Author(s): Annette Meldrum
When Marie and Annette visited Borris House in 2006, the lace in "The Borris Lace Collection" was uncatalogued, unpublished, and almost completely unknown in Ireland. Mrs Tina Kavanagh, the current custodian, was unsure of how best to proceed. Remaining family members knew only a little of the provenance. Knowledge of the old techniques and true characteristics of the lace had been lost. They were concerned that unless the history and techniques were researched and recorded without delay, the technique of Borris lace and the provenance that was currently known could be lost forever. Marie and Annette suggested that the best way of conserving the lace was to catalogue it, provide archival storage and write up the significance as well as the history, so that future family custodians will be well informed of its social, cultural and historical significance to Borris and Ireland, its heritage value to the Kavanagh family and, lastly, as an inspiration to lacemakers who may over time be privileged to visit Borris and view the collection for themselves. It was not until they returned to Australia and Marie commenced to rework the patterns and repair the bedspread on loan to them, that she discovered some unique techniques. Marie and Annette hope that their efforts will ensure the long-term survival and appreciation of this remarkable lace.
About the author:
Annette Meldrum is a keen embroiderer and lacemaker who has participated in Guild exhibitions and shows around Australia. She is a keen researcher and collector of old lace, has studied lace techniques in Australia, Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and has a collection of lace and embroidery from around the world dating back to the sixteenth century. Annette is an experienced teacher who has taught embroidery and needle lace for the Lace Guild, Embroiderers' Guild and various Needlework Shops. She is currently employed as Informatics Faculty Librarian at the University of Wollongong Library. Marie Laurie describes herself as a lifelong embroiderer. Since discovering lace work in 1982 while on holiday in the United Kingdom, she has worked most needlepoint techniques, and is known as an experienced needlewoman, author, judge, speaker, successful national and international exhibitor and recognised tape lace specialist. Marie teaches Youghal, Carrickmacross, Limerick, Irish applique, Zele, Branscombe, Hollie point, Halas, Teneriffe, Gyor and Hoveji laces.