‘Sheep Country’ – work in progress – Claire Crompton

Claire Crompton
Work is progressing well with my piece for the exhibition. At this point I thought I’d share how the piece evolved and the materials and techniques used.
I have combined two themes that run through my textile work: using local materials (specifically wool) and an interest in visualising data. If you do an image search for ‘visualising data’ you will find numerous examples of how information and statistics have been used to generate graphics and charts, some really beautiful ones can be found on http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/. Not as sterile or mathematical as it sounds: lines connecting data become threads, clusters become masses of stitching.
The material I have chosen is Herdwick wool, machine spun yarn from Texere yarns, the data I’m using as a way of creating a landscape is from The British Wool Marketing Board website, where they publise the wool prices for over 200 separate categories of fleece.

Light Herdwick wool

Light Herdwick yarn

I inputted this data onto an Excel spreadsheet and generated a couple of charts from the data as a starting point. The first one was a line drawing of each year and shows how the wool prices have fallen and risen over the last 10 years.

Wool prices

Graph of wool prices

More refinement and a 3D chart of each wool quality: the landscape emerges.

Wool prices 3D

3D chart of wool prices

So each slice of the landscape is worked in crochet using a small hook to produce a firm fabric, each representing a different quality of wool, each crochet stitch is one pence and each year is worked over the same number of rows. I propose to make about 25 slices ranging from the very low value fleeces up to the highest quality ones.
Here’s the working sample, showing the low value wool at the front (just 2 pence a kilo at its lowest!)

Sheep Country

Sheep Country

Herdwick wool crochet

landscape detail


5 thoughts on “‘Sheep Country’ – work in progress – Claire Crompton

    • Hi Debbie,
      Please do add your work; it’s really interesting to see how everyone has interpreted the theme so differently. The easiest way is to email Susi via the contact above (just below the header picture). Send a normal email with the text you want and then attach a jpeg image. She’ll do the rest.
      Best wishes,

  1. Hi Debbie
    We can get your work up on here – do email and we will go through it with you or email jpeg photos and some text and we can put it on here for you!

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