Meet the team

 

Kate Dewmartin; founder

I grew up in leather, paint and wood-workshops as my parents were rocking horse makers. After several years of marketing roles in France and London, in 2011 I set up CraftCourses, which has come to feel like my fourth child... 

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 a natural ‘flow' state. Later, we get enormous satisfaction from knowing; '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, at both the learning & teaching end.

Likes: family life, nature, music

Dislikes: timetables (and times tables)

Favourite craft: leatherwork

Kate

 

Francesca Smith, digital marketing

I live and breathe craft. I absolutely love to experiment with different materials and learn new and exciting skills. I practice mindfulness through creativity and a lot of the materials I use are ‘found’ items from Pembrokeshire’s stunning coastline, so I benefit from the walk and the fresh air too.

My role at CraftCourses is to promote the incredible courses we have available with our amazing array of skilled tutors. I review and edit our website content and tell the world about our makers to inspire others to experience a creative course for themselves.

Likes: Beachcombing, picnics with family, my gorgeous dwarf rabbit, Bruce.

Dislikes: Mushrooms, long-distance running, fruit salads and trifle.

Favourite craft: Too hard to choose!!! Supplies for jewellery making, sewing and crochet take up most of my craft space at home.

Fran

 

Mark Dobbins; engineer

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!

Mark

 

Magda Powalisz; UX designer & front end engineer

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 commit 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

Magda

 

Daisy Ray; customer services

My passion for craft is one which is interwoven with creativity and the therapeutic benefits that come from making. As a textile weaver, I understand first hand the positive impact of crafting. I feel very fortunate to be in a role where I can support both the students and course providers of CraftCourses, helping individuals find the perfect craft experience and the positivity that comes from making.

My role at CraftCourses: to provide prompt customer relations for our students and course providers via phone and email, supporting them with any support they need.

Likes: wild flowers, good coffee, dogs, beach and forest adventures with loved ones.

Dislikes: Flying birds and narrow cliff path walks.

Favourite craft: Has to be weaving but would love to get my hands on some clay and try pottery.

 

Aled Bidder; junior software engineer

I love to learn and am so thankful to have the chance to learn the craft of software engineering with a company that has such a lovely ethos and mission. Alongside my work with CraftCourses, I try to fit in work as an actor and presenter where I can.

My role at CraftCourses is to support the development team in their work while learning as much as I can!

Likes: Learning a new game or system, sports (especially rugby and basketball), and good coffee

Dislikes: Wet socks - nightmare!

Favourite craft: pottery 

Al

 

Aneurin Partridge, software engineering apprentice

I am 19 and right at the beginning of my coding career, though it has been a passion for as long as I can remember.

As I have a few years of customer facing experience, the team here have collared me into working on the customer services team 2 days each week, which luckily I enjoy!

I live in rural West Wales with my partner, her family, and the animals (ducks, alpacas, donkeys, sheep & dogs).

My role at CraftCourses is to learn the codebase, test new features and help our Makers use the booking platform. As I have a foot in both camps I can help the engineering team stay fully abreast of any ‘’trouble at mill occurring at the coal face!

Likes: Animals, gaming, walking, films, family & friends.

Dislikes: Dawn: the notion is fine, in practice not so much.

Favourite craft: Woodwork (I make a mean birdhouse) and DIY.

Aneurin

 

Lewys Evans, software engineering assistant 

I am 22 years old and had just graduated from Swansea University (Computer Science degree) when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, scuppering my travel and gap year plans.
I live in the middle of nowhere in Pembrokeshire and it was a very pleasant surprise to find such a wonderful coding position so close to home! The team here is small and very friendly.

My role at CraftCourses is to test, develop and build new features to improve the overall useability of our platform.

Likes: Gaming, Dungeons & Dragons, comics, building computers.

Dislikes: Food, my whole extended family using my Netflix account.

Favourite craft: Woodwork & D&D figurine painting.

Lewys

 

David Bowen; engineer 

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

David

 

Suki Baynton; writer

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 write blogs, take photos and come up with inetresting ways to appeal to our audience.

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!

Suki