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yay retro! meets Uli Baysie - Lace Maker in Devon

Since moving to Devon I have met so many talented interesting people! Recently I met Uli Baysie at The Dartington Shops where she creates and sells her lace works. Uli's intricate lace bracelets had me enthralled, and I just had to buy one there and then, I have worn it every day since and I am amazed by it's fine stitching alongside it's durability.

Previously I was only aware of Honiton lace. I wanted to find out more about lace making and what had got Uli started, she kindly agreed to be interviewed for the yay retro! blog, so do read on to find out more about her marvellous artworks...

Uli comes from Germany, and moved to the UK in March of this year. At the moment she is based at Cockington Court Craft Centre in Torquay, and often also works at the Dartington Shops on a Monday.

Uli tells us that she first came to the UK in 1993 , at this time she was living in a van which broke down on the ferry. The only address she had was the friend of a friend who lived in Devon.  She eventually managed to get to Devon, and stayed for three years! She says: "I loved to live here, and it was great to evolve my work as an artist. In 1996 I went back to Germany (for love). However, now I have made the step back to the UK."

above...Uli's Bobbins in action...

When she was 21, Uli learned bobbin lace making from her Mother, who was a lace teacher. She gave Uli a 4 week intensive course, after this she went on to lace making on her own. This was 30 years ago, and Uli says that: "lace making has helped me with my life....I grew up with knitting, sewing  & embroidery. But I got hooked on bobbin lace" 

"You have just thread, bobbins and a few needles, yet you can make the most wonderful things. Its an addiction!

She goes on to tell us that: "Lace making is a very old craft. Where and when it was developed  nobody can prove, however, the oldest lace found was in a graveyard of a Danish woman who was buried in 1502 or 1522. With the uprise of machines the handcraft sadly lost more and more of it's value. Nowadays bobbin lace is made mostly as a hobby.... Only very few lacemakers like me try to live on this craft." 

In 2008 Uli set up business as a lacemaker. She started with lace night-lights and soon started making bracelets. She wanted to make things which people can use or wear. At the moment she is also making lamps with lace shades, scarves of different kinds, and even lace cast in resin to make a range of jewellery. Her work is constantly evolving.  She says that: "lace art is a way of creating and also expressing yourself." Once she gets an idea she starts working to see where it will take her, sometimes it will take her years to get a result which she finds satisfying.

You can find out more about Uli Baysie's work on her website here,  or on her Facebook page.  Uli can work to commission and also ships worldwide :O)

Why not pop into yay retro! for a browse of vintage fabrics and more?
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