Making is at the heart of The Good Life Experience. It’s good for the head, the body and the soul. We have scoured the nation for the best makers and craftspeople and this year our line-up is stronger than ever. We’ve covered all bases; there's something for everyone. Making is at the heart of the experience. Learn from experts and then do it yourself. Tweak, shape, cut, hack, sharpen, twist, glue, turn, polish, strip, nail, sew, sand. Do it all. Do it with joy. This is your time to do what you want. And who better to learn from other than some of the best craftspeople in Britain? In the evening we put our tools down and we put our dancing shoes on. We have three main areas dedicated to craft and making. One hosted by our friends, the pioneers of craft; Hole & Corner and two areas curated by Sarah Hellen, founder of craft magazine Jwrnal and Charlie Gladstone co-founder of The Good Life Experience. Please join us! This is for everyone.
This is our classic long green army tent. A hive of banging, clanging, hacking, stitching, stitching and shaping. Essentially it’s a row of pop-up workshops, and the pop-up makers? well - that’s you.
Carla, Paul, Anna and Olwen are a collective of potters from North Wales. They will be offering the opportunity for you to try your hand at Raku fired pottery. This is includes fire so of course we love it. Your finished pot will be unique, a one off, a Good Life souvenir that will last forever.
Tim makes pots. Pots to be used and pots to be admired. Tom uses good old fashion human strength to power his stone kick wheel which he will be lugging all the way from Carmarthenshire for you to watch him at work and to have a go making your own clay slabs whilst learning all about the traditional forms of pot making.
Helen is an expert with all things wool. And with her material source visible from her kitchen window in the Carmarthenshire Hills she is a true example of the homegrown and homemade craft movement. Helen will be running workshops in super chunky wool knitting and loom weaving.
You can’t go far without spotting a Tom Frost print these days. 2018 festival goers will no doubt have stopped off to print an exclusive festival poster or picked up one of his many wonderful designs. This year Tom will be back with more print workshops for all ages to get stuck in.
Returning to Makers Row for another year are Mike & Nia, AKA Rural Kind; designers and makers of simple, functional, and durable carry goods. They will be running a series of traditional leather craft workshops including how to make your own festival ditty bag.
Kathryn is an artisan florist and flower grower with a design studio and cutting garden nestled beside a historic canal in rural Cheshire. She will be bringing her wild garden style floristry to Makers Row and will be offering a series of workshops in creating, arranging, foraging and floral crown making.
THE WHITTLING CIRCLE
Follow your nose to the pine needle tea simmering slowly over the campfire. There you will find our whittlers.
David eats, sleeps and breathes wood. He can either be found out roaming the hills and forestry of the Clywdian Range in North Wales or deep below the Snowdonia hills gathering oak from disused Slate mines. With his finds, David makes beautiful and practical tools, tableware and vessels with just the traditional whittling tools. And some imagination of course.
James lives and works in the Dyfi Biosphere, in an old cottage not far from the town of Machynlleth. If a tree falls, James is called. Buying materials is not ‘a thing’ as all of the wood James uses is from the land. Bowls, spoons and other tools are all made by his own hands and some classic human power.
Who said print is dead? We certainly didn’t. We have four makers who dedicate their time and energy to all things ink and print, so we’ve set up our very own printing studio. Roll up your sleeves and get stuck in.
Callie is a Cornish illustrator, printmaker & digital artist working from her studio on a farm in North Wales. You may remember Callie from the Jwrnal Welsh Craft Tent last year. She’ll be back this year with her own space, meaning more workshops, more ink, more lino and more colour. Learn how to carve your own design into the material resulting in a print to take home.
Avid collectors of old machinery and all things to do with traditional printing methods, Lisa and Andrew run a not-for-profit studio Ffowndri just a few miles away from the Hawarden Estate. Together they host a number of successful courses with a focus on reviving the most traditional forms of printing as well as restoring old and beautiful inky machines! Ffowndri will be offering a range of letterpress, calligraphy and bookbinding workshops throughout the weekend.
Well-known for their contemporary interpretations of traditional Welsh patterns, printing duo Dyfrig and Jen aka Peris and Corr will be bringing some of their handprinted textiles and interiors to our workshop schedule this year. The two will be running printing workshops throughout the weekend.
Making is for all. It’s a team effort. We’ve dedicated a space to communal workshops, drop in, have a go, meet people, put the world to rights! Pitch up on a comfy seat, let your feet rest whilst your hands -and brain- do all the work.
Feel free to drop-in, pop-in and stay for a little while. There will be a schedule of events happening here throughout the weekend.
