Jenny Brandis' Handcrafts

Torchon Stage 1

The Australian Lace Guild run annual testings of work folios for several different types of lace and levels. I have just completed the Stage 1 of Torchon Lace Proficiency and this is my story.

The very first thing I have to say is that this is a record of my efforts, and as such should not be used as a guide for your own. Please contact the Proficiencies Coordinator for the latest, correct information and good luck with it.

I originally took on the challenge of attempting Stage One of the Torchon Proficiencies as a goal to aim towards. It is so easy to 'rest on my laurels' once I gained the basics that I felt I needed something that would push me out of my comfort zone and into trying some of the many techniques used in Torchon. This has proved to be the thing I needed.

The steps I took

  1. Downloaded the ALG Proficiency Requirements, Guidelines and Application Form from the Australian Lace Guild website
  2. Read them - reread them - researched the definitions of so many of the requirements - thank you ALG for the Proficency Page in the magazine or I would have been flumoxed.
  3. Went through my existing pieces to see what could be used (found 8 pieces that *might* be acceptable)
  4. Designed up a spreadsheet - a ticksheet so that I could tick off what of the requirements I had covered. I kept going back to this sheet to check what else I needed to do.
  5. Started hunting for some patterns that I wanted to make AND met the Proficency requirements I had not yet done
  6. Designed a few pieces that incorporated the last of the proficiency requirements
  7. Made the pieces
  8. Thought about the folio. The samples needed to be accessable, yet secure, viewable from both front and back and contained together to prevent loss of parts.
    My original thoughts were the plastic sleeves found in newsagents - but how to secure the work in, yet have it accessable? staples - not accessable and would hate accessor to prick their finger, velcro dots - not available in town and what if lace got snagged?, sticky tape - what if the lace got stuck to it?, paperclips - they would catch other sheets and slip off. Zip lock? Purchased 20 zip lock folders and a box to hold them.
  9. Started to pull it all together - realized that three of my pieces were too big to fit in the A4 zip lock folders. Back to more thought. Ordered a Scrapbooking Project Folio by PaperCraft Australia along with spare zip lock sleeves. Not all the sleeves arrived so needed to rethink again.
  10. Decided to use both lots of zip locked - the sleeves to hold the lace and the folders to hold the prickings, thread and notes. Need to make sure that the sleeves and the folders are all numbered to prevent confusion.
  11. A4 zip lock folders do not fit in book binder so can not bind them together. BUT the Folio does have a zip all around so as long as they stay inside the folio they can't get lost. Will have to go with this as fast running out of time.
  12. Typed up a Table of Contents that listed all items and where each could be found, duplicated the scoresheet so I could type the details (no messy hand writing) - this is NOT recommended as it was noted on the returned paperwork that the ORIGINAL form is to be used.
  13. I agonised over the final piece (to be duplicated as close as possible to the orginal) I design in Lace2000 and generally dont keep a copy of the steps. To prove it was all my own work I ended up recording the design process with Camtasia Studio and providing a CD with the recording as well as a couple of printouts part way through the design process.
  14. A final check (or three) and post it off well before the deadline to make sure Aussie Post did the right thing..

I then went into worry mode - what if the folio was too big? what if it was not enough? had I forgotten anything? What if I was penalised for using colour? I did make sure that the piece I had to copy was worked in the same colour (ecru) but what if I should have only included white and cream? Had I done too much? not enough .......

I must confess to being very pleased when the folio came back and I had passed. Such a sweet feeling!

Scans of the lace I had in my Proficiency Folio are here I have included a note on the items that came back with an "unsatifactory" along with the reason, so that you can see where I went wrong and hopefully not make the same mistakes. All the rest got "satisfactory" with not a single "good" so there is definite room for improvement :-)



1997-2019 Jenny Brandis

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