Nicky Höwener-Townsend inherited her love of crafts and textiles from her mother and grandmother, and has enjoyed being creative since childhood. Thirty years ago a friend introduced her to lacemaking and she fell in love with this amazing textile. 


What began as a hobby quickly developed into a passion. In time Nicky began passing on her knowledge and skills, initially to children at a local school and then to adults through classes at her local college. A journey of discovery into an aspect of Suffolk’s past that stretches back to Elizabeth I, resulted in the publication of Nicky’s book Suffolk Lace and the Lacemaker’s of Eye, which has sold worldwide. Nicky has given talks both locally and afar, she has exhibited in Denmark and both lectured and taught in the USA.


Seen by some as fussy and irrelevant in today’s world, Nicky believes that lace is emerging, like a beautiful butterfly, into a textile that can be whatever you want it to be. It can be worked in any thread, yarn or fibre that you like the look of, from gossamer fine silk, to sturdier cottons, linens and wools, or indeed anything that resembles a fibre, be it wire or horsehair, even cassette tape or whatever else  captures your imagination.


Nicky teaches each student at their own pace, with a focus on techniques and skills, while developing good working practice. Teaching the rules so that in time they can then be broken! Bobbins are few in number to begin with, projects are small and frequently colourful, they can be that special gift. Making lace is a labour of love, it can be challenging yet also rewarding, but be warned ……………. it can become addictive.