Workshop Teachers

Linda Kay Benning

Linda Kay Benning has been on a fiber journey her entire life exploring work done primarily by women. She believes their fiber work enriched their lives with color and beauty. Often their skills provided supplementary income for the family, regardless of which continent they resided on. “I am an inch deep and a mile wide in the realm of fiber arts, focusing primarily on the heritage skills,” she recently explained. “My understanding and appreciation grows every time I try something new, often laughing when I examine my first attempt.” She is an active member of the EGA, Chesapeake Region Lace Guild, the International Organization of Lace, Inc., the Bobbin and Needle Lace Organization, and Smocking Arts of America.

Joan Brash

Joan Brash has been making bobbin, needle, tatted and other laces for about 40 years. She is a founding member of the 33-year-old Heritage Village Lace Guild in Western New York, and is an eternal board member and lace day chairman. She has recently specialized in Sol laces, combining classic features of Teneriffe and nanduti into contemporary designs.

Melanie Cervi

Melanie taught herself to tat during her teen years to fill the time between practice sessions on her first love: the organ. After a number of moves, the box with the tatting supplies ended on top and she rediscovered creating lace with a shuttle. She now happily combines her love of music with her love of tatting. Having relocated to Monterey Bay area, she continues to perform, create tatting and teach.

Louise Colgan

Louise Colgan is a lacemaker, designer, and teacher with experience in a broad range of Bobbin Lace techniques. She began making lace in 1985 and has been teaching for over 30 years. She has served on the Board of the International Organization of Lace, Inc. as President, 1st & 2nd Vice-Presidents, Southwest Regional Director, and Grants Committee Chair. She is currently Chair of the Proficiency Program Committee and has been awarded an Honorary Membership. Louise has taught Bobbin Lace classes at many I.O.L.I. Conventions, plus workshops for U.S. members of O.I.D.F.A. and a wide variety of regional guilds. She was invited to teach classes at the Australian Lace Guild’s National Conference in 2012 and for New Zealand’s Bridge Lace Group in 2019. In her capacity as a lacemaker and designer, Louise has exhibited her work both locally and internationally. She was also a participant in the renowned International Poppy Project. Her designs have been included in the LACE EXPRESS magazine and the I.O.L.I. BULLETIN. Additionally, she has published three books of original patterns and has made an instructional video on Milanese Lace through Hensel Productions.

Pierre Fouché

Pierre’s art was included in the Hunterdon Art Museum’s recent groundbreaking exhibition Lace, not Lace: Contemporary Fiber Art from Lacemaking Techniques. Pierre’s production spans a number of distinctive media and approaches, including traditional craft techniques, recontextualised found objects, performances and interventions. In 2007, he was awarded one of South Africa’s most prestigious art prizes: the Absa L’Atelier award. He is represented by Whatiftheworld gallery in Cape Town, South Africa, where he lives.

Loretta Holzberger

Loretta has been doing some form of needlework since she was a small child. Sewing, embroidery, crochet and knitting were all learned at an early age. Needle lace came much later, in the 1970’s. She has been teaching needlework since the 1970’s too, at her needlework guild, a shop, and later at her lacemakers guild. Loretta enjoys opportunities to share what she has learned with others.

Veronika Irvine

Veronika has a PhD in computer science and has been a bobbin lacemaker since 1995. Taking inspiration from abstract expressionism and the color field movement, she is interested in elevating ground and filling patterns from their supporting role and exploring them in depth. In her academic research, she uses modern mathematics, such as braid theory, group theory and graph theory, to model bobbin lace grounds. Using this model Veronika has proved that there are an infinite number of bobbin lace grounds and has developed algorithms to generate millions of grounds in the Torchon style.

Sherri Jones

Sherri grew up in Texas and had the good fortune of learning a variety of needle arts from her mother and grandmother. She graduated from law school at the University of Texas in Austin, and then moved with her husband to Michigan. Sherri designs counted thread embroidery under the trade name of Patrick’s Woods, and has been enjoying sharing and teaching her embroidery designs for over 25 years. She has taught for needlework shows and private guilds all across the United States, as well as Canada and London. Her designs have been published in “Just CrossStitch” magazine and “Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly” magazine. Sherri’s designs are functional, dimensional pieces and are inspired by her collection of souvenirs and novelties of the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of her designs are an interpretation of the old while preserving the sentiment of the era and the quality of hand construction.

Michèle Kelly

Michèle has taught a wide variety of handwork techniques, including bobbin lace, for over twenty years. Michèle is local to our area and hosts a social “bring in what you are working on” event each Thursday at the museum from 11am-1pm every week. Most recently, she has begun teaching beginning bobbin lace online weekly since we can not have students in our physical location. Michèle has been teaching traditional and modern bobbin lace to both adults and children since 1994, with an ever increasing interest in experimentation with stitches and fibers.

Theresa Kelly

Having grown up with threads and discovering Carrickmacross Lace in the 1980’s Theresa Kelly carries on a tradition of lace making that evolved in the Carrickmacross area in the 1800s. Pushing the boundaries of the technique, Theresa has explored many new possibilities, creating her own distinctive style and ensuring she is one of the most influential lacemakers in Ireland. Theresa has participated in many solo and group exhibitions and craft competitions throughout the world. Her work has been exhibited at the OIDFA International Lace Festival in Finland where she won the Sally Johanson Award. She has won the Muriel Gahan Award for Lace Innovation at the RDS Crafts Competition in Dublin.

Jean Leader

Jean has been teaching lacemaking for over twenty years — weekly classes in Glasgow, Scotland where she lives and weekend and longer courses further afield. She has taught for lace groups and The Lace Guild in Britain, and for lace groups and at IOLI conventions in the USA. Bedfordshire, Bucks Point, and Torchon are her main interests and she has written several books including ‘An Introduction to Bucks Point Lace’ and ‘An Introduction to Bedfordshire Lace’, and made videos on ‘Color in Torchon’, ‘Intermediate Skills in Bucks Point Lace’ and ‘Color in Bedfordshire Lace’.

Victoria Ong

Victoria Ong is an emerging fiber artist from Chicago, IL who is known for teaching and writing about needle lace flowers. Her first book, “Flowers in Threads: Needle Lace for Beginners”, was published last year. She is currently working on the sequel with intermediate/advanced patterns and techniques for 2020. Victoria’s website has patterns, books and supplies.

Máire Treanor

Máire Treanor was born and educated in Armagh in the North of Ireland, completing a degree in Irish Studies at the University of Ulster at Coleraine. She came to Clones in 1988 and fell in love with its local crochet lace, which was at this time part of the rich past of Clones. She revived and has taught the technique of Clones lace in Ireland, Brittany France, and many parts of the United States since the 1990s. She has also researched how Irish Crochet travelled to many parts of the World including Umbria Italy, Kiev Ukraine and Budapest Hungary. Máire has written a book on Clones Lace Mercier 2002, Lacis 2010 and a dvd in 2012. She is a regular contributor to Piecework Magazine.

Karen Thompson

Karen learned to do many types of handcrafts from an early age while growing up in Denmark. Bobbin lace was added in 1974 when she learned the basics from her mother, including how to draft patterns. Since then she has studied bobbin lace in the US and abroad. She has taught at IOLI Conventions and for local guilds, as well as being actively involved in several lace guilds in the US and internationally. In 2017 she published a book on The Lace Samples from Ipswich, Massachusetts, 1789-1790. A 12-Hour Introduction to Bobbin Lace booklet was added in 2020 in collaboration with Kim Davis and Linda Kay Benning.