and design chose to respond to the growing need for technical  and practical information in the textile sector, particularly complex and unusual techniques".

A place after my own heart; a school and gallery "dedicated to maintaining dynamic and active textile traditions and encouraging the practise of textile crafts among young designers, scholars and artists". The combination of historical, traditional and modern textiles, I believe I will be going to textile Utopia.

Here's a brief synopsis of the programme, the website will be up shortly, and I'm sure I'll be talking more about it.

The symposium aims to encourage communication amongst young lace makers and to safeguard and promote this rich textile tradition as a form of creative expression.

For the purposes of this meeting we define lace as a fabric in which the open spaces are as fundamental to the design as the solid areas and where this is interplay of holes is an intrinsic part of the fabric’s structure, for this reason we will not accept proposals based on die or laser cut “lace patterns”.

All lace makers who will present work or research papers and teach the workshops will be under the age of 40 at the time of the symposium, this is not meant as discrimination but is rather an attempt to focus on the work of a generation which for various reasons is not associated with the major guilds and organizations. The symposium, however, is open to all who wish to attend.  

For more information visit: 

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