The Craft Festival is a non-profit making company with the aim to use craft as a catalyst for rural regeneration. It now boasts 4 Festivals so we caught up with Director Sarah James to find out her Top 10 reasons to discover Craft Festival Cardiff this autumn...
It doesn’t seem such a long time ago but when I see my 15 year old son towering over me, and remembering that he was just 7 months old when we did the first Festival in 2004, I know we have come a long way. I’ve now got a few wrinkles and grey hairs, but it’s been a wonderful experience and the years have flown by.
I’m still genuinely excited about craft and meeting and encouraging makers.
The Craft Festival came about when three Bovey Tracey craft businesses joined forces: The Festival was to showcase the very best in British craft, create a new, sustainable and strong market place for contemporary craft but also to bring greater prosperity to the town of Bovey Tracey. Some European funding was secured and they looked for a Project Manager to put everything together and luckily, they chose me. I was made a director a few months later and I’ve been at the helm ever since. The Festival is now run by small, lovely team with 4 Festivals including Nourish Festival and Craft Festival’s in Cardiff, Cheltenham and new for next year, Bath.
As well as providing a great place to purchase handcrafted products, which make ideal gifts for loved ones (and yourself!) in the run up to the festive season, I wanted to share some of the more unique things to discover as this very special festival:
1. Craft Festival Cardiff is Wales’s largest Contemporary Craft Festival presenting over 140 of the finest, award-winning makers from all over Wales and the UK. Shop for ceramics, jewellery, textiles, furniture, leatherwork, metal and silver, woodwork, leather goods, prints and more.
2. You are encouraged to enjoy a journey-of-discovery from a full programme of bookable and drop-in workshops for all ages hosted by Make it in Wales, The Heritage Craft Association and Jwrnal such as weaving, letterpress printing, needle felting and free stitch embroidery.
3. Craft Festival Cardiff warmly welcomes families with children of all ages, throughout the weekend families can enjoy drop in, complementary children's workshops, provided by Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre. Accompanied children under 18 are free.
4. Meet The Maker and explore a range of materials and techniques. Chat to our craft demonstrators, giving you the chance to learn more about the stories behind the work that will be on sale.
5. Rubbish Portraits by Lucie Sheridan. You’ll find Lucie in her booth in the Foyer as you enter Craft Festival. Have your very own signed, original pen and ink portrait by Lucie while you’re seated in her booth.
6. The Red List is presented by the Heritage Crafts Association. They will host FormeHK who will be demonstrating and offering the opportunity to have a go at Letterpress Printing. The Red List is the first research of its kind to assess craft skills and to highlight Endangered Crafts.
7. Letterpress Collective is Nick Hand, and Ellen Bills. Their iconic printing bicycle will be on their stand, with an Adana 8x5 press on the back. Throughout the Festival, you can print a postcard, bookmark or coaster with designs that will change throughout the show.
8. Jwrnal is a platform for makers and creatives dedicated to sharing stories from makers and creatives in Wales. Founder Sarah will be bringing along a selection of products made in Wales using Welsh Wool and there will also be a big weave structure for everyone to participate in sponsored by Melin Tregwynt.
9. No good event is complete without great food. Craft Festival Café is upstairs in the Ferrier Hall. Recharge whilst sharing conversations about the craft and makers that have caught your eye.
10. All visitors can enter the FREE Prize Draw to win a £100 voucher from madebyhandonline.com.