Bridget Brown Supports Sheep With Wool & Woven Art
“It started with just two sheep about 10 years ago,” recalls artist Bridget Brown. “I’m a graphic designer and have created art in watercolor and pastel for many years. My partner Tim had purchased the sheep to raise and sell, but I decided I wanted to keep them. But I needed a reason and that’s when I started creating the fiber art. She explains that she found a mill in Frederick that would process the fleece into wool — some of which she would use for her own art and some of which she would sell as yarn. When Brown had the opportunity to purchase the mill’s equipment, she and her partner did their homework.
“My first worry was about the equipment. But it’s not high tech, it’s just gears and chains. We also looked at it as a business from the beginning and knowing that we would have our own wool to sell. We figured out how much other wool we could process, and we knew there would be a demand — there aren’t that many mills nearby and it can take over a year to wait for a fleece to be processed. We had a line of customers as soon as we opened.”
Brown says, “it takes us a day for each step to process one fleece (see image caption). It’s a lot of work, but we’re able to turn around a customer’s fleece in four months typically. We have a good balance right now, between what we process for customers and our own stuff that we can sell. It’s a great way to make a living.”
Head Spring Farm will host a stop on the Over The Mountain Studio Tour on Nov 13 & 14. Brown sells her wool and wool products online at FiberFlock.com. The website for the Fiber Mill is HeadSpringFiberMill.com.By Staff Contributor