Legacy of Lace - Celebrating Lace Communities

by Victoria Brown in Ilkeston, England, United Kingdom

Legacy of Lace - Celebrating Lace Communities
We did it
On 16th March 2021 we successfully raised £1,802 with 39 supporters in 28 days

Help us to embrace & explore Erewash’s Legacy of Lace through art & creativity, engaging communities, building bonds & spreading positivity.

by Victoria Brown in Ilkeston, England, United Kingdom

1613403847_jardines_mill.jpegLike the intricate patterns in lace, a community’s shared history is complex and fascinating.  Lace has had a huge influence in Erewash’s past and continues to play an important role, with leading names in the design and manufacture of lace (such as  Cluny Lace in Ilkeston and Neil Thorpe Lace Designs in Long Eaton) keeping Erewash firmly on the global lace map!  While neighbouring Nottingham’s involvement in the lace trade is more widely known, not everyone is aware of Erewash’s wonderful legacy of making Nottingham Lace but it’s something we really want to get people talking about – initiating conversations between generations before some of the personal stories behind the patterns are lost.  Through art and creativity we can encourage people of all ages to explore and enjoy this captivating subject: lace may be delicate but it’s nonetheless a strong cornerstone of our local heritage.


After the shocking year we’ve all experienced with the pandemic, now seems an ideal time to breathe some life and positivity back into the Erewash area by joining together to explore and celebrate the ‘Legacy of Lace’.

Over 11 years ago, I ran a successful arts research project called ‘Losing Lace’ which generated a lot of interest and allowed me to discover a great deal about the history and importance of the lace industry in our area.  Initially this was driven by my personal, family connections – starting with my Great Grandfather Thomas Stocks and finishing with my father wh1613406724_barry_stocks_birkin_&co.jpgo later became director of Birkins – but I soon

realised how much there was to learn about the lace trade in Erewash.There’s so much more to explore and, since then, a whole new generation to inspire!


Following on from the success of the initial project, we have already been lucky enough get ‘The Legacy of Lace’ off the ground.  This has only been made possible thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, for which we are incredibly grateful.  Additionally, the support of Erewash Museum, Long Eaton Art Room and Crafting Relationships has been vital to the progress we’ve already made with the project.  We have 5 amazing resident artists lined up who are keen to inspire the community through their work – from painting expanded lace patterns to bobbin lace design, photography, illustration and abstract architectural paintings.  But there’s a lot more we want to do! Through your support and funding, we are hoping to secure a sixth resident artist – a sculptor – who will, quite literally, add an extra dimension to the project!  With your help we can take this further and touch even more lives through our work.

We’re keen to explore the many facets of the business, going beyond the obvious beauty of lace to the characters involved in the industry, the machinery that drove it and the buildings that housed it.  Lace has had an impact in so many ways, from the practical to the frivolous: shaping the landscapes of the towns we live in and adorning the gowns of many a blushing bride! 

Starting in February 2021, the project will comprise various parts including the artist residencies, virtual (video) lace workshops run by numerous artists, ‘hands-on’ lace workshops in the summer (Covid-19 guidelines permitting), and a ‘Lace Trail’ around the Erewash towns and villages which were involved in the lace business, including Ilkeston, Heanor, Sandiacre, Long Eaton and Draycott.  The trail, which will run from mid-July, provides a perfect community talking point and will encourage people not only to admire and enjoy artists’ work but also to explore their own creativity and display their lace creations in front windows – a positive, cohesive community display of shared pride in the area’s rich and vast lace industry.  

After this period of social isolation, the Legacy of Lace could weave its magic through the area, rebuilding bonds and making the community stronger.  Arts and culture are proven to have a positive impact on lives and communities, and right now we all need some positivity.  The project also has the potential to attract visitors from far beyond Erewash, which could bring a welcome boost to the local economy.  With your help we can achieve this!  Let’s make the ‘Legacy of Lace’ unforgettable: a talking point for years to come! 

Perhaps your business is built upon the success of Erewash’s lace industry? Maybe you’re an artist who, like me, is heavily influenced by lace? Or, you may just have admiration or adoration for the wonder of lace … whatever your affinity may be, please help us to make this project a resounding success!  Your support is much appreciated and all donations are gratefully received.  If you would like to contribute to the project in a non-financial way, please contact me, I’d love to hear from you. 

Victoria Brown 




This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£40 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£40 Virtual Portrait Shoot with Hannah Millard.

