I had such a great time visiting Sophie and her Hampshire Down flock, I took so many photos! I had lots to look through an pick out. As a breed the Hampshire Down's are very distinctive looking with a strong presence. They are a large native breed of sheep, with big fleeces and striking facial markings, they have bold black noses and ears. To me they almost resemble teddy bears. I was really looking forward to drawing from Sophie's sheep as I felt they had such character and personality when I met them!
Poweranger, Sophie's Ram and a couple of ram lambs.
Sophie taking her ewes out to the field.
Hampshire Down's have very distinctive facial markings.
My pencil drawing of one of Sophie's Hampshire Down ewe's.
Here is the final print of Sophie's ewe which I created using hand stamps, I never really talk but about my design process. It is really very simple... I create stamps from the basic shapes within my pencil drawings. It is all about simplifying and breaking down the drawing into the most distinctive characteristics of the subject I am working on. It may be surprising but my stamps are just made out of cardboard, as I found this the easiest material to cut more detail into. It is all recycled so costs nothing but it does mean it isn't reusable so you can usually only get a few prints out of it.
I am really pleased with how the print has turned out and I think it will prove a very popular design. The texture which is created through the stamp really emulates the full, fluffy fleece of the Hampshire Down!
I would like to say a BIG thank you to Sophie and her family for taking the time to show me their Middlewood flock of Hampshire Down sheep. If you would like to find out more about Sophie and her sheep then please follow them on Instagram @middlewoodhampshire.
I am Izzi, farmer’s daughter and textile designer at IzziRainey. If I am not designing or sewing you will find me out in the farmyard with my cattle. I am constantly seeking inspiration for my prints, not that I have to look very far. Growing up on the farm, I have always been influenced by my surroundings and this combined with my passion for farming is what inspires my designs. I love spending time on the farm but I also enjoy learning about other people’s animals, passions and stories, which are also influential to my design process. I hope you enjoy reading ‘Over the Farm Gate’