Heads turn at bobbin lace event


CARIBOU RIVER – Donna Bullerwell was pleased to see a good number attend the Maritime Bobbin Lace Day at the Caribou River Community Centre recently.

Bullerwell is part of the Strait Lacers, a local group of women who make bobbin lace, and she organized the lace day event for the second year in a row.

“We had women from Oxford, the Annapolis Valley and Halifax,” notes Bullerwell. “The ladies from PEI couldn’t make it because of the ferry (which was out of operation).”

She says the day was a hit with demonstrations, displays, chit chat and door prizes.

“There were tables where we had things we were all giving away and then a table for things we were selling.”

The most eventful part of the day was a demonstration by Gary Wood on how to turn a bobbin.

Wood says he has been making them for some time, since the 1980s, but doesn’t see himself as being efficient at it.

“If you are efficient, it can take three to five minutes to turn a bobbin depending on the detail, but I don’t consider myself efficient at it. There are people in Britain that do it for a living.”

Wood became interested in making bobbins when he and his wife were living in England and his wife learned how to make bobbin lace.

“I did my research and found a man who did a booklet on it so I got in contact with him. From there I got all of the details for making traditional bobbins.”

When he and his wife moved to Halifax, she began teaching bobbin lace and Wood began selling some of his handmade bobbins.

“I’m just a woodworking hobbyist, like anyone. I looked at the bobbins and thought, ‘I can do that’.”

Bullerwell was also excited to see bracelets made out of wire done with the bobbin lace technique.

“It’s really inspiring to see other people’s work,” she says. “It helps you keep at it and try something new.”

Gloria Turnbull attended the open house because she was interested in trying something new. “My friend saw the article in The Advocate and wanted me to go with her,” she explains. “I decided to come out because I had never done it (bobbin lace) and it’s absolutely amazing, just beautiful.”

Turnbull  is very interested in learning to make bobbin lace now that she has seen the beauty of the finished product.

Bullerwell says Maritime Bobbin Lace Day will take place the first Saturday of October every year.

“We want to make sure people know when it is happening in advance so they can plan to attend from away. We know there are people making lace across Canada. So now they will know this is coming up again next year. One of the women from the (Annapolis) Valley wants to host one in the spring as well.”

For anyone who couldn’t make it to the open house and is interested in bobbin lace, Bullerwell gives lessons. She can be reached at 902-485-1484.

“It’s addictive, it’s like you are always working on solving a puzzle.”

Gary Wood demonstrates how to turn a bobbin at the Strait Lacers’ Maritime Bobbin Lace Day at the Caribou River Community Centre recently.   (Harvie photo)

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