Irish Lace: Thelma Goldring(permalink)

Posted by Editor Northern Ireland on Friday, 5th December 2003 Last updated Friday, 9th January 2004
Thelma Goldring (on right) with BBC reporter Helen Mark

"Needlework was my escape..."

Thelma Goldring became obsessed with needlework after her husband bought her books on embroidery. She was involved, with a few others, in the setting up of the Lacemakers Guild for Northern Ireland, of which she is now President. Thelma may never have had any formal training, but she still has created the most wonderful pieces of needlework - examples of which you can see below.

Through her love affair with lace, Thelma has made firm friends, travelled the length and breadth of Ireland and even spent time in Europe. In 1983 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship, which enables people to pursue a dream spending up to 3 months anywhere in the world. Thelma's dream was to study lace in Italy - Venice to be exact. There are many connections between Irish and Venetian lace and she wanted to explore these. During her stay she was instructed in the local art of lacemaking. A shared interest in lace overcame any language problems, although Thelma found it hard to dispel their notion that she was a friend of Winston Churchill's!

Thelma Goldring NI 1983. Churchill FellowWith opportunities comes responsibility

There are five main Irish laces - Irish Crochet Lace, Youghal Needlelace, Inishmacsaint Needlelace, Carrickmacross Lace and Limerick Lace. Thelma's favourite is Limerick, where the stitches are worked on to a net. You can view examples of Limerick, Carrickmacross and Crochet below, pieces beautifully produced by Thelma herself.

Limerick lace
Irish whitework with drawn thread work edging.
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge View close-up View close-up

Irish crochet trimming
Irish tatting
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Carrickmacross lace
Clones lace
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge View close-up View close-up

Carrickmacross lace christening dress
Wall hanging
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View close-up of neckline Click to enlarge

Click here to listen to Thelma Goldring talking to Your Place & Mine reporter Helen Mark about her interest in lace and her Churchill Fellowship visit to Italy.

(To access audio and video on Sense of Place you need RealPlayer.)

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