A voucher for a one-hour portrait shoot with photographer Hannah Millard (AKA Camera Hannah). Via a remote photography app (similar to a facetime call) Hannah will direct you to set up and pose for some relaxed, creative photos around your home. Whether you're looking for shots of yourself or family members (or even four-legged companions!) these shoots create an informal & fun memento of a time when we have all been spending more time at home.

£5 or more

7 of 100 claimed

£5 Button Badge- Lace Painting Design by Victoria

A button badge with a design from one of Victoria's paintings inspired by lace from her Great Grandfather Thomas Stocks' old pattern book. 32mm, 20 each of 5 designs Please state which one you'd prefer & I will send your preference if available.

£6 or more

11 of 20 claimed

£6 Reward a Commemorative Lace Bobbin

A commemorative beaded Lace Bobbin in wood, laser cut with text & lace pattern: Legacy of Lace 2021. The lace pattern is taken from Victoria's Grandfather Thomas Stocks' lace pattern book. Beads will vary.

£15 or more

1 of 15 claimed

£15- Lace Papercut Artwork By Caroline Backhouse

Lace papercuts created by artist Caroline Backhouse, inspired by Nottingham lace designs. A4 mounted on board ready to frame,15 available 5 each of 3 patterns.

£25 or more

1 of 2 claimed

£25 Reward - A print by Kerri Pratt 23 x 23cm

Kerri is an award winning fine artist living and working in the East Midlands. She creates original acrylic paintings most recently she has been working within a theme of the urban, industrial and man-man landscapes. She will be an artist in residence on the Legacy of Lace project & Kerri has kindly donated 2 prints 23 x 23 cm (including border, unframed)

£140 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£140 Reward

Kerri is an award winning fine artist living and working in the East Midlands. She creates original acrylic paintings most recently she has been working within a theme of the urban, industrial and man-man landscapes. She will be an artist in residence on the Legacy of Lace project & Kerri has kindly donated ‘Footprint' a superior quality Limited Edition Print 3/25 (unframed) measuring 50 x 50cm including the border. https://www.kerripratt.co.uk

£200 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Legacy of Lace Creative Workshop.

Victoria will deliver a creative workshop to your organisation/group of friends. Worth £280 tailored for your group & date to be arranged with you.

£480 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Lace Painting by Victoria Brown

Receive a lace painting worth £580 painted by Victoria in Oil paints & Gold Leaf on canvas. Paintings can be viewed in my gallery shop: https://www.victoriabrownart.co.uk/store

£20 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Original Lace Sketch by Victoria Brown

Receive a signed pen sketch on paper created by Victoria, inspired by a design from her Great Grandfather Thomas Stocks' lace pattern book. The sketch will be 6x6inches mounted in card ready to frame. Thomas Stocks started his lace business in Victoria Mill Draycott in the early 1900s

£30 or more

5 of 5 claimed

£30 Reward Bobbin Lace Workshop with Louise West,

A workshop day in a class run by highly skilled & acclaimed bobbin lace designer & maker Louise West. A workshop date to be arranged.

£75 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£75 Reward Limited Edition Print by Kim Fowler

Kim Fowler will be one of the resident artists on the legacy lace project her highly detailed mystical artwork is influenced by the Art Nouveau Movement . She has kindly offered an A4 limited edition print worth £75 this will be of the artwork she will create as part of the Legacy of Lace artist residency. To see more about Kim please visit her website: www.kimfowlerillustration.co.uk

£85 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Lace Oil Painting by Victoria Brown.

Levers Lace & Bobbin Lace Study I - in oil paints worth £140 painted on canvas 30x30cm finished with fragments of hand crafted bobbin lace. Inspired by a 1930's design from her Great Grandfather's lace pattern book. Thomas Stocks started his lace business in Victoria Mill, Draycott in the early 1900's. The bobbin lace was given to Victoria by the ladies in Louise West's bobbin lace class whilst she was first learning to make lace.

£250 or more

1 of 1 claimed

1-2-1 Bobbin Lace Workshop with Louise West

The opportunity to spend a full day, 1-2-1 on a Bobbin lace workshop with Louise West. The day will be personalised according to stage in lacemaking from complete beginner to advanced. The more advanced student has the option of practical lacemaking or designing, either on paper or computer. The workshop will be held at Louise’s Derby studio, on a date to be arranged with recipient. A rare opportunity that Louise rarely offers.

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