Definition of openwork in US English:



  • usually as modifier Ornamental work in cloth, metal, leather, or other material with regular patterns of openings and holes.

    • ‘He makes columns and girders with an axe, shapes floorboards and shelves with a plane, cuts fine openwork and carvings accurately, giving as excellent a finish as his skill will allow.’
    • ‘In Thinking, a crocheted openwork of rusted wire bursts from a metal drum.’
    • ‘A piece nearly identical to the Houston chair, with a slightly more openwork back, was photographed at the Asante paramountcy of Agogo in the early 1960s.’
    • ‘By the nineteenth century these glass liners were often made in a beautiful deep sapphire blue that showed through their openwork silver cages.’
    • ‘Carrying things over into three dimensions are Kim Cridler's openwork sculptures of wax, steel and glass, which, in one show, shared the gallery with mysterious assemblages by Italian artist Maurizio Pellegrin.’
    • ‘It's used to create decorative openwork stitching on tightly woven fabrics such as linen and fine batiste.’
    • ‘Rectangular stools carved in Douala in the nineteenth century bear the names of their owners carved in openwork designs, marking them as objects of personal possession.’
    • ‘Each is a large openwork steel construction with a two-part structure consisting of a hefty table-height base supporting a second, somewhat larger element, which rises to a level slightly above our heads.’
    • ‘These designs were simplified in jade: round or shaped plaques were cut square; openwork or pierced and relief designs were cut as incised lines or simple relief on a flat surface.’
    • ‘This type has a leaf-shaped blade distinguished by carved openwork designs.’
    • ‘To allow the heat of the burning charcoal inside to escape, the artist has cleverly used openwork on some of the stitching, flower, and leaf motifs.’
    • ‘Motifs that work better for paper embroidery include openwork designs, redwork and quilting motifs.’
    • ‘On this chatelaine, pearls dominate the decoration of the openwork black-and-white enameled gold chains.’
    • ‘These do not have openwork tracery on their hinges but have advanced to a distinctive new naturalistic style.’
    • ‘Although their view was no longer as obscured by the bulk of the screen, laypeople were still prohibited, this time by an openwork iron grille, from entering the sacred precinct of the choir.’
    • ‘From his reliefs Tatlin went on to develop small openwork structures (sometimes hanging), and several other artists, including Alexander Rodchenko, created similar works in the years immediately after the 1917 Revolution.’
    • ‘The openwork piece will be about 3 metres in height and it is based on the Boor trees at Boor Tree Lane, which runs at the end of the park, along by the river.’
    • ‘She offered a more varied needlework curriculum of plain work, marking, openwork, and embroidery along with reading and writing.’
    • ‘Ewers and vases often combine unusual elements: eccentrically shaped openwork handles and covers on bulbous bodies with flaring, tapering, or segmented necks inspired by Near Eastern shapes.’
    • ‘However, this cannot be verified because in England hard-stone boxes encased in an openwork gold frame did not have to be hallmarked if the amount of stone exceeded the amount of gold.’
    grid, latticework, fretwork, open framework, trellis, trelliswork, network, mesh, web, webbing, netting, net, tracery, interlacing, reticulation, reticulum, grate, grating, grille, grillwork, criss-cross, matrix
    View synonyms