Long strip on fine cotton lace made by my great grandmother – circa 1900’s


Lace making has always intrigued me. As a young child I remember my mother receiving lace from my grandmother which had been made by women in the family throughout the generations. I remember the same happening on my father’s side of the family with some of his aunties producing incredible pieces.  I have kept all these little treasures which I received from my mother but never really took the time to truly understand how the process works and how fine thread becomes fine lace. I guess its been one of those things which are linked to my memories of growing up in big families and it somehow holds a quality of mystery which it is truly comforting.

Totally by chance, while in Taupo, New Zealand, attending my son’s Rugby Tournament, I discovered this magic gorgeous little store called Oakleaf Antiques. Inside the store we found a lovely lady smiling at us…My daughter was attracted by these quite unique looking wooden sticks which had colourful beads in one end. I asked the lady what exactly could you do with those cute little bobbin looking things and she said, “Let me show you.” And she did!!!! Have a look!!!!

Rona Driscoll in her store Oakleaf Antiques, Taupo, New Zealand, September 2017.

Rona learnt lacemaking in 2009 with a correspondence course form the Lace Society of Australia (now the Australian Lace Guild) http://australianlaceguild.com.au/lace/teacher/correspondence-torchon.php.  She worked her way through Rosemary Shepherd’s excellent book , “Introduction to Bobbin Lacemaking” which is still her go to book and she highly recommends it to anyone interested in the subject  http://www.lacepressaustralia.com/index.html

Rona belongs to the NZ Lace Society http://www.lace.org.nz/ www.facebook.com/LaceNZ/ and Bridge Lacemakers (Auckland and Cambridge). Her practice mostly happens at the shop and she loves showing people how the little lace bobbins work. Rona says that the joy is in the making and that she enjoys collecting her pieces…after all they are little treasures to be collected and enjoyed by Rona, her family…who knows? Maybe one of these days she will do a little Lace exhibition in her Antiques shop and we can all enjoy them.

Rona Driscoll and my very eager to learn daughter
Rona Driscoll with 5 metres of her lace draped around her neck.



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