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Introduction to Blade Shearing and Fibres Workshop

  • Fernhill Farm Cheddar Road Compton Martin Somerset BS40 6LD (map)


Learn the ancient craft of sheep shearing with blade shears from master shearer/shepherd Andy Wear and his shepherding team.  Understand the history and theory behind shearing contextualised within modern day shepherding, before having a go at key sheep handling and shearing techniques. As the fleece comes off the sheep, learn to "throw" it before learning the basics of fibre sorting and grading to ensure that the fibres within each fleece are used to their maximum potential.

Local hand spinner Jessica Mason will be on-site to teach the final stage of the process: 'spinning in the grease’. The traditional method for turning fibre into yarn ready for knitting or weaving into textiles.

This is the first Fibershed South West Associate event and led by Bristol Textile Quarter Founder Emma Hague and so will be a pretty special event for community building if you are a designer/maker! 

Note: please be aware that this workshop can be physically (and mentally!) challenging and that a reasonable level of fitness is required. Be sure to discuss with us before booking if you have any medical condition (including allergies) that might affect your participation in the workshop.

It is extremely important that appropriate clothes are worn for these workshops; we recommend that participants should wear denim-weight trousers with slim fitting long-sleeved top layers.

Shearing workshops take place in a purpose built shearing shed, sheltered but otherwise exposed to the elements. Weather can get wild in the Mendips, so please also be sure to bring sturdy shoes, warm layers and a waterproof jacket. 

Images copyright to Alex Ingram



Max 8 - 12 participants

Includes: all tuition, refreshments (excluding lunch), equipment and sheep

Additional: each student will be given their own drop spindle to keep and will leave with a small skein of their own hand-shorn, hand-spun yarn after a hard day’s work!

Accommodation: If you are thinking of travelling up the day before, you can contact Jen Fernhill farm to stay onsite in one of their gorgeous barns or message Jessie directly as she can help advise you of some nice, affordable places to stay that are close-by to the venue.

To secure your booking please purchase a ticket by clicking on the link above, if you have any queries please contact either Emma or Jessie

Contact:  speaktojess@icloud.com or emma@bristoltextilequarter.co.uk

Please note: all tickets are non-refundable unless the booking is cancelled within seven days of the event. 


 

Travelling from Bristol 

Take the A38 past the Airport and continue until you reach the traffic lights in Churchill,

Turn left onto A368 towards Bath

Turn right onto B3134 up Burrington Combe.

When on top of  Mendip turn left at the Cheddar crossroads (B3371) and we are the first farm drive on the left. 

Travelling from Bath

A368 to Weston-Super-Mare

Go through West Harptree and turn left at the first crossroads.

Take the first right turning immediately after the Wellsway.

Turn left at the first crossroads -

Fernhill is the first & only farm drive along this bumpy Mendip road.


Earlier Event: March 17
The Nature of Cloth