The Wool House Exhibition At Somerset House
At the beginning of this year, Melissa Watts of Maud Designs approached us to ask whether she could use our image of a Herdwick ram as the model for a wool ‘art work’ that she wanted to make.
She explained that she had been approached by The Campaign for Wool. They invited her to make a piece to follow up on the ‘Elizabeth II’ piece she had made for the Wool House the year before.
We said she could use our image upon which to base her hand-stiched design. And we sent her a large version of the Herdwick photo for her to use.
Melissa said thought that there would be approximately 250 hours work involved, and over one-third of a million hand stitches (!), and asked us to wish her luck.
Hard Work And Success
After she had made the art work, Melissa confided jokingly that it almost killed her. She said that we didn’t want to know how many hours a day she had to work on it!
The Wool House exhibition was held in March this year and the introduction to the exhibition states:
The Campaign for Wool is excited to announce WOOL HOUSE: the world’s biggest ever celebration of Wool, taking place from the 13th to the 24th of March in London’s historic Somerset House.
Prince Charles – Give Fleece A Chance
Prince Charles, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is the patron of the Campaign for Wool, which is why he was there at Somerset House for the exhibition.
The Campaign for Wool is a global community of sheep farmers, retailers, designers, manufacturers and wool lovers. They are working to promote the benefits of wool to a modern audience who have lost touch with the benefits of this natural material.
HRH Prince Charles has made this catchy video supporting wool and the Campaign for Wool.
Center Stage At The Wool House
We are pleased that Melissa’s finished design of our image of a Herdwick sheep was center stage in the exhibition.
Here it is on the mantelpiece and here is Prince Charles signing the commemorative ledger bringing the exhibition to a close.
Melissa Gets Her Art Work Ready In Time
Melissa told us that she was lucky to finally finish in time for the event, and that she had to make an entrance late in the evening on opening night – that’s how close she was to not finishing on time.
She made the ram bigger than she first thought, and the final design is 160 x 120 cm (63 x 47 inches).
She added some extra background for bulk, named the ram Relentless, and asked whether we liked him.
Needless to say, we do like him and we think Melissa is very talented. She is also tremendously committed to have brought the project through to such a lovely conclusion.
So it was lovely to hear from her that everyone at the exhibition loved the ram!
You can read more about the Beatrix Potter’s role in saving the Herdwick breed of sheep in Beatrix Potter’s Affable Animals.