Wednesday, 8 October 2014
Thirty years of lacemaking — Congratulations to Sue Morgan!
Fairlynch Museum volunteer Sue Morgan started making lace in 1984. The Museum is most grateful for the lacemaking demonstrations that she has given on Friday afternoons during August and during half-term. We asked her some questions.
What skills does one need?
They say patience, but really the main thing is enjoyment. See how you get on. One visitor who came to watch said she would never be able to do it but when she started on a pillow here at the Museum she found that she could. Sometimes it just clicks. Concentration is important of course.
Are you a member of a lacemaker’s association?
Yes. The Lace Guild and also the International Bobbin and Needlace Organisation (OIDFA) which covers the world. There are still some countries where lace is produced on a commercial basis - Romania and Malta - to name a couple. But here in the UK, and in the USA, lacemaking is done for pleasure, as a hobby.
How have visitors responded to your lacemaking session when they see you at work?
They’re very interested and curious. Taken aback at first, and surprised that the craft is still alive. Devon is particularly active with many lacemaking centres and groups.
How did lacemakers feel about that wedding dress?
There was a surge of interest in lacemaking with both Kate Middleton’s wedding and Diana’s. Lace is so dominated by fashion. The Great Exhibition of 1851 was a high point — lace was seen as a form of art. At the end of the 19th century there were 230 lacemakers in East Budleigh alone.
Above: Lacemaker Sue Morgan demonstrates the finer points of her craft to Fairlynch Museum visitor Elizabeth Bloxham