I started making lace in 1985. I was teaching myself from a book. Then we were going to Brunei to stay with my sister in law, Jacqui Southworth. She was a lacemaker. So I decided to have a few lessons with a lady called Pauline Robertson. I rang her and said I needed to have a crash course on lace making. She asked how long we had. I, in my innocence, said 4 weeks! Then Jacqui really encouraged me and I made a crucifix while in Brunei.
I have done canvas work, counted cross stitch, cross stitch, miniature counted cross stitch, crochet (made a wedding dress), knitting, machine knitting, knitting designing, cushion making, dress making (failed), Pom Pom making (in the 60's for people knitting things that needed Pom poms). All I had learned quickly and after a time I got bored.
Lace making has held my interest for over 30 years.
After I had made the lace crucifix with Jacqui in Brunei. I came back and decided to keep going to Pauline's classes.
Iain had to give up all the sports he was doing due to joint problems. He started to make me bobbins. He was given two wood turning courses as gifts from our sons. Pauline asked if Iain would "just make 10 bobbins" for some one in her class. She kept doing this. Iain called them "Just" jobs. We didn't charge for the bobbins. Then Pauline said we should sell them.
So Biggins Bobbins was born. We gradually grew. A lady called Helen Shimell started producing patterns for me which I then produced. Helen was not in good health at that time and stopped. I then found a wonderful lady called Ruth Andrews who is my best friend. She made patterns but using my ideas. I could send it backwards and forwards till we were both happy. At times Ruth seemed to read my mind. I then worked the patterns, what threads, what colours. Sometimes she would say "I didn't know it would look like that!" I showed her how to put colours in and out of patterns with no sewing or glueing, she showed me that give her an idea and she could be amazing with what she could come up with.
We then became, for a number of years, wholesalers for a Spanish thread but still kept Biggins designs going. We have now, at ages 77 and 74, gone back to what we love, our retail web site. Patterns are our love. More will come.
Vivienne and Iain.