In July, 15 Lacemakers descended on Prague for an International Lace Design Course with Anna Halikova, and Alina Jaskova. 13 were from the UK, one (Liz) was from Sweden and another (Magda) from Israel. Our hotel was the Atlantic Hotel in Na Porici which was only a short walk from the old town. We settled into our room, I was sharing with my daughter Linda, with plenty of space, good bathroom and shower and Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. We had arrived in rain and it rained for the next 30 hours and was colder than the U.K! The first thing I did was to buy an umbrella!


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The bedroom I shared with Linda Part of the work room


For the first night, we got together for a meal in a restaurant that specialised in Czech food, after this most of our meals were taken in the hotel, so this was our chance to try something different.

Our course started at 9.30 the next day in a very large room at the back of the hotel. The theme for our designs this year was Architecture and was, hopefully, to be 3D! Anna had provided us with lots of books on buildings for us to browse through for inspiration.

To begin with we spent time looking at books of buildings, selecting pictures we liked and wondering how we could turn them into lace. Next, we traced pictures, drew and cut out shapes in paper. Gradually during the following day shapes began to be turned into lace design, buildings became necklaces, window shapes a lace mobile, light reflected through a window a wall hanging. Colours and threads were the next items to be considered and with many trials and errors the designs began to take shape.

The third day was our day off and we had a coach trip to Vanberk, stopping on the way to meet Anna’s bobbin maker and his wife where we were made to feel very welcome with coffee, biscuits and a singalong to an accordion, this made a great break in our journey. In Vanberk we first went to the Museum which has a comprehensive display of lace covering the last 100 years. From there we went to see an exhibition of Knitted lace, beautiful large cloths with fascinating designs, but many of the patterns have now been lost, which is a great pity.


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Traditional Lace Making Pillow and Bobbins Knitted Lace


Finally we visited the Lace School where they teach about 50 children as an after school club, most of the designs are modern rather than traditional. (More about Vamberk in another blog)

Sunday morning we carried on making lace much inspired by what we had seen the previous day and in the afternoon we were in for a treat, a visit from Milca Eremiasov who used to be the design tutor for this course and is one of the foremost designers in the Czech Republic. She brought with her many pieces of lace that she had designed and explained the inspiration behind her ideas. We had a great afternoon with her.


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Lace by Milca Eremiasov Lace by Milca Eremiasov


Sunday evening we went out for a meal at the Brazilla together with Anna, her daughter and grandchildren, we all had a very enjoyable meal. As we were leaving we were given a balloon each which caused quite a stir as we walked through the centre of Prague, but we ended by giving the balloons to Anna’s grandchildren. She had great difficulty getting all the balloons into her car to go home!

Monday and Tuesday bobbins were flying as fast as they could as we tried to make as much lace as we could from our designs, some progressed much faster than others. Tuesday evening we had our final meal together and the hotel cooked us some traditional Czech dishes. We were given our certificates for completing the course and a bobbin.


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Sandra’s Dancing Buildings Linda’s Necklace


Scilla’s interpretation of sunlight reflections through a window eventually to be made into a wall hanging


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Scilla’s Sunlight reflections Scilla’s Sunlight reflections


It was sad to say goodbye to everyone as we had become good friends during the week and hope to meet again another year.


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