More from Jane Firth
I am a fibre artist working out of a studio overlooking Ullswater. I am a keen walker and photographer and my inspiration comes from the ever-changing landscape around me.
When I started felting, I felted portraits of Herdwick and Swaledale sheep using locally sourced Herdwick and Swaledale wool. I now needle felt a wide variety of different breeds of sheep, goats, alpacas, hares, red squirrels, pets, ponies, cows and landscapes sourcing my materials from local farmers, processing and dying them myself.
I am a member of the Cumbria Support Group of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. I have been needle felting my way through their Watchlist of endangered breeds since 2018 in order to draw attention to the important work they do in preserving breeds at risk. I am also belong to the Hare Preservation Trust, the Penrith and District Red Squirrel Group and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, representing more species that need protecting and so providing further inspiration for my work. I photograph red squirrels through my studio window and sometimes incorporate their neatly halved hazelnut shells into my pictures.
The photograph that was the inspiration for the picture in this exhibition was taken shortly after sunrise on an October morning on one of my regular routes from Bennethead to Pooley Bridge along the Ullswater Way. The rose hips and leaves I have put in the foreground are hard to see in my photograph against the light from the lake so I lightened them and increased their number.
All my pictures have a 3D element and in this one, the framed picture has the rose leaves in their autumn colours overhanging the edge of the mat enhancing the 3D.
I take a wide variety of commissions. For these, the photographs are not my own so I ensure that the client sees work in progress in case they would like to alter anything. Some of my commissions have been for both sheep and alpacas, using their own fleeces!