My name is Katerina. I am a textile designer, recent graduate from The Glasgow School of Art and about to embark on my masters at The Royal College of Art in London. My practice centralises acts of preservation. Impassioned by intricate materiality and the delicate tactility of ephemera. I selectively source bygone cloth and antique material to reference, rework and restore.
It has been over this last year, reflecting upon my practice that I have come to realise, whilst I have been drawn to the beauty of antique lace incorporating it within my work in various means, I have looked only at its surface charm. And in doing so perhaps overlooked its true beauty, and authentic value. The beauty in the process. The beauty of lacemaking. Behind each handmade lace is a patient, meticulous maker. It is a craft that uniquely requires delicacy and strength in equal amounts. Both of the maker and the finished cloth. But it is a craft that faces the realistic risk of extinction.
Growing up in the Black Country I have been aware of the guild and the heritage of the lace industry in the Midlands for some time. However, I now feel an urgency and grave importance that is my responsibility as a designer maker to support and preserve the legacy of traditional crafts such as lacemaking. Treasuring this sacred cloth for generations that follow.
Whilst volunteering with the guild I will educate myself through the words and lessons of others. Studying archival cloth, books, journals and absorbing the knowledge of associates and members. Through a series of letters, documenting my discoveries (of which will include rare artefacts from the archive) I invite you to share my personal journey. As I uncover a rich romance of visual pleasure and the powerful significance of this beautiful craft.
Sincerely for now,
This notebook belonged to a student at The Glamorgan Training College in Barry from 1922, Wales. Between the 17th and 19th century lace schools in Britain were common. Today lacemaking is no longer taught in schools and universities or on specialist textile courses.