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From a young age, Jane Abbott has been a craft enthusiast. She started needle felting 5 years ago after seeing it on the TV and enjoys felting lifelike animals. Recently, Jane has started producing bigger works and although they take longer the results are well worth it.
Like most people, felting started out as a hobby for me. I’m completely self-taught and love to experiment with different wools and fibres. I live on a farm with a menagerie of animals – all of whom are pets. I have 11 alpacas who kindly surrender their fleece to me annually which I then use for felting. I also have some sheep, a donkey, a horse, several goats and an array of ducks, geese and chickens plus two dogs and a cat!
After spending many years working in London within marketing, I realised I had very little spare time to pursue any hobbies. love the freedom I now have to get creative again and to turn my art and crafts into a small business. I exhibit from my studio at home and sell my felted pieces and paintings locally.
I’ve always been artistic and I paint a lot of watercolours of birds and animals, so it was a natural progression to start with some miniature creatures which taught me the basic techniques. I soon moved on to making more lifelike birds and slightly larger versions of animals. Now, I’ve gone one step further and really enjoy making life-size creatures – I started with a green sea turtle and have just finished a king penguin which stands 90cm high.
What is your craft? (Spinning, felting etc.):
Needle felting and wet felting
How long have you been a craft enthusiast?:
Ever since I was a child! I started felting about 5 years ago and am self-taught.
What do you enjoy most about your craft?:
When needle felting I like to try an achieve lifelike animals. I've started producing bigger works now which take longer but it’s worth it.
When wet felting I like experimenting with different fibres to see the results - I particularly like bringing different textures into my work - for instance, the pale pink linen/flax top wet felted into black alpaca looks amazing.
How long have you been a WOW customer?:
About 5 years - I bought my first wool and needles from WOW.
What do you like most about the company?:
The variety of fibres available and the new products being included regularly.
What is your favourite fibre?:
From a practical perspective the white English 56's is a great fibre for needle felting a white base - as it's a top it gives a smoother finish than the core wool but felts very easily and quickly. I also love alpaca and tussah silk.
What is your favourite breed of sheep?:
The Cotswold Lion is a beautiful traditional breed. I also like the Icelandic (fabulous felting wool) and the Gotland (amazing colour fleece).
Is there anything you would like to see on the WOW website?:
Not really - it's a really comprehensive site.
Is there anything else that you would like WOW to sell?:
More scoured/washed fleece (not tops) - it gives such lovely texture to my work. Also more lovely longwool locks- they're beautiful for needle and wet felting. Finally, maybe some hand dyed products - they add a bit of originality.
Do you have a top tip for your fellow crafters?:
Experiment a little - new colours, blends and textures give you an endless exciting palette to work with.
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