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The Staff at the Bedford College of Lace Making  


Stephen G. Bowman, the founder of the Bedford College of Lace Making, studied art at Purdue University.  While attending Purdue, Stephen learned to crochet from his maternal grandmother, Virginia Ray, and his love of lacemaking was born.  Stephen became an avid lacemaker, mastering tatting, bobbin lace, lace knitting, filet netting, lucet and pulled and drawn thread lacemaking as well as crochet.  Stephen loves to make lace and teach anyone interested in learning to make lace the old fashioned hand. 

Family Members of the Bedford College of Lace Making

Mastery in Knitting

Beulah K. Bowman is a life long accomplished knitter and the mother of the school founder, Stephen Bowman.  Beulah first learned to crochet from her mother Virginia, but that wasn't for her and soon learned to knit and a life long love affair began.  For several years in the 1980's, Beulah and Virginia operated a craft shop called the "Doll Barn."  Every item on display was created by one of them and included many types of lace work.

Pioneer Grandma

Mildred Sue Hill is the aunt of Stephen Bowman and his partner in many of the reenactment booths and demonstrations performed by the Bedford College of Lace Making.   Sue, along with her husband Doug, have helped Stephen get his demonstration together and obtain the correct period clothing.

Grandfather to his Troup

Doug "Doc" Hill is the uncle of Stephen Bowman and the husband of Sue Hill.  Doc has been doing living history reenactments for over 40 years beginning with Civil War era, but quickly moving on to the Indiana Pioneer era.  Later in the late 1980's or early 1990's Doug bought out the inventory of a retiring reenactor, who portrayed a Revolutionary War doctor.  Since then Doc has been demonstrating his "medical practice" to young and old alike.

Mastery in Crochet

Virginia E. Ray is a life long accomplished crocheter, the mother of two daughters, grandmother of three grandsons and the great grandmother of three. Virginia first learned to crochet from her mother, Bertha Lutes, as a small child. As an adult Virginia became a master at crochet, especially at interpreting and changing poorly written patterns. This talent caused her to be saught out by many crocheters to help them complete their projects. During her life time, she has taught many people how to crochet with her last student being her grandson and school founder, Stephen Bowman.  Sadly she passed away on 15 February 2013.

Stephen & Elizabeth

Stephen, Age 6

This is a picture of myself, Stephen Bowman, and my second cousin, Beth Blakesley, taken sometime in the mid-1970's by Beth's aunt Sharon Ann.  Sharon is my mother's first cousin.  This was one of the few times the two of us ever met as children, but as adults we shared a couple of common interests.  First being the love of genealogy, yes we hunted dead people together, and later on the love of lace making.  Weren't we just the cutest things in the world? 

Running Naked with Scissors and Plotting World Domination on a Shoestring Budget



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