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Nottingham Hosts Weekend of Lace Inspired Events

Lace:here:now: flagship events to take place on 17 and 18 November

Nottingham will host a weekend of events showcasing the city’s long history with lace as part of Lace:here:now, a season of exhibitions, talks, lace-making workshops and films which highlight the importance of lace to the city’s identity.        

‘The Big Weekend’ will take place on 17 and 18 November at venues across Nottinghamshire and will include a unique opportunity for the public to view the UK’s biggest collection of machine-made lace, when a selection from Nottingham Trent University’s lace archive of over 75,000 items will go on display.  

Other special events include a chance to view Nottingham City Museums and Galleries’ extensive lace collection at the historic Newstead Abbey, and a talk at Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery documenting the grittier side of the lace industry through the story of Robert Blincoe, a 19th century child labourer, who spent many years working in Nottinghamshire mills.             

Lace:here:now evolved from discussions between Nottingham Trent University’s School of Art & Design and Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery. Organiser Dr Amanda Briggs-Goode, course leader in textile design at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Lace:here:now celebrates Nottingham’s rich lace heritage and the way it continues to inspire artists and designers today through a wide of range events.  

“Although industrial lace manufacturing has declined, lace still has a firm place in fashion, design and contemporary culture, and this season of events gives visitors the chance to learn more about its significance.”       

Other events taking place over The Big Weekend include a talk by Sheila Mason, eighth generation member of the family which owns Cluny Lace, the only surviving manufacturer still producing lace on traditional Leavers machines. Pieces of the company’s lace were used on Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.

Anyone curious about the process of hand lace making can try it out for themselves at a Bobbin Lace Making Workshop suitable for beginners at studios originally designed for the city’s lace industry designers, whilst Nottingham Trent University will also show a free screening of film, ‘The Lace Makers: The Forgotten Story of English Lace’ by Edward Jarvis

The wider Lace:here:now season will run until February 2013 with further exhibitions and workshops taking place until then. 

Highlights of The Big Weekend are listed below. For further details and booking information visit www.laceherenow.co.uk/bigweekend. Please note that advance booking is essential for some of the weekend’s events.            

Saturday 17 November:

  • Visit the Nottingham Trent University Lace Archive: 11am to 3pm, Nottingham Trent University
  • 1700s to 2012: Cluny Lace and the Nottingham Lace Trade Delivered by Sheila Mason: 11am to 12pm, Nottingham Trent University
  • Film: The Lace Makers: The Forgotten Story of English Lace by Edward Jarvis: 1pm (approx. 90 minutes), Nottingham Trent University  
  • Bobbin Lace Making Taster Workshop (Suitable for Beginners): 10am to 1pm, Adams Building, New College Nottingham     

Sunday 18 November:

  • Stories of Lace – The Sad Tale of Robert Blincoe: The Terrible Price of Lace: Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery   
  • Lace Behind the Scenes: Newstead Abbey


  • Lace season exhibition artists: Victoria Brown and Louise West: 8-25 November, The Lace Market Gallery, New College Nottingham
  • Lace works: contemporary art and Nottingham lace: 10 November 2012- 3 February 2013, Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery.
  • Journeys in lace: part two: 12 November – 14 December, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University.
Posted on 06 November 2012

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