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Wattisfield couple's business blossoms during lockdown




Lockdown has given rise to a new business which takes fleeces and turns them into woven rugs and cushions.

The Wild Ewe Studio, which is based in Wattisfield on Pottery Hill, is run by married couple Karen Colman, 49, and Jesse Colman, 40.

Fleeces are delivered from nearby farms where they are washed and cleaned of all dirt, burrs and vegetation, before being carved, dried on a rack in the sun and split.

Wattisfield, Suffolk, 08/08/2020..Karen and Jesse Colman, who started up 'The Wild Ewe' during the Covid-19 lockdown, creating rugs and cushions from sheep fleeces on a loom and selling them..Picture: MARK BULLIMORE PHOTOGRAPHY. (40129391)
Wattisfield, Suffolk, 08/08/2020..Karen and Jesse Colman, who started up 'The Wild Ewe' during the Covid-19 lockdown, creating rugs and cushions from sheep fleeces on a loom and selling them..Picture: MARK BULLIMORE PHOTOGRAPHY. (40129391)

They are then woven into rugs and cushions on a loom in the couple’s small studio before being sold.

“I’ve always loved making things.” said Mrs Colman.

“My husband was furloughed in mid-April, which gave us the time to push our hobby forward into a business. It’s perfect really because it means we get to work together every day.

Felted soap creation (40254408)
Felted soap creation (40254408)

“It’s so rewarding to watch each design develop and it’s a lovely process of transformation.”

In addition to items woven on a loom, The Wild Ewe Studio also creates intricate felt designs to cover soaps, along with cards.

Needle felting and wet felting workshops are also being offered by the couple.

In the four months since they began turning their hobby into a business, demand has grown quickly according to Mrs Colman.

Karen and Jesse started their business during lockdown (40206414)
Karen and Jesse started their business during lockdown (40206414)

She said: “In future, we can think about creating bespoke items and moving to somewhere larger with land to keep our own flock, but right now my only worry is that it doesn’t grow so fast that we find ourselves unable to cope.

“We can also consider more workshops in the future, but we want it to grow steadily over the next six months and then we can think about expansion later.”

The couple currently work from their home at Forge Cottage which is more than 400 years old, and their studio is simply “a glorified shed”.

But, for arts and crafts enthusiast Mrs Colman, and her former Army chef husband Jesse, working beside each other and watching the designs and their business takes shape, the size of their current workspace is certainly not a priority.



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