Every year we try to have something new and inspiring for visitors to see as well as a chance for you to meet the creative people involved.
Ian Lawson was with us in 2015 with a magnificent display of his Herdwick images along with sections of The Quaker Tapestry, usually based in Kendal, which were on tour to Cockermouth and on display at Woolfest. There was also be a special exhibition of work by members of The Wool Clip, including everything from a hefted arm chair to a Herdwick wedding dress, from a quilled Herdwick head to a woollen “handbook”, from hand-spun yarn inspired by the colours of the landscape to a stunning cape that features the flora of the fells.
This year we were delighted to welcome the Cumbrian Brownies with their 'Owls on Tour' exhibition. The display was 18 of the 60 felt hangings they made to celebrate the centenary of Brownie Guides in 2014.
Additionally we were joined by a group of Austrian Weavers from Haslach. They hold a Weavers' Market in the historical market town of Haslach each July and we were thrilled to enable you to find out about their work and heritage, not to mention admire their fabulous work.
In the small ring Jean Wildish (Wool Clip) and Maud Mercier (Local upholsterer) displayed their beautifully upholstered NEST! and visitors were encouraged to add twigs to this memory piece. This was part of Workshop's in People's Homes taking place in Cumbria during May and June 2016.
Last, but not least, you were able to see some of the puppets from the recent production of The Shepherd's Life at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick this Easter. This production was based on the hugely popular book of the same name by James Rebanks (aka the Herdwick Shepherd). On Saturday two of the puppeters who worked on 'War Horse' and 'The Shepherd's Life' gave a demonstration of the puppeteering techniques used in the show and answered many, many questions; there was also a relaxed workshop where visitors had a go with the puppets themselves!
We have exciting plans for 2017 and will announce these in due course!