I grew up in a craft business as my parents were rocking horse makers. After several years of marketing jobs in France and London, I moved to Pembrokeshire and set up CraftCourses, which has come to feel a little like my fourth child..
I believe that making and doing is good for our health and happiness. Whilst creating beautiful and useful things, we relax... we enjoy the sensations of colour and texture, we go into 'flow' state. Later on, we get enormous satisfaction from being able to say 'I made that’. Our purpose is to help as many people as possible access that fantastic feeling.
My role at CraftCourses is to create an excellent and useful platform for makers, whether they be at the learning or teaching end.
Likes: family life, nature, music
Dislikes: timetables (and times tables)
Favourite craft: leatherwork
Alexandra Wyn Bradley; head of marketing & customer relations
I like nothing more than spending my spare time making: be that baking, pottery or foraging and preserving – I enjoy it all. Pair this with the fact that I have spent the last 15 years working in marketing and I couldn’t really ask for a more ideal job!
My role at CraftCourses is to tell the world about our wonderful courses and tutors, share our students’ achievements and reviews and inspire people to engage with their creative side… which ultimately enables us to live happier lives.
Likes: cats, tea, baking, creating and the BBC (Radio 4 specifically!)
Dislikes: cauliflower, pessimism
Favourite craft: pottery (tough choice though)
Alex Wyn Bradley
Rachael Whitfield; editor
As a professionally qualified librarian it has been fascinating to see over the years how the internet has changed how we find and use information.
My work at CraftCourses has given me the opportunity to link my interests closely with my work; I am a keen cook and baker (particularly bread making) and find it relaxing, enjoyable and (usually) edible.
My role at CraftCourses is to proof and edit all site content - checking for spelling, grammar, accuracy, consistency to make sure that it looks great and makes sense.
Likes: books, libraries, running on the trails and coast paths of lovely Pembrokeshire, gardening, sunshine.
Dislikes: aubergines. Being cold!
Favourite craft: bread baking, but so many others I want to explore.
Suki Baynton; customer relations
Having been lucky enough to grow up surrounded by creativity from wood working and sketching to poetry, singing and musical instruments, I can honestly say that I live and breathe crafts and embrace new lessons every day. I live on a smallholding with my husband, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 5 goats and lots of chickens and ducks and I love it. I make jewellery, pottery and soap, grow fruit and vegetables (very badly), take a LOT of photos and cuddle goats. Although my former career was predominantly science-based (much to everyone’s surprise); working with CraftCourses feels like coming home.
My role at CraftCourses is to look after our tutors and students, providing answers and solutions and guiding them through our service.
Likes: naughty goats, good books, cwtchy dogs and creative projects
Dislikes: heights, small spaces and rice pudding
Favourite craft: silversmithing is my current passion, but I haven’t met a craft that I don’t like yet!
David Bowen; developer
I am passionate about solving problems and building smooth and sustainable software. I won the Welsh web finals aged 16 which led me to representing the UK in the Web Design category at WorldSkills London 2011, where I gained the highest scoring Medallion of Excellence.
It was at WorldSkills that I met Kate and soon after began building the first iteration of CraftCourses. As luck would have it, I was also based in West Wales, though have since followed my partner Sandra to Sweden.
My role at CraftCourses is to build, develop and maintain the website.
Likes: computer games, animals, Sweden
Dislikes: cats jumping on me when I’m asleep
Favourite craft: figurine painting, wild foraging in my new homeland
Mark Dobbins; developer
I love strategizing and solving problems, be they large or small.
I believe that coding is also a craft, and it’s very rewarding to see the results of that work come to life.
My role at CraftCourses is to maintain and improve the software platform
Likes: maps, stars, music, salty licorice, board games, buying spices I’ve never heard of and only later considering what to cook with them, ice hockey, badminton, birdwatching, just generally being outdoors and exploring nature
Dislikes: crowds, daylight savings time
Favourite craft: home brewing, calligraphy – I’m keen to try many more!
Magda Powalisz; designer/developer
I used to live a life of an indie rock star, but now I simply enjoy chilling with my two lovely cats ;)
I am addicted to learning and always curious about how things work. I guess that’s why I could never committed to one professional area. When I don't learn, read, watch or listen to audiobooks, I like to paddleboard and enjoy outdoor walks and cycling.
My role at CraftCourses is to improve the current website’s user experience and to design and develop new ideas to make it easy and fun for students and tutors to engage and communicate with each other.
Likes: books, paddleboard, bike, bouzouki, bass, food and video games
Dislikes: airports and flying
Favourite craft: cross-stitch and playing fretted instruments
Lynn de Bersacques; design & development
Living and working in rural France, I am surrounded by forests and rivers and life is very much led by the changing seasons – be it chopping wood or bottling the summer’s harvest.
I have a keen interest in how people communicate and learn; I am also a French tutor and a campaigner for Augmentative and Alternative Communication.
My role at CraftCourses is to think of every which way to improve the user experience, alongside my sister Kate. I also design company artwork.
Likes: singing & forest walks
Dislikes: fast and huge spiders that you don’t see coming
Favourite craft: sewing or printing, ideally with friends
Lynn de Bersacques
Rachael Smith; features writer & blogger
I’ve worked in marketing for 20 years and adore writing for CraftCourses.
Now that my children all go to school, I’m enjoying having some extra time to learn new craft skills (all in the name of research of course). So far, I’ve completed a modern calligraphy course and attended a chalk painting furniture workshop. I’m determined to master crochet this year!
In my spare time I love getting out in the fresh air with my three boys, hubby and our naughty cockapoo.
My role at CraftCourses is to write blog news posts for the website. I research new trends in craft and share stories from our talented pool of tutors. Writing these always leaves me feeling inspired – I hope it helps you feel the same and encourages you to try something new.
Likes: family walks, pub lunches, reading and cups of tea