Ann Nickerson

Weaver, spinner and alpaca owner

Ann owns and runs Burnt Fen Alpacas near Horning, in Norfolk, where visitors can walk with alpacas, spin with their fleece and weave with their wool. Ann’s herd of alpacas is central to her life, her business and her personal happiness.

What is it about your making skill that makes you enjoy it so much?

My making passion all starts with the alpaca, who are equally enchanting, comical and serene and grow the most beautiful fibre. Taking a project from the source through to a finished piece is extremely rewarding.

What does it mean to you personally and the way you live your life?

My life is completely entwined with our alpacas, they are very much part of the family and I am totally committed to constantly improving the herd to achieve softer, finer fibre – every new cria [a baby alpaca] is wonderfully exciting.

What has been your greatest making achievement?

My first skein of alpaca yarn and the realisation of the endless possibilities this skill gave me.

What is your favourite piece of equipment and why?

My spinning wheel is quite old and a beautiful object in itself and allows me to take our alpaca fibre and make something totally unique.

What is your favourite making website or blog and why?

Too many to choose from! But the Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers is a constant source of inspiration, creativity and support.

Why do you like being part of the Festival?

It’s a very inclusive experience, bringing together like minded, creative people.

What is your advice to a complete beginner who wants to have a go at your craft?

Allow yourself the freedom to have a go without censure – just do it!