What happens to the wool of Jaaps' sheep
My neighbour Jaap keeps sheep. From him I obtain every year the wool that I use in my work. Jaap gives me a sign when the sheepshearer comes, so I can follow the whole process.
The communication between sheep and shearer is intriguing; he pushes her into a position so she can hardly move, that he reassures her with some soothing words, he caresses her a bit. When she relaxes the shearing starts.
When the shearing is done I pick the wool in cotton bags, then for me the work really starts. I wash and rinse the wool with soft soap in big tubs. I dry the washed wool in baskets, so the wind can blow across. When the wool is well dryed, the process of working it starts: carding in the cardwheel, spinning on the spinning wheel. Then the wool is ready for further use.
This process that, from the beginning, the moment the wool comes from the sheep until the end, is completely in my own hands, gives me a special relationship with the material. And also with the 'suppliers', Jaap's sheep.
I used to get a lot of questions about this process. This made me create this book; I took photographs at essential points in the process, these photographs I incorporated in a book which is made in crochet, made of the wool of Jaap's sheep.
Here under a photograph of the title-page: