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The 4th Lace Guild
Spring School 2020

Monday 16 – Friday 20 March 2020
The Crewe Arms Hotel, Nantwich Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW2 6DN.

Ann Allison – Wire Lace - class full
Jan Gardiner – Lace: As You Like It - two spaces available
Wire Lace - class now full

Wire is extremely useful for lacemaking. It looks good, it’s incredibly strong and you can create something attractive in a very short time.

Get to grips with wire lace, by learning how to adapt simple bobbin lace techniques. Discover how to manipulate 0.5mm wire and make it work for you.

Work a few small pieces to practice technique and build confidence, before progressing onto a larger project. You will be encouraged to adapt a pattern or use a picture to create your own design. Please contact the tutor before the course, to discuss the options, via The Hollies.

After Spring School 2019, and the very high standard set by the Crewe Arms Hotel, we have decided to revive the previous precedent set by Summer School being held at Ford Castle every year and use the same venue again. As new venues always require negotiation for them to understand our unusual needs and to fine tune the details, it is frustrating to have to start this anew each time which is why we made this decision.


The Crewe Arms is the oldest railway hotel in the world. I must admit some of us were a little anxious beforehand that with it being so very close to the platforms and tracks, we would be disturbed by the noise of the trains but in reality it was found that it made a soothing background noise and didn’t disturb our sleep at all. On the other hand, a good number of the students from all over the country travelled by train as the station is literally just across the road. For those who came by car, there is unloading close to the door and a large car park.


The hotel staff were helpful and efficient, and nothing was too much trouble for them. The meals were served speedily, and any special needs were fully discussed in advance and provided for. I’m looking forward to it already.

The tutors this time are Ann Allison and Jan Gardiner – unfortunately our third tutor Mavis Thompson has had to withdraw as she had not recovered as well as she thought from a nasty fall a couple of years ago.




Contemporary Lace:

Moon Shadow Detail

Contemporary Lace:

Wiltshire Sunset

Torchon: Cottage Garden


Contemporary Lace:

After the Bonfire

Jan Gardiner introduces her course:

 ‘LACE:  As you like it’ is a very good opportunity to start a lace never before tried, or to seek advice on a problem piece, i.e. starting, finishing, getting stuck while making the lace. It has been known for participants to bring several pillows, all with something that needs a bit of advice or help to get sorted.


In these ‘LACE: As you like it’ workshops it is usual for those taking part to bring along their preferred project/s, although, by prior arrangement, I am happy to bring projects along for any who ask.


I have a wealth of experience built up over 35+ years of study in most types of British bobbin laces.  These include, Bucks Point, Bedfordshire and Honiton, as well as some of the lesser known laces, such as Downton. Continental laces have also been an interest of mine for a long time. These include Bayeux, Milanese, and Flanders.

Those of you who would like to try a bit of the dreaded designing could take a little time out from making lace to work through my Designing Made Easy mini workshop. (NOT on a computer)


During the City and Guild Certificate studies, 1987-89, Cathy Barley was our main needle lace teacher. Since then, needle lace has always been on my list to laces to make and teach. Most recently I made a ‘Venetian’ Mask for the Needle Lace Challenge in LACE. This was made using Point de Gaze techniques. My other favourite needle lace is Gros Point de Venise.  Needle lace lends itself to ‘Contemporary’ lacemaking as it is simpler to control colour or be three dimensional with a needle and thread than with bobbins!


Sadly, Mavis Thompson, who was going to look after the Torchon Lacemakers, has had to withdraw due to health concerns. I am delighted to be able to welcome Torchon Lacemakers to my ‘LACE: As you like it’ workshop.


Having been awarded The Lace Guild Advanced level Assessment for Torchon in 2018, I am keen to share the beauty, intricate stitchery and flexibility of this often underestimated lace.  After all which other bobbin lace has over 25 variations of just one stitch! (Roseground)  At this level it is NOT a beginner’s lace but on this course can be as simple or complex as you want.


‘LACE: As you like it’ workshops are run in a supportive and friendly atmosphere.  Just let me know what you would like to work on over the week and I will be happy to help.


All the information above gives you an idea of the sorts of lace that we could

make during The Lace Guild’s Spring School. If there is nothing that immediately takes your fancy, contact me through The Hollies and we can discuss possible options.


I look forward to meeting you and helping you to make the best lace you can.  Jan.

P.S. Remember, to sign up to The Lace Guild’s Spring School means no cooking, washing up, cleaning, or family disturbances etc. or five days. What a treat!

Gros Point de Venise

Needlelace Challenge 2019

Point de Gaze Needlelace

Conservatories Blue Sky


Bucks Point: Briar Rose


Milanese: Happy Dragon

Braid Lace with Milanese:

Tawny Owl

Torchon: Edwardian Garden


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