Hesket Newmarket-based wool artist, Jane Bardgett has joined The Wool Clip co-operative, based at Caldbeck.
"I've been aware of The Wool Clip for many years – especially as the shop is just down the road from where I live - but the timing has never quite been right," Jane says. "Now seems a good time to join as it's easy to feel isolated working alone. I am really looking forward to being part of an established community of wool artists and craftspeople."
Jane, who trades as Jane Makes, is a former seamstress and school design technician but she has been self-employed since 2019. "I started out using wet felting techniques," she explains, "but that can be very tough on your wrists and I've gradually shifted to needle felting for my animal and pet portraits. This approach allows me to put in lots of detail and create a good likeness with plenty of character and personality."
Cumbrian craft enthusiasts will also know Jane from her workshops across the Eden Valley and north Lakes as she runs sessions at The Hub in Appleby, the Makers' Mill at Keswick, Farfield Mill near Sedbergh and Quirky Workshops at Greystoke.
"An advantage of joining The Wool Clip, I hope, is that these new connections will enable me to develop my techniques and use more British wool in my work."
"That mix of making and teaching is ideal for me," says Jane. "I use a lot of merino wool for felting at the moment, which tends to come from Australia. An advantage of joining The Wool Clip, I hope, is that these new connections will enable me to develop my techniques and use more British wool in my work."
Ruth Strong is the current chair of The Wool Clip co-operative and she will be Jane's mentor for her first few months in the group: "It's brilliant how this has all come about," Ruth says. "Jane was working in the Watermill Café at Priest's Mill a couple of months ago when I popped up from the shop to get a coffee. I saw her work, we started talking and everything has developed from that conversation. Her animal portraits and other work will be something a bit different in The Wool Clip shop and we're looking forward to having Jane's broader experience and skills in the co-operative too."
A selection of Jane's work is now on display and for sale at The Wool Clip in Priest's Mill, Caldbeck. The shop is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm.
Jane (right) with current chair of The Wool Clip, Ruth Strong
Jane's work focuses on needle felted animal portraits.
Jane's work is now on display in the Caldbeck shop.