Collection

'Ruskin Lace School' tablecloths

Collection: Branded

Category: Furniture

Date: Circa 1970s

Designer: Elizabeth Prickett

Nationality of Designer: British

Manufacturer: Ruskin Lace School

Material: 100% Linen

Abstract:

Linen, with cutwork and crochet.

Provenance:

Local charity shop

Adaptions/renovations:

None, good condition

Why it's in the Collection:

'Ruskin Lace' originated as a cottage industry in the Lake District. Along with friend and fellow member of the Guild of St.George, Albert Fleming, the Victorian Polymath and former owner of Lawson Park,John Ruskin realised the need to support historic local craft traditions such as spinning and weaving. Ruskin was said to have bought back lace designs from Italian churches during his travels, these were probably in the form of sketches rather than actual samples, as masterweaver Marion Twelves reinterpreted the designs by working directly onto the cloth - developing the famous characteristic of 'Ruskin Lace'. In 1890, a workshop was set up to teach the technique, that is still taught in the area today.

Ruskin Lace is an important addition to the Lawson Park collection due to its strong roots in local cultural history. Like the Ruskin cigar box also in the collection, the lace is another industry that Ruskin lent his name to, although this time its officially something he approved of!

This example of 'Ruskin Lace' is a modern pastel shade, and most likely made during one of Elizabeth Prickett's lace making workshops. Elizabeth Prickett taught lace making at the Ruskin Museum in Coniston for 31 years, teaching the technique to just over 4000 students!

About the Designer/Maker:

The designer/maker is unknown, but most likely a student of Elizabeth Prickett's Ruskin Lace workshops.

Bibliography & Further information

Ruskin Lace and Linen Work, Elizabeth Prickett, B.T Batsford, London, 1982, ISBN 9780953204014