Ullswater Felt Art
I am a fibre artist working out of a studio overlooking Ullswater. When I started felting, I felted portraits of local Herdwick and Swaledale sheep using locally sourced Herdwick and Swaledale wool. I now needle felt a wide variety of different breeds of sheep as well as some goats, alpacas, hares, red squirrels, pets, ponies and cows. As a keen photographer, I much prefer to work from my own photographs so I hike the hills with camera in hand as well as attending agricultural shows looking for more unusual subjects.
I am a member of the Cumbria Support Group of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. I have been needle felting my way through their Watchlist of endangered breeds since 2018 in order to draw attention to the important work they do in preserving breeds at risk. Many of the endangered sheep breeds are the traditional wool breeds because the rise in synthetic, oil based fibres has meant a reduced demand for wool. I have been privileged to be able to provide bulk orders of greetings cards from commissioned pieces to breed societies for them to sell at their own events.
I am also a member of the Hare Preservation Trust and the Penrith and District Red Squirrel Group, two more species that need protecting. I photograph the red squirrels through my studio window and sometimes incorporate their neatly halved hazelnut shells into my pictures. I do attempt to photograph hares in the fields nearby, but this can be tricky because they move so fast.
I have taken a number of commissions in recent years. For these, the photographs are not my own so I make sure that the client sees plenty of work in progress in case they would like to alter anything. Some of my commissions have been for sheep using their own wool!
I have a wide selection of greetings cards on my website.