The 2007 artwork of the Bluefaced Leicester is by Kristen Barndt. She and her husband Karl live in the West End of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.
Kristen started drawing at a very early age, and began winning awards for her art at the age of seven. Horses, dogs, birds, farm animals, and wildlife (especially the hoofed animals) were her first subjects, and have always been some of her best. An art major in high school, she went on to graduate from Nazareth College, Pittsford, NY in 1988, with a Bachelor''s of Science in Fine Art and a concentration in Illustration. She also chose studies in biology, animal behavior, and genetics to fulfill her intense interest in animals, nature, and the life sciences.
Although she is well-versed in a multitude of media, Kristen considers herself primarily an illustrator. She has used her skill in the business she and her husband have owned and run for over 18 years, by illustrating books, designing logos, and creating custom art for clients.
"I can paint, but I do not prefer it... I am much more at home with my pencils and pens! Favorite media for drawing includes pen and ink, graphite, and colored pencils."
Currently "semi-retired" from her scrimshaw, she had taken up this unique art as a side business in 1997; the illustration ability translated beautifully to the new medium. All of these projects were custom pieces, and reside in private collections. Kristen''s scrimshaw art is featured in two books on the subject; one in the United States, and one in Germany. Scrimshaw specialties were pet portraits and wildlife.
As a side project in 2006, she illustrated a children''s book for her friend, Teri Lewis, who wrote "The Trouble with Roger," a story about a rooster and his barnyard pals.
Kris is also a hand-spinner and enjoys knitting (lace is a favorite!). She shepherds a small flock of Bluefaced Leicester sheep, and also owns a couple of Hackney driving ponies, pet cats, and a number of fancy and performing/flying pigeons. These beloved animal friends provide great joy, and have always been the inspiration behind the art.
You can see some of Kristen''s past scrimshaw work at www.kabstudio.com, or she can be reached by email at email@example.com.
2007 Bluefaced Leicester
Descendents of Robert Bakewell''s improved Dishley Leicester, the Bluefaced Leicester evolved near Hexham in Northumberland, England, in the early 1900s. Classified as a longwool type, it is one of three Leicester sheep breeds; English (or Longwool) Leicester, Border Leicester, and Bluefaced Leicester. It has the finest fleece of the Leicester breeds.
The Bluefaced Leicester was originally bred to produce high-quality crossbred ewes from the native Blackface and Swaledale draft ewes. It was found that a darker-colored ram, with a finer skin and wool produced a better crossbred ewe from the Blackfaced hill ewes, a cross traditionally called the "mule." From its original home in the Northern Pennines, the breed spread throughout England, Scotland, and Wales, and into Northern Ireland. Dedicated breeders in the United Kingdom eventually came together and organized The Bluefaced Leicester Sheep Breeders Association. They published their first national flock book in 1964, beginning with sheep registered in 1963.
In the 1970s, a single shipment of sheep was imported into Canada from the United Kingdom. A number of years later, Bluefaced Leicesters arrived in the United States from Nova Scotia. The first preservation efforts began in 1995, when a few breeders in the United States purchased and divided two North American flocks, one from Nova Scotia, the other from Virginia. Sheep from the two flocks were cross-bred until new genetics could be obtained. Growing concern for the breed led to the importation of frozen semen from the United Kingdom to expand the genetic base of the Bluefaced Leicester in the US. In 1997, the first "new blood" since the original importation was introduced into North America.
Following this important milestone, the Bluefaced Leicester Union of North America (BLU) was organized in 1998 to educate, preserve and promote the breed, and support its members. BLU established an official Registry with the 1998 lamb crop. In early 2004, a second association was formed, the Bluefaced Leicester Breeders Association (BFLBA), with its primary focus of education, breed preservation, and promotion. With renewed interest in this magnificent breed, the past decade has seen much positive growth. From a mere handful of sheep, flocks have expanded across the country, there have been several more UK sires collected and imported, and there is an increasing number of registrations from coast to coast. The Bluefaced Leicester is certainly proving itself as a multi-purpose breed; ideal for the purebred sheep breeder and enthusiast, the handspinner and fiber artist, and the commercial producer.
2006 was witness to a new milestone for the breed in the United States; the publication of the first national flock book by the Bluefaced Leicester Union of North America, beginning with sheep registered in 2005.
2007 White & Natural Sheep Show Results here.