With a background in Art History and Interior Design, Ann is a designer, lacemaker and teacher, also an artist working in miniature and as a muralist. She teaches Bobbin Lace in her studio in South Dublin, Ireland, and also travels to give Bobbin Lace workshops. She has taught on three continents and is happy to teach students of all ages from 5 to 105, either experienced or newcomers. She teaches a variety of Bobbin Lace styles, both traditional and modern, and particularly encourages original design.
Ann also works with Mountmellick, the Irish whitework embroidery traditionally known as ‘Mountmellick Lace’.
From her teaching experiences Ann has written and published eight books of original patterns with instructions for Bobbin Lace, also two folios of original Mountmellick designs.
Weekly evening classes in Bobbin Lace can be enjoyed at Ann’s studio in South Dublin, also Day Workshops ( a great day out with homemade lunch included!), and most months on the third Saturday of the month, Ann teaches at the Laceday of the Guild of Irish Lacemakers in Dublin. She also teaches residential Bobbin Lace courses at An Grianán ICA College, Termonfechin, Co. Louth, twice a year, in Spring and Autumn. She is also available to give workshops around Ireland and overseas by arrangement. Within Ireland, Ann can supply on loan all equipment for beginner classes.
Ann will create original designs and make lace on commission for weddings, christenings and other special occasions. Work can be either in Bobbin Lace or Mountmellick. Favourite commissions to date include Celtic Bobbin Lace designs for a wedding dress inspired by the Book of Kells illuminated manuscript and worked in gold accented with black, one-of-a-kind Bobbin Lace jewellery designs embellished with charms, crystals and pearls, and personalised wedding ring pillows worked in Mountmellick and embellished with pearls and crystals.
In Artwork, Ann has been decorating English style lacemaker’s bobbins, needle cases and other small objects with miniature art for many years. As well as her own designs, ranging from floral and wildlife to illustration of myth and legend, she also paints pet portraits from photographs on commission.
In contrast, Ann also paints murals on commission and has worked in several countries on projects from small corners of a townhouse to expansive full walls of a large conservatory, also the themed interiors of multiple rooms in a boutique hotel. Her favourite places to work on are the awkward dark corners of a private home needing life, also the ‘moveable mural’, a large board that can have a different image on each side, enabling seasonal change such as Christmas scene to summer view.
A leading member and past Chairman of the Guild of Irish Lacemakers, and Irish representative for OIDFA Ireland, the Irish branch of the international lace organisation, Ann is keen to promote lacemaking as a living art form, relevant to the 21st century and to young generations. In our increasingly technological world, Ann believes it is very important to preserve traditional skills, to continue developing personal individual skills based in tradition and to value handmade creations. The challenge of the New Millennium is to find ways to keep work such as lace relevant and to produce designs that can be financially viable yet accessible to the ordinary person.