Lorena Balea-Raitz is a Brisbane based artist, who creates unique works that intersect between art and craft using a Romanian lace technique. She’s not only a ‘maker’, but shares her technique at workshops she runs specifically to teach others about antique lace to keep the style alive! She is also a watercolourist and believes in pushing for authenticity and being as individual in her message as possible.
You're the founder of 'Ink & Lace' can you tell us what that is and when you launched this brand? ~ Ink & Lace is introducing handmade lace jewellery and creating beauty and fashion related art. Mostly we illustrate using ink and watercolour. Ink & Lace is known to create one of a kind accessories and all pieces are created with the idea of being unique in mind. We create by using an antique lace technique called Romanian Point Lace and we launched five years ago.
What do you specialise in and love to create most? ~ I specialise in unique handmade accessories, point lace workshops, watercolour art and so much more. But what I love the most is developing collections.
You also run workshops, what do you love about running these classes and which one is your most popular? ~ My most popular workshop is the Romanian Point Lace workshop, followed by my Creative Art Journal one as well as Embroidery and art classes.
How do you stay motivated? ~ I am excited each and every day that I get to do what I truly love. I focus on what is important: to pass on the lace making technique, so it’s not forgotten. A great cup of coffee keeps me going!
What does success mean to you? ~ Success means that I can spend my time with my family and keep pushing to make my lace techniques popular... bring it out of grandmas cupboard and show it to the world, to new generations of fashion students and future designers.
Where can people find you and your work online? ~
Who has been a major influence in your creative direction? ~ There are many influences that made my impacted my creative path... First of all the love of fashion, the idea of creating something with my hands. The late Oscar de la Renta showed me that it's possible to build something out of simple lace. When it comes to visual art there are many great painters who drove me into fashion art like the insanely creative David Downton or Arturo Elena.
What are your plans for the next 12 months? ~ I am exploring the possibility of publishing my second book on Romanian lace going into floral designs. I am inspired by Australia and am creating a mini print collection of Australian beauty in combination with flowers and animals.
What advice can you give to others who are planning a start-up or launching their website? ~ Take your time, find your niche and be original. That is how you will earn your respect in this exclusive industry!