During the summer of 1985, while at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, Mt., I saw a woman demonstrating bobbin lace making. I was so enthralled with it that I sent my son and husband off to view the rest of the fair while I sat and watched lace being made. The woman, Phyllis Murdoch, was taking names on a sign-up sheet for lessons the next month and I immediately signed up.
A year later, I was asked to do a mini-workshop in my home town of Mandan, ND while I was there to do a lace demonstration at the annual Art In the Park festival. I was just a beginner myself, but thought that I could at least show the very basic lesson of how to make the stitches in a tape for the mini-workshop. I made up a lesson sheet and had my son, who was 6 yrs. old at the time, practice it to see if it would work. I had the students work on a piece of ceiling tile with homemade bobbins and a coarse thread. The workshop went very well and later on, after moving back to Bismarck, ND, one of the former students contacted me to learn more.
Meanwhile, at the Art In the Park festival, I was supposed to just sit and work lace and answer questions that anyone may have on bobbin lace making. A woman came up and asked if she could sit there and have a lesson as she had missed the workshop. She had seen bobbin lace in a magazine and was very interested in learning. A friend of mine also joined us for the afternoon. I had the ceiling tiles from the workshop so we were all set.
In 1987, I moved from Great Falls back to North Dakota and settled in Bismarck. I didn't know anyone in the state who made lace so talked my friend into learning lacemaking after giving her bobbins for her birthdays and Christmas. The woman I met at Art In the Park joined us and soon we were meeting monthly for fun and support.
About 1990, the group adopted the name Prairie Rose Lacemakers. We continued to grow in both members and ability and started bringing in teachers from other areas to learn more varieties of lace with the help of grants from the Dakota West Arts Council and the North Dakota Council on the Arts.
We have done demonstrations at various local functions over the years: The Germans from Russia National Convention, Dickinson Ethnic Festival, North Dakota State Fair, Homesteader Days at Fort Lincoln, Art in the Heart of Winter (hosted by Dakota West Arts Council),Bismarck, ND, Art in the Park Festival, Mandan, ND, at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Bismarck, the Ethnic Festival in the Heritage Center in Bismarck, Festival of Nations at the State Capitol, Bismarck, the Bismarck Arts and Galleries Assoc. summer arts and crafts show and many others. One of our members does living history re-enactments and shows bobbin lace making at the various Rendezvous and Fur Trader Days across North Dakota.
Here are pictures of some of our members and some of the lace various members have made:
Bismarck Arts and Gallery Association, 1997
Left to Right: Mary Fors, Mary Beth Osborn, Karol Peterson, Cris Orgaard
Barnes & Noble, April 1999
Left to Right: Dawn Stave, Mary Beth Osborn, Mary Fors
Bedfordshire Workshop w/ Louise Colgan, Oct. 1999
Back, Left to Right: Kathy Skarie, Ruth Dickson, Karol Peterson, Sue Dahl, Paula Case
Middle, Left to Right: Mary Fors, Ruth Chase
Front, Left to Right: Louise Colgan, Gail Johnson, Cris Orgaard
|Milanese Lace by Cris Orgaard|
|Lace by PRL members|