Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Hybrid stitched textile art : contemporary interpretations of mid nineteenth century Irish Crochet lace making
Author: Castles, Heather
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 7969
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis examines a brief period, from 1845 to 1855, during which women and girls with no previous experience in textile design or production, initiated and produced a stylistically-unique lace. The context of the achievement is investigated to answer the two-part question: how were unskilled Irish Crochet lace makers able to create work of lasting aesthetic significance, and, what elements of their methodology are relevant for contemporary textile art practice? Primary archival and textual evidence is analysed and reveals that Irish Crochet lace is a hybrid of two styles of crochet that developed separately and simultaneously in Ireland, from different sources. Kildare makers, "of their own ingenuity", devised a way to copy old needlelace using a new, hooked, technique. Around Cork, technique allowed designs to evolve during, rather than being created prior to, the process of making. The art practice element of this thesis includes contemporary interpretations that replicate original makers' experimental approach to design, using digital software to mimic the spontaneity enabled by crochet technique. This work proposes that creative possibilities are inherent in a 'choreographed serendipitous' way of working. In this approach, experiential craft skills facilitate visualisation of what is possible within the limits of a craft, and chance effects stimulate artistic risk-taking. Using tacit knowledge of craft skills to provide an insight into creative problem-solving processes is one of three methodological bases utilised throughout the research. Grounded theory informed the extraction of pertinent facts from an extensive database of historical information, and an understanding of heuristics-based phenomenology helped effect an empathetic relationship between the researcher and the original lacemakers. Together, text and practice contribute to knowledge by revealing the bilateral sources of Irish Crochet lace, the reason for the historical success of the 'controlled chance' method, and its potential for producing creative outcomes in contemporary practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available