Paula's Honiton Cowis a good illustration of how one can design a piece of lace without possessing drawing skills. I don't know if Paula does or doesn't have drawing skills, but I know that I don't. Kudos to Paula for realizing that a coloring book is just another word for "lace pattern book". I have lately been reading about the Honiton Lace industry in the 19th century. The lacemakers said that when they needed a new pattern they would take a piece of wall paper with a pleasing design and prick it and put it on a pillow. Of course, William Morris was designing wall paper and home furnishings then, so I find myself wondering if some of the Honiton patterns may actually have been designed by William Morris, but without his knowledge.

Is there anyone else who has tricks for designing without being able to draw?

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Well, I can say yes...the way that Paula's has interpreted the cow is a good way to "design" a piece without being a drawer.

However not all the pictures out there, can be interpreted in lace. My experience tell me that overall it is necessary to work on a very good shape basis. That is the outline of the motif that must clearly define what we are wanting to transmit: moving, an animal a fruit, and so. The perspective of the image also contributes to define the piece

 I understand that It is important the combination of stitches so,  the more  the  lacemaker knows about lace techniques, the best result will be achieved.

The rooster, on my Photo's album is taken on the basis of a stained glass and it could be a good example.

Among things to do this summer, I have in mind to participate in a workshop in Czech Republic with Anna Halikovà, about creativity and interpretation of nature forms to be made in lace. So, I'll tell you. 

I've been a fan of tracing photo's that I've taken. There are thicker weight papers that kind of blur the image. This helps with automatically cutting out some of the detail. If there is still too much, I can open a photo (if it's already on the computer) or scan it in and fiddle with the contrast or effects settings on the software. This can really help pull out the distinguishing features of the subject. I've been successful using this on birds, flowers, landscapes, skyscapes, and miscellaneous designs. It may help to first figure out what it is about the subject that makes it desirable to make in lace. Then breakdown the line to simple forms...just like a coloring book does. I really wish I could draw well, too. Thank goodness for my little Kodak camera!

Carolina,

The class with Anna Kalikova sounds fabulous! We'd love to hear about the experience when you get back this summer.
 
Carolina de la Guardia said:

 

Among things to do this summer, I have in mind to participate in a workshop in Czech Republic with Anna Halikovà, about creativity and interpretation of nature forms to be made in lace. So, I'll tell you. 

The method I use is to avoid trying to design natural objects, especially animals.  Plants are easier.  I go for geometric or random shapes.  The one thing that I always have in mind is to create areas with different densities.  Layout of the design, how its parts are situated on the surface, is of utmost importance.  And if I'm working with random shapes, I try to keep them as graceful as possible.  The coloring book idea is a good one.  There are ecology coloring books on the web, with assemblages of animals and plants.

Avoiding natural subjects, especially animals and people seems like a good idea. Full face people with noses are very problematic. In Paula's piece, the eye is very well done and the area below it which is of linen stitch which flows like the grain of the cow's hair would do, makes him look very strokable. The achievement of making a good eye in lace is not to be under estimated since you are not dealing with a medium that has the potential for a thin line as in painting with a brush or drawing with some kind of stylus.

 

My Santa Maria was designed from a stamp I found on line.  I can't draw very well, so I look for a design or drawing that I can adapt.  My Paul Revere took quite a while to find the picture I liked as the usual ones have the horse head on and that might look strange in lace.  Nice cow.  If the ring had been in the nose I would have thought it was a bull.  

When I took a point ground design class at convention one year we were told to look at the patterned carpet for inspiration.

Janice

I have also taken a picture and used the outline, then filled it in.  This piece was designed for a student.  She was making wedding lace for a friend and had to have a blue bird.  The photo is her execution of my design, based on a silhouette of a bird.

She was a good lacemaker, but wasn't up to Honiton just yet.  So I figured out a way to include elements she already knew how to do, or could learn easily.  The bird is about 5 or 6 inches wide.

 

Has anyone else dealt with the dilemna of how to design without being able to draw by intimidating a child? My daughter could draw better than I could by the time she was seven years old. One day we watched a nature special about the Octopus and his amazing color changes and I felt inspired to want to capture this in lace. I used my influence over my daughter to get her to draw the Octopus for me. Here was the result. Note that unlike the art of adult artists who try to draw like children, for instance, Miro, this work has a much more genuinely childlike aspect.

An absolutely marvelous octopus.  I especially like the bead suckers, and the picots which also suggest suckers.  She even put in 8 arms!

How about posting this to PHOTOS?

Very nice interpretation!  I love how she used the tallies in the beak and fillings.
 
ioli said:

I have also taken a picture and used the outline, then filled it in.  This piece was designed for a student.  She was making wedding lace for a friend and had to have a blue bird.  The photo is her execution of my design, based on a silhouette of a bird.

She was a good lacemaker, but wasn't up to Honiton just yet.  So I figured out a way to include elements she already knew how to do, or could learn easily.  The bird is about 5 or 6 inches wide.

 

Kids are great designers.  They can automatically leave out the details that aren't necessary that our trained adult eyes have to have.  Your daughter caught the important elements to the octopus.  He's great!!!
 

The draw has a sense of moving which helps to define how to use the lace technique. You have got a very good result.

It is a surprising such a good draw for a child of seven ! I like it!

Devon Thein said:

Has anyone else dealt with the dilemna of how to design without being able to draw by intimidating a child? My daughter could draw better than I could by the time she was seven years old. One day we watched a nature special about the Octopus and his amazing color changes and I felt inspired to want to capture this in lace. I used my influence over my daughter to get her to draw the Octopus for me. Here was the result. Note that unlike the art of adult artists who try to draw like children, for instance, Miro, this work has a much more genuinely childlike aspect.

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