The reason I called it "Ullswater Felt Art"
Thank you for visiting my website. I am Jane. After a career in education, I completed my gradual move to the Ullswater valley in 2013. Along with spending a lot of time on the fells and training as a guided walk leader with the Lake District National Park, I took up felting. I have evolved a style of felting sheep with a strong 3-dimensional element using mainly local wool. I started with the sheep I see around me (Herdwicks, Swaledales, mules, Rough Fell and Blue Faced Leicesters) but I now felt a wide variety of sheep and even some other species. My recent project is to felt the sheep on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust Danger List. Many of these are wool breeds and well worth saving.
I work in a converted garage overlooking Ullswater. I have used wool from my neighbour’s sheep that I can see from my window. Shearing time is busy because it is an ideal opportunity to stock up on the colours and textures I want. There is a surprising variety of sheep in my local area, so putting my name on a fleece in advance is a good way of securing what I want! A whole fleece is a lot of wool, so takes a lot of washing in many changes of hot soapy water.
I wet felt my basic shapes (the same process that shrinks a wool jumper in the washing machine) and needlefelt the detail and the background using a barbed needle that entangles the wool fibres in a similar way to wet felting.
The Brackenrigg Inn, Ullswater has a permanent exhibition of my work. I take commissions too. Felting someone’s sheep with its own wool is particularly satisfying.
CraftCover.com recently wrote an article about my work If you would like to read it, click on the link.