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[Mail: Kenn@Bobbinmaker.com ]

Are there books available on bobbin turning.

You can order my book Bobbinmaking the Van-Dieren Way at www.bobbinmaker.com/bookcvr.html

Also available from the lace suppliers is -
1). "Turning Lace Bobbins" by David Springett - David shows you how he approuches the making of a bobbin through photos and discussion. He also has a vidio out on the same subject.
2). "Success to the Lace Pillow" by David and Christine Springett. - This is a great book to veiw antique bobbins and learn some of the history of the bobbinmakers themselves.

Laurie suggested I tell about my antique bobbins. Years ago when we lived in Canberra, Australia, after a week away in Sydney, DH gave me some antique bobbins which he had found. Four were plain wooden types but 3 were bone. Two had inlaid pewter butterflies & the other had "BETSY" on it. Recently I noticed that the butterflies went in opposite directions.

Thanks to Laurie, for letting me use her copy of "Success to the Lace Pillow" written by David & Christine Springett, I was able to identify the maker of my antique bone bobbins. The "left" pointing butterfly bobbin was made by William "Bobbin" Brown of Cranfield (1793-1872). The "right" pointing butterfly bobbin was made by David Haskins (1819-?). And my "BETSY" bobbin was made by Arthur Wright (1857-?).

I now have to identify all my antique "wooden" bobbins which I think will be a little harder to do.

Pene Piip
Groton, Massachusetts, USA

Hi Pene, You have three very nice bobbins, lucky you.

Re: the identification of them. I am sure that you have compared all of the characteristics of the bobbins with the presumed makers and not made a decision as to its maker by just comparing whether the arrow points left or right.. It was just possible to read your communication in such a way as you just may have compared the arrow direction.

I would be interested in your commenting on the condition of the pewter in these bobbins, if you would, also the wire/beads (on the shank) if any. The last point would be if the small neck has any chips. ( I suppose I will end up by asking for photographs!!!)

For those who want to know more about bobbins, Springetts, "Success to the Lace Pillow", is an absolute must.

Brian Lemin

Dear April,
Yes, Huetsons book is very good and well worth having. I am sure that we all agree that David Springetts is the best, but the does tend to concentrate on makers (for which we should be eternally grateful) His latest book has gone a bit wider on bobbins than his first one. His book is a must.    I must say that I like Wright a lot also I love the way in which Gertrude Whiting writes about bobbins. So delightful, almost whimsical.

BTW I think she talks about the butterfly bobbin being named because when the butterflies are being used fast, and in the light of those times they appeared to flutter in the light and reminded one of butterflies. ( I will need to check the reference and find her own words but there is a thunderstorm coming and I want to shut down).

But if I am right about what she says, that seems a much better explanation than trying to tie it to the "broad arrow" or "crows foot" explanation , especially as the wings are very often not opposite to each other.

But as yet I have not seen any lace makers working at that speed! There was an English lady at the last Sydney meeting that was working pretty quick. Neryella Taunton and myself were watching her closely and I went up to her to chat ( and to see if she had a butterfly on her pillow but she didn't).

Would any of you fast lacers like to experiment and let me know if they do " flutter through the air like a butterfly" Poetic license is quite acceptable. That is what make Whiting so delightful.

I have a fairly full annotated bibliography of lace bobbin books and articles that is small enough to send to any one who wants it as a file.

Brian Lemin

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