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Stunning display of felted birds heads to Wonderwool Wales

12 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Flock2Flight head to Wonderwool Wales

Wonderwool Wales is an award-winning show that celebrates all that’s great about Welsh wool and natural fibres, and one of this year’s highlights is set to be a stunning display of felted birds.

The ‘Flock2Flight’ display, which measures 10 metres by three metres, is the creation of fibre artist Janna Turner and two friends, Alex Johnstone and Deborah Taylor Dyer.

Wonderwool Wales is being held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells on April 27 and 28, with 220 exhibitors.

Alice

Both Shepton Mallet based Janna, who runs Flocks2Felts, and Alex are no strangers to Wonderwool Wales. Janna was project lead and felting advisor to a special, eight-metre long exhibition entitled Alice in Wonderwool in 2022.

The eye-catching, hand crafted interpretation of Alice in Wonderland installation featured an array of captivating characters, all crafted from felt and fibre.

Flock2Flight display

This year, Janna will be featuring colourful birds in the display, some of which include wooden mechanics to make them fly. For example, there’s a small flock of swallows that fly in circles, a zipwire bird, a diving kingfisher, bird marionettes and hand puppets.

Janna has received help from her farmer husband, Dave, in putting together the wooden mechanics for the birds.

Interaction encouraged

Largest of the static birds is two metre pelican and there’s also a flying phoenix with specially made clay talons, flamingos, a peregrine falcon and many more.

“There are about 20 different types of bird and I have designed the display to be interactive,” said Janna, who worked in a bird sanctuary in Cape Town before moving to England in 2003.

“When we did the Alice in Wonderwool display in 2022, people were not allowed to touch the exhibits. This time, I will be encouraging people to engage with the birds and have a play as they walk around. I just love seeing their reactions. There are also hand puppets for people to take selfies with.

“The display made its debut at Bath and West Showground last November and it took a couple of months for us to make all the birds. I am looking forward to taking it to Wonderwool Wales, as it will be nice to see familiar faces again.”

Money raised by the display will be donated to the Wales Air Ambulance, Wonderwool Wales’ adopted charity.

Janna with a felted marionette

This year’s event will see nine Woolschool afternoon workshops each day which has required the organisers to book extra space on the showground.

The Woolschools, which give visitors the chance to learn or perfect their skills with help from an expert, can be booked online by the Wonderwool Wales website.

Sheep Walk

Another popular feature, the Sheep Walk fashion show, will keep the audience entertained on both days.

This year, all Wonderwool Wales visitors are being encouraged to knit, crochet or make and wear their own beanie or hat to add colour to the event. Stewards will be awarding vouchers to the best hats on both days.

Wonderwool Wales was first held in 2006 to promote the market for Welsh wool and to add value to products made by small wool and fibre producers in Wales.

The festival celebrates the green credentials of Welsh wool and its versatility as a material for creative crafts, designer clothes, home furnishings and more.

Wonderwool Wales covers everything from the start to the end of the creative process. Exhibits of sheep, raw and hand dyed fibres, yarn for knitting and crochet, embellishments, equipment, dyes and books can be found alongside superb examples of finished textile art, craft, clothing and home furnishings.

Tickets

Tickets for the award-winning, two-day show, which traditionally attracts more than 6,000 visitors, can be purchased online in advance.

There will also be tickets for sale at the gate costing £12 per day or £22 for the weekend. Young people aged 16 years and under have free admission.

Find out more here.


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