THE CRAFTY SHEPHERD WORKSHOPS AND STUDIO ....Well Ive made the time to get this Website up to speed again!!..so welcome to the Fluffy Side of life on the Farm!!...THE CRAFTY SHEPHERD is the name of our new Fibre Art Studio and Workshop!!..We now have a new base from which to run all types of Crafting and Fibre Art Workshops here in Wiveliscombe, Somerset...If you would like to follow the link to our facebook page for all up to the minute details of Events and Classes...We cater for all ages and abilities from Schools, to Public and Corporate Events!!...Using fibres all from our Rare Breed livestock here on the farm...No experience needed!!..just an ability to enjoy something a little bit different and new!! Xx Naomi
Well Christmas 2013 finally arrived with the speed of a young child on a hurtling tea tray, on an icy slope!!...Yes, I have done that it my youth, the school ones were the best!!...My nights leading up to the dreaded postal deadline dates were long and my days even longer. Despite swearing I wouldn't end up working in the small wee hours ever again and my books actually closing in June I still found myself asleep on my worktable a number of times. However there is allways something magical that happens in those small hours of the morning that I cannot recreate during the madness of my days here on the farm. It's a calmness and a focus that the pressure of deadlines demand and that only a creative soul can truly understand. Well thats my excuse and I'm stickin to it!! ;-)
My work has now been coveted in many corners of the World and whilst having a photo session with a Group of my creations I did wonder what it would be like to have them all back for a fluffy reunion. I put so much energy into my creations and whilst customers come and go, if I was ever to meet the animals I have taken so much pleasure in creating in person, I am certain I would recognise them instantly.
I have great plans for the forthcoming year and hope to take our Fibre Production to a next level for other Crafters to be able to purchase and use and to spread Spring Grove a little further across the world. In the meantime we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and A very Happy and Prosperus New Year and hope that you continue to follow us here on the blog and on our facebook page
Lots of Love
Naomi & Scott and all the family xxxx
Great news with the arrival of our first batch of Chocolate English Angora Rabbits. We have had our Stud Buck for a while and have spent a long time searching for an appropriate partner for him. With great thanks to the Candy Everitt Angora Stud we have finally found our lovely Doe Mrs Twix. With the aid of Trust Smart Small Animal transporter our girly arrived safe and sound from Lincolnshire.
A morning spent collecting Elderberries with the little one...and a jolly good cook up of them on the stove cannot be beaten!...All that lovely juicy dye!...Boil them all up in a large saucepan and add in some salt as a mordant to set the colours into your fleeces...Now, I do obviously have oodles to choose from, so went for as many that would fit in my saucepan!...MENTAL NOTE TO ONESELF!!!..must make sure we put HUGEMONGEROUS saucepans on the Wedding List!
Natural dyes will fade somewhat with time, but then we shall age together!...but for this project it was perfect..The micron count of the different fleeces and the construction of the different materials take up the dye at different rates as you can see in the pictures above...The fun part of Natural Dyes is allways the unexpected experimentalness of it all!...The results as you can see were deliscious!..The fleeces used were Alpaca, Llyen Sheep, Greyfaced Dartmoor Sheep, and Teeswater Sheep.
Harem our stunning Grey Alpaca provided the fleece for the steel grey of the bag...I Wet Felted this around a Resist after sketching a plan on the back of an Auction ticket in the car whilst awaiting the teenager!..The handle was a Scrap Gift of the edge binding off of a blanket and fitted the job perfectly...As for the studs,...well I like to be a little different and they are actually mean't for jacket collars!..I just liked the irony of them on this little twee bag flushed with delicate felted flowers!...Still some tweeking to do and the wait for it to dry out before I can use it, but I'm chuffed with the results so far!
The Rarest of Sheep Breeds here in the U.K. is the Boreray. With numbers between only 300 - 500 left on the registry of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. We are fortunate to have a small breeding herd of Borerarys here at Spring Grove and they are a small to medium size sheep, full of character and stamina. You can read more about their origins on our Breed information section by clicking on Sheep and then selecting Boreray.
Lucy Lean is one of the most amazingly talented Contemporary Artists that lives locally to us here in Somerset. By the chain of whispers and local knowledge that Somerset is famous for we were kindly introduced to each other by a mutual friend. As part of the Somerset Arts Week Lucy designed and created this wonderful installation as you see above in the pictures. The brief I was set was to create a Handspun yarn/string to suspend her creation from. It needed to be rough and raw as Nature intended. After a short time rummageing through my Fleece Collection we settled for the rough Hair like fibre of the Boreray.