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Ella Doran – showcasing British wool and the circular economy

Ella Doran is an award winning British designer with her own homewares brand. She is currently exhibiting her latest project - Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor - at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP). Ella explains more about her inspiration in our latest blog.

Tell us more about Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor.

A couple of years ago, I was commissioned to create a collection of designs to celebrate 40 years of ‘Art Without Walls’ for YSP. During my stay, whilst photographing the Park’s trees, and the sheep grazing around the Henry Moores, I was inspired to find a way to work with the wool from the sheep. My idea involved a journey, documenting every step of the process that wool goes through, demonstrating a circular story using natural biodegradable materials from the land to create a collection of bespoke products. And, nearly two years later, we have achieved just that.

What was the most exciting part of this project for you?

Seeing the circular economy in action. I loved creating bespoke pieces using materials from the park – wool from the sheep for fabric and flooring, wood from one of YSP’s naturally storm felled oak trees for the chairs - literally nothing goes to waste.

All that was left at the end of production was a bag of wool ‘shoddy’ – fibres left over from processing the wool. We will be planting a commemorative tree this Autumn at YSP, and this will be used to fertilise the soil around the tree. Wool biodegrades naturally, becoming a positive fertiliser in the soil, so this will be a very fitting end to the project.

Describe your design style.

Bold, colourful, and graphic - with a sophisticated twist! The Waterlake fabric created for Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor perfectly illustrates my style.

What was the inspiration behind Waterlake?

I find inspiration in the everyday. All my collections start with a brainstorm of photographs, and Waterlake was inspired by the movement of the lake and its birdlife at YSP. Camira Fabrics and Alternative Flooring brought my design to life, creating a beautiful jacquard wool fabric and bespoke wool floor runner.

Ella’s full range of Waterlake bespoke furniture, furnishings and photographic prints are available to buy from ysp.org.uk/shop

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Ella Doran – showcasing British wool and the circular economy Ella's Waterlake design, created by Camira Fabrics
British wool products Image courtesy of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photo © Jonty Wilde