Derby Lace Artist Publishes Third Book

Derby-based contemporary lacemaker Louise West has written and published her third book inspired by the lace archives at the Erewash Museum.

Louise, who is a long-standing tenant at Connect Derby’s Friar Gate Studios, has studied the archives of the Nottingham lace industry in the early 20th century and used them as a source of inspiration for a series of new designs.

Her latest release, ‘Heritage Lace Designs’ started out as a project for the Legacy of Lace exhibition which took place last year at the Erewash Museum in Ilkeston.

Louise originally produced 11 designs, largely of contemporary style from the archives of the machine industry and subsequently developed further designs for Bucks point and Bedfordshire laces in a more traditional style.

All the designs from the exhibition and the traditional pieces are featured in the book, along with design inspiration from the museum, which has kindly given permission for the readers to use for their own new designs.

The designs in the book range from relatively easy through to advanced. The first section is based on the work developed for the exhibition and focuses on contemporary round motifs on large scale and more traditional sizes as well. The second section includes designs inspired by one manufacturer, Frank Woodward, and includes research by Julie Varo into his family tree.

The third section focuses on traditional style Bucks and Beds designs from other sources within the archives. The fourth and final section contains photographs, included with the permission of the museum, which are intended to be used as a source of design inspiration for the reader.

Louise released her first book, Bedfordshire Lace Designs in 2017. Her second book, entitled ‘Bucks Point lace workbook’ went on to be a global success, with copies sold as far afield as the USA, Australia and Thailand.

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

“This new book features designs inspired by the lace archives at the Erewash Museum and started out as a project for an exhibition between five artists.

“I produced 11 new designs in 10 weeks of the project which were exhibited. Many designs were dedicated from the archives of the machine industry, for Bucks point and Bedfordshire laces, all of which are featured in the book along with design inspiration from the museum.”

Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby added:

“Louise is an incredibly talented lace maker with 30 years’ experience in making, designing, and teaching traditional and contemporary lace. We are thrilled to see her continued success as an author.

“She adds something unique to Friar Gate Studios and is a valued member of the Connect Derby community.”

Louise’s book is available for £19.95 including postage from: and can be shipped worldwide.

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 at Friar Gate Studios, the home of the city’s creative industries.

She is now widely known as an international contemporary lace artist developing traditional designs from bobbin lacemaking techniques, specializing in the English laces of Bedfordshire and Bucks point lace.

Louise also teaches lacemaking to groups across the UK and has recently delivered seminars in Crewe, West Lancashire, Buckinghamshire and Missenden Abbey.