Words and photo by Tristan Ovington.
Pip White is a small business owner making needle felt landscapes which from a distance look like watercolours or pastels.
She started her business – Pippaluk Crafts – in 2015 making felted jewellery, but switched to landscapes to stand out at craft fairs.
“I now create landscapes exclusively,” Pip said. “The felt is mostly merino wool, but I use other materials too, for example, pure silk.
Using wool from different breeds of sheep will give you different textures and appearances when added to landscapes.
“Silk is good for representing water, as it catches the light and is truer white than wool.
“I try to produce mainly local scenes because tourists like them. I’m usually with Salisbury Art Scene, which is the first Sunday of the month in Salisbury market square.
“The Cuckoo Fair at Downton on the first Saturday in May is another I sell at. I am also due to attend the High Cliff Food Festival on June 10th and the Sherborne Country Fair on 29th May.
Pip also holds workshops and talks for various groups, such as the WI. “I did a workshop at Beaulieu Motor Museum last year. That was a four person workshop, but I do workshops for up to 15 people. Anyone can do it, whether you’re 12 or 90. The only rule is that you have to keep the needle as vertical as possible because otherwise they break really easily.”
Her work has brought delighted responses from customers around the world.
“I’ve had some lovely emails. I made a felt landscape for a lady in New Zealand, who wanted an image for her sister of a New Zealand sheep station. When she saw the final piece she said it was fantastic.
“A more challenging landscape was an African scene. It was based on a special picture some grandparents had brought back for their granddaughter whose parents had a tragic accident. They wanted me to reproduce this image in a way that showed how much they cared about her.
“It was completely out of my comfort zone because I had never done anything with such bright colours. But they later told me they were so happy as their granddaughter loved it, so I was really pleased.
“I love what I do because it really makes a difference to people to share memories together and my landscapes help people cherish memories.”