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Chain-link fences turned to lace (photos)

Dutch designer Joep Verhoeven applies lace-making techniques to the industrial chain-link fence, creating complex, handmade designs that turn the mundane into something striking.

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Edward Moyer
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
Edward Moyer
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For a more elegant corner kick

Dutch designer Joep Verhoeven happened to ride his bike past a gashed chain-link fence that had been hastily repaired with wire. Eureka! A company was born.

Verhoeven's Lace Fence applies the techniques of lace-making to the industrial chain-link fence, creating complex, handmade, lacy designs that are wired into machine-made fencing. The fences retain their barrier function while acquiring a hitherto unknown beauty.

The company employs a crew of 35 craftspeople in India to execute the designs, which are drawn out using basic 2D drawing software. Verhoeven says it takes the full-time crew about a month to produce 150 square meters of the lacy chain-link. Another 30 part-time workers are on call for large projects or tight deadlines.

Clients have included fashion brands like Nike and Hugo Boss, along with architects, governments and schools.

"Designs like chain-link fence that are so 'perfect' in their function that you see them all over the world have always fascinated me," Verhoeven told Crave in an e-mail. "The challenge for me as designer is to find 'space to play' within such perfectly developed 'finished' designs."

Verhoeven & Co. have found plenty of space to play, as you'll see in this slideshow.

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Lacy detail

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Windmill wearing lace

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Geodesic designs

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A unique bridge

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Panels prior to installation

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Instal(lace)tion

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High wire act

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A Dutch accent

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Tulipomania

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Modern design for Nike

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Magritte

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