- Arts and Design
Ruskin Lace from the Lake District
The Craft of Ruskin Lace from the Lake District.
Ruskin Lace is a type of drawn thread work , that was introduced into the Lake District in 1884 by poet, artist , writer and philosopher John Ruskin.
John Ruskin loved the Lake District, and had a beautiful home, Brantwood, overlooking Coniston Lake. Ruskin was concerned by the lack of skilled employment for the local people, and he used the old Lake District craft of linen production as the basis for his idea for fine embroidery, cut thread and needlework that took its name from him and beacme known as Ruskin Lace.
These days, Ruskin lace is still taught in special craft courses in the Lake District, and fine examples of Ruskin Lace are to be found at the Ruskin Museum in Coniston , and at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Here we will look at some examples of Ruskin lace, see a simple demonstration of making Ruskin Lace, and learn more about where to see Ruskin Lace.
There is also information about John Ruskin's home, and the Lake District area where John Ruskin lived, which he adored.
What Is Ruskin Lace?
Ruskin Lace is a type of "drawn thread " work
Ruskin encouraged the people in the Langdale Valley to make spinning wheels and weaving looms to produce linen cloth, and wheels were also brought in from the Isle of Man.
They then wanted to decorate the plain cloth, and drawings produced by Ruskin led to the development of Ruskin Lace. It is made to a strict pattern, by drawing threads and cutting the fabric.
The leading exponent of Ruskin Lace work is Elizabeth Prickett. From 1970 to 2006 she taught thousands of people how to make this delighful form of lace. She has now retired, but more information and pictures can be found on her Ruskin Lace website.
Find out more about John Ruskin and Ruskin Lace - John Ruskin was a fascinating man
You may like to read more about the great man. In Victorian Britain he was considered one of the best minds.
Artist, patron of the arts, philospher, scholar. John Ruskin was a great intellectual. His private life has been the subject of interest, and his links with the wild "Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood" group of painters has caused much speculation. His marriage to Effie, who later became the wife of John Millais, one of Ruskin's proteges, has been the subject of endless speculation. There will soon be a film about Effie, which should be fascinating.
Here is a selection of books about Ruskin, or you can, of course, look on Wikipedia for more information.
A good biography of John Ruskin, instigator of Ruskin Lace.
John Ruskin's writings
John Ruskin wrote extensively. There are massive tomes of his thoughts on art and his philosophies are wide ranging. This book is an extract of some of this keys points.
Read some of John Ruskin's own literary output. He wrote extensively- don't try to read Ruskin's full works!
John Ruskin's art
John Ruskin was an art critic who actually painted himself. He also wrote books explaining to others the best techniques.
This new book contains beautiful examples of his work.
See the work of Ruskin in this beautiful book.
Over 130 finely reproduced examples of Ruskin's work are here, based on the exhibition in Canada and Scotland in 2014.
Ruskin's drawing of details from the Ducal Palace Venice - Ruskin's drawings from his visits to Italy inspired Ruskin Lace
You can see how the stonework from this famous Venetian Palace was echoed by the design of the Ruskin Lace. These are skteches made by John Ruskin, and may have been the inspration behind some of his designs.
The outstanding book about Ruskin Lace for UK visitors
If you live in the UK you can buy books on Ruskin Lace here
The Elizabeth Prickett book, the number one book about Ruskin Lace, can be bought from amazon.co.uk via this link to Ruskin Lace and Linen work
See Ruskin lace on YouTube!
Where to see Ruskin Lace
Samples of Ruskin Lace can be seen in several museums
The Ruskin Museum in Coniston houses samples of Ruskin Lace.
The Armitt Library in Ambleside is also a good soucre of information on local crafts.
Elizabeth Prickett has donated a large collection of Ruskin lace to be housed at
Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire.
The amazing treasure trove that is the V & A in London has Ruskin Lace work by Elizabeth Prickett, and it is a mine of information on the work of Juhn Ruskin, William Morris, and the Arts and Crafts Movement.
More about Ruskin Lace in the Lake District - Ruskin Lace courses at Brantwood, other Ruskin Lace links.
Brantwood, home of John Ruskin at Coniston in the Lake District it a great place to visit.
At Brantwood you can learn more about John Ruskin, and you can arrange to attend Ruskin Lace courses
Here also you can find more information about Ruskin Lace
- Ruskin Lace courses at Brantwood, Coniston
Learn how to make Ruskin Lace at the home of John Ruskin, Brantwood, Coniston.
- Ruskin Museum
The Ruskin Museum at Ruskin's home village of Coniston has lots of Ruskin lace information.
- Ruskin Lace with Elizabeth Pricket
The expert on Ruskin Lace- Eliazbeth Pricket
Emma Thompson has made a movie about the marriage of John Ruskin. - A new film is being made about John Ruskin's wife, Effie
Oscar award winning actress Emma Thompson is also an author and film director. She is fascinated by the life of John Ruskin,especially the scandal of his marriage and is making a movie in which her husband, Greg Wise, ( star of Sense and Sensibility) plays John Ruskin.
Due for release soon, those who have seen previews say that Ruskin is not sympathetically portrayed.
American playwright Gregory Murphy had already written a play on this subject, and claims that Emma Thompson stole his ideas.
The movie is scheduled for release November 2014 .
The order of release by Millais
John Ruskin's then wife, Effie, was the model for this paiting.
Artist John Millais met John Ruskin's wife Effie ( reportedly still a virgin ) when she modelled for this painting The Order of Release.
Later he married Effie....that's another story..
- From the Local newspaper Westmorland Gazette, the Ruskin film
The South Lakeland newspaper, the Westmorland Gazette, tells us about plans for the Ruskin film.
- Gregory Murphy writes about his meeting with Emma Thompson
Read this article about the claims as to who's idea the Effie movie was.
Here are some links to find out more about John Ruskin - John Ruskin, inventor of Ruskin Lace- lots more information.
John Ruskin was a fascinating man.
Find out more about John Ruskin here.
The ancient art of Lacemaking- find it on ebay - Lacemaking items that might interest you
There is stuff on ebay for those of you who love this old craft.
Please leave your comments here- I'd love to hear from you.