Fiona’s work is meticulously worked by hand using a combination of Carrickmacross Lace and Kenmare Needlepoint. Carrickmacross is an appliqué style of lace native to Co. Monaghan. A strong tradition still survives in the town today. Kenmare needlepoint is ‘a pure lace’ produced using a tiny needle and a thread as fine as a human hair. There are currently only around 6 lacemakers still practicing in Kenmare today!
The techniques are intricate and highly complex requiring hours of focussed concentration. The yarn is delicately intertwined creating a variety of patterns using the single buttonhole stitch. The practice almost completely died out but thanks to the determination of a small group of women a number of revivals took place during the 1980’s. These women remain dedicated to continuing the tradition of Handmade Lace and preserving this wonderful aspect of Irish heritage.
Fiona’s artwork informs her lace design. Much of her time is spent wandering through the beautiful Beara countryside in Southwest Ireland sketching and taking photographs. She then elegantly depicts her observations in minute pattern detail. In this way, she hopes to breathe new life into an endangered tradition.
Fiona’s Lace Studio overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Situated between the picturesque village of Eyeries and Castletownbere, it provides the perfect inspiration for her work.