An Early Lace Workbook

This book was written for lacemakers, particularly those who have an interest in the techniques, materials, and working methods of the earliest bobbin laces. The techniques are interesting in themselves but they also have much to contribute to contemporary lacemaking.

The author has spent many years studying and researching lace in public and private collections, in Australia and overseas. Although she set out to discover how bobbin lace began and where, she feels that she now has more questions about this than she had when she started. In particular she is not now such a fan of the 'single origin' theory as she once was.

In the book there are 21 reconstructions of surviving 16th and early 17th century lace, and 9 interpretations of lace in paintings. All have patterns and instructions. Most of the pieces are easy and interesting to work and because of their scale they are more than suitable as modern trimmings.

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If you already have the book you can click the links below to download PDF extras:

PDF1: Some alterations and additions

PDF2: SEPT 2012 Jewish Museum page 51

PDF3: Page 59 Fir Tree extras

PDF4: Page 61 Raised Plaits extra

PDF5: Page 72 Triangles extra

PDF7: JULY 2012 V&A page 53

PDF6: JULY 2012 Hungarian insertion page 54

PDF8: Early Lace Workbook French Translation PART I


About the author

Rosemary Shepherd learned bobbin lacemaking while living in England in 1970. For more than 30 years she has taught in Australia and overseas for community arts centres, tertiary colleges and special interest groups. For 20 of those years she was specialist lace curator at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum, where she developed the Lace Study Centre and wrote a classification system for the lace collection. She was also the coordinator of the 1998 and 2001 International Lace for Fashion Awards.

In 1979 Shepherd was a founding member of the Australian Lace Guild and held office on many occasions. She was also active in other arts and crafts organisations, and in curriculum development for tertiary textile education. In 1990 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to the arts, particularly lacemaking.

Shepherd has exhibited widely and her work is held in a number of private and public collections. Apart from her passionate interest in the complex history of lace, she has always enjoyed experimenting with technique, design and materials. Her current contemporary practice is inspired by historical research and includes jewellery made with fine silver wire.

This is her third book and a sequel to it is planned, which will focus on early lace in Australian collections.

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