Deborah Robinson was born and raised in Lancaster; her father worked locally as production manager in the manufacture of wallpaper, leathercloth and linoleum.  The pattern books he would bring home when she was a child inspired her long fascination with the pattern and structure of design.  Relatives on both sides of the family were skilled craftswomen — knitters, crocheters, tatters, embroiderers and dressmakers.  As she approached each craft, Deborah focused on the methods of construction of the different traditional techniques and how they could be adapted to the present day.  As part of her City & Guilds Lacemaking courses she developed computer programs to produce a variety of grids for bobbin lacemakers and devised a new method of working a type of bobbin filet lace.  Modern theories postulate that simple sets of rules can provide the key to understanding the complexities of nature; simple shape and form can be replicated to generate amazingly complex patterns.  Much of her work has been influenced by these theories; simple shapes are used as building blocks for final designs.  Deborah's work for Lace in a Barn, that of recycling lace, developed as a progression — first cutting up and reassembling motifs from old pieces of lace, then to using the shapes of old lace edgings as a background to the lace itself.  See more of Deborah's work on her web site at

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