Derby Lacemaker Louise West has made the most of her time in lockdown, writing and publishing her second book, which contains new and original patterns and designs. 

Louise, who is based at Connect Derby’s Friar Gate Studios, released her first book, Bedfordshire Lace Designs in 2017, which went on to be a global success, with copies sold as far afield as the USA, Australia and Thailand.

Her new release, entitled ‘Bucks point lace workbook’ features more intricate and creative motifs for beginners and experts to try their hands at.

The book covers the basic techniques for lacemakers new to Buckinghamshire Point Ground lace, more commonly known as Bucks Point lace. It includes 15 patterns with detailed instructions, plus three additional patterns without instructions. It also provides space for notes and for samples to be saved for future reference. 

The book has already sold more than 200 copies, with orders coming in from as far afield as Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Spain, Taiwan and USA.

Louise usually travels extensively to teach her lacemaking. Due to the pandemic, she has set up online meetings with lacemakers across the globe to offer advice and support to keep them working. 

Last year, she made two visits to the USA to teach the intricacies of lacemaking and gain new knowledge. She attended the 66th Annual International Organization of Lace Inc convention in Spokane, Washington and also travelled to the 39th Annual Ithaca Lace Day and Convention in New York where she delivered a two-and-a-half-day workshop on Bedfordshire Lace. 
And, just before the lockdown was announced, Louise swapped patterns for swimming caps as she completed a 5k swimathon for charity. Although the official event was postponed, Louise completed the full 5k distance in just two hours and three minutes, raising £500 for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

Commenting on the release of her new book, Louise said:

“The lockdown has given me the opportunity to get really creative and work on some new designs for this book. 

“The book contains new and original motifs for Bedfordshire lace enthusiasts to try at home. It assumes knowledge of the preparation of the equipment, pattern, and basic stitches of bobbin lace, but gives the absolute basics to get you started in this traditional English lace through a series of traditional designs. 

“Having the additional time at home has given me the inspiration for the patterns for my third book, which I hope to publish later this year.”

Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, added:

“Louise is an incredibly talented lace maker and businesswoman and has been working really hard on her second book, despite the difficult circumstances of lockdown. 

“She adds something really special to Friar Gate Studios and it’s great to have her back now that that the Studios have fully reopened.”

Louise’s book costs £18.95 and can be purchased at:

Louise started lacemaking in 1992. She went on to complete an MA ADAPT (Art and Design Applied Practice and Theories), at the University of Derby in 2013, majoring on 3D contemporary lace, then set up her own business, which is now based at Friar Gate Studios, the home of the city’s creative industries. 
She is now widely regarded as a leading International contemporary lace artist and develops designs from traditional bobbin lacemaking techniques, specialising in the English laces of Bedfordshire and Bucks Point lace.

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