Friday 2nd of February 2018
The Wool Clip cooperative has three new members in time for the Caldbeck shop re-opening this weekend (3 and 4 February). Ruth Clayton, Ellie Langley and Ange Percy all work with wool using different techniques and they will be adding their skills and designs to this thriving business, bringing the number of cooperative members up to 15.
“Ellie has been a regular at Woolfest for several years,” says cooperative Chairperson, Jean Wildish, “and we’ve all got to know Ruth and her “Wickercritters” and Ange in recent months. It’s great to add to our numbers and to bring different skills and products into the shop too. We all share an enthusiasm for celebrating British wool and showing its potential for creativity and Ange, Ruth and Ellie all do that in very different ways.”
Ange Percy is the most local to Caldbeck as she lives and works in Penrith. She sources Harris Tweed direct from a supplier in the Isle of Lewis and makes beautiful purses as well as her own designs of pincushion bracelets.
“I get a lot of joy and take immense pride in finding the perfect fabric combinations to make the tweeds sing,” she says, “and I’m looking forward to having my purses in The Wool Clip shop, especially as they’ll be alongside my friend, Emma Redfern’s, gorgeous tweed bags.”
Ruth Clayton recently moved to Sedbergh and established the Wickerfish Art Studio in Farfield Mill. Trained as an illustrator and art teacher, she now combines those skills with needle-felting to create intricate mouse characters in their own small dioramas and vintage tin “mouse houses”.
“I tend to share my time between painting during the day and needle-felting in the evening when I’m relaxing,” Ruth says. “I’m still a relative beginner in terms of wool crafts but the mice have proved really popular and being part of a cooperative will give me a chance to bounce ideas and get inspiration from other people. I’m also looking forward to getting involved and helping spread the word about The Wool Clip.”
The final new member of the three is Ellie Langley , another felt-maker but using very different techniques from Ruth and creating hats and other smaller items. Ellie continues a Wool Clip tradition of combining sheep farming and using her own wool in her work as she keeps a small flock on her smallholding in Upper Weardale in the North Pennines.
“I’ve always admired what The Wool Clip members do and felt that they were kindred spirits since I discovered them through the first Woolfest back in 2005,” says Ellie. “Over the years, I’ve developed wide networks in the woolly world through organising events and as a former International Feltmakers Association committee member and I hope that some of this will be useful in the cooperative. I’m also really looking forward to meeting customers in the shop and being part of the team.”
Ange, Ruth and Ellie’s work is now on display and for sale at The Wool Clip in Priest’s Mill, Caldbeck. The shop is open this weekend (3/4 February) and then every day from Saturday 10 February, 11am to 4pm.