Short Course: An Introduction to Devon Lace

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Saturday, 21 March 2020

Bobbin and needlelace has been made in Devon since, at least, the early 17th century. It started as a cottage industry involving the wives, daughters and other females related to the local farm labourers and fishermen as a way of supplementing the family income.

This course aims to give an overview of the many varieties of Devon lace to include; Honiton, Devon Trolly, Branscombe Point, Colyton Chromatic, Kerswell and Woodbury Greek.

This workshop is in connection with ‘By Royal Appointment’ an exhibition that will focus on the people who made lace from the 18th to 20th centuries. Many of these lace-makers and manufacturers contributed to the Royal wardrobe, in particular wedding lace. The exhibition will showcase RAMM’s own lace collection by well-known East Devon manufacturers including Exeter based Charlotte Treadwin, Esther Clarke and the Wards of Honiton and John Tucker of Branscombe, all of whom were commissioned by the Royal Family.

Course Tutors: Carol McFadzean and Elizabeth Trebble

Carol McFadzean started lacemaking in 1985 and has exhibited her work internationally. She was Chair of Devon Lace Teachers for 10 years, and between 2004-2010 she represented the UK in OIDFA (The International Bobbin and Needle Lace Organisation) being a Council member, Secretary of the Executive Committee and finally President for 4 years, ending her term of office in Japan in 2010. In this capacity Carol has travelled the world, teaching in the USA and the Netherlands.

Carol is also an avid historical researcher of Devon lace and has written three books and numerous articles in lace magazines. She has also given many talks/lectures on the subject of lace both nationally and internationally.

Carol has been volunteering at RAMM for 17 years in the lace department, and with the Fashion and Costume Museum in Bath and was recently a judge for the UK Lace Guild’s triennial contest.

Elizabeth Trebble

Elizabeth started lacemaking in 1978, becoming a member of the Devon Lace Teachers in 1985. She has worked as an adult education tutor for Devon County Council for twenty years and for the WEA for seven years. Elizabeth has taught lace courses both nationally and internationally and is chairman of the Devon Lace Teachers. Since 2002 she has been a volunteer at RAMM working on the extensive lace collection and more recently has undertaken similar work with Sidmouth Museum and the Fashion and Costume Museum in Bath. Elizabeth also runs a Saturday club for both primary school and older children to learn the techniques of bobbin lace.