Bristol Textile Quarter’s MeetMakeMend is at the core of the Slow Fashion movement in Bristol with monthly meetings focussed on meeting people, making friends and connections in the city and mending old clothes. A relaxed and fun group with serious undertones of promoting slow and conscious fashion. The BTQ team will be popping up in The Studio on Saturday and Sunday morning. So, bring along a loved item of clothing that needs a mend; a snag, a moth-eaten hole, a torn seam, a scuff or tear and the team will help you bring your old garments back to life. BTQ will provide the mending materials, inspiration and techniques - if needed - and most importantly, a relaxed space to take a moment away from the hustle. Oh and there’ll be tea and cake, too.
Ruth is an artist and textiles maker living and working in Borth, on the West Wales coast. Heavily inspired by the nature around her, Ruth creates intricate needle felt birds and animals that have real personality about them. Ruth will be popping-up over the weekend at The Studio for a chance to make your own needle felt creatures.
Lee is an illustrator, designer and teacher. He is an avid sketchbook keeper currently 4 years into his life’s work, The Shed Project. Lee is illustrating and cataloguing every item in his late grandfather’s toolshed. He has currently drawn over 7,300 items and estimates the total to be near 100,000. Lee will be discussing his project over tea in the Studio as well as offering sketchbook keeping classes where he will tutor attendees in mark-making and recording methods. No prior experience is needed and all materials will be provided. There will be classroom-based sessions before the group will be encouraged to disappear for the duration of the weekend and record their experiences in their sketchbooks that they can then take home (and hopefully continue working in).
THE BOTANICAL LAB
Forage and make. Natural dyes, distillation and stuff that’s good for your gut.
Helen has started a side-project all for the love of our guts. Kefir is a fermented milk drink full of good bacteria - it may not sound that desirable to some, but it is seriously good for us and is actually delicious. Helen will be running scheduled sessions to learn about Kefir, make Kefir based smoothies and make overnight oats you can come back and enjoy the next morning.
Jeannette is an artist and maker living in Powys, Wales. Much of her work explores “ideas”, such as domesticity, femininity, or gender roles. Indigo and ink are Jeannette’s thing, and we can’t wait to learn about dying fabrics, creating patterns and the processes involved in all things indigo over in the Makers’ area.
Seilich (pronounced Shay’lich) make products from hand crafted aromatic waters which they carefully distil from botanicals grown in their very own wildflower meadow in Scotland. The Seilich team -comprising founder Sally, husband Stuart, baby Willow and Zebedee the whippet- will be heading down from Scotland to demonstrate the traditional craft of wildflower distillation. They will be bringing their copper stills which will be fired up and distilling aromatic plants gathered from around the Hawarden Estate.
Bend it. Shape it. Move it. Make it.
For all this wood. Grab a chisel, some sandpaper, a hammer and nails and get involved.
Ty Pawb -which translates to ‘everybody’s house’ in Welsh- is a multi-story car park and market turned arts and community hub in Wrexham. The Ty Pawb team will be bringing along their Designer Maker Project, a collaborative initiative between designer Tim Denton and Cyfle Cymru; a mentoring and employability project for people with experience of substance misuse and mental health conditions. The team will be demonstrating the steam bending technique and manufacture of the bespoke Hippodrome Lampshades over in the Makers Areas. Pop over and have a go!
Joining us from Manchester are Standard Practice a dynamic studio team of designers and makers that takes a DIY approach to the built environment. Ben, Jess and Joe will be pitching up at The Workshop and will be running a series of 'Elevate Yourself’ workshops, where you can make unique camping stools under one of Tim Denton's DOME structures. These stools are inspired by Enzo Mari and are relatively simple to construct, meaning it's suitable for a range of abilities and experience, plus they're stackable making them super easy to transport around site or pop to one side when not in use.
Chris Williams is a skilled chair maker who lives and works in rural West Wales. He specialises in Welsh stick chairs, a primitive chair unique to Wales that is thought to date back as far as the 13th century. Chris continues to craft and evolve these chairs into contemporary forms for the modern day, using traditional hand tools and locally sourced oak, elm and ash, or other suitable timbers when they become available. Chris will be demonstrating throughout the event and if you ask nicely, he might let you have a go too.
THE CUTTING ROOM
Stitching, cutting, weaving. Chopping, measuring, mending and making up. The Cutting Room is dedicated to all things sewing.
Friends Claire-Louise and Jules are joining forces to offer a number of sewing based tutorials and activities throughout the weekend over. Between the two they have masses of experience in all things textiles and some seriously impressive gigs, such as the Great British Sewing Bee, under their belts. There will be a range of workshops and tutorials for you to sign-up to, all based around creating something new, from something old, that you can use and keep forever.
The Good Life is all about teamwork, so we’re very excited to invite Stitch-School and their amazing Supper Cloth to our Makers’ areas this year. Stitch-School was co-founded by Aimee and Melanie in South London to provide professional and inspirational guidance to reconnect to the benefits of embroidery. Stitch-School are calling for Good Life guests to roll up their sleeves and work on our communal embroidery table, aka The Supper Cloth, with an exclusive design by Tom Frost especially for The Good Life. There’ll be tools, materials and guidance for all to do their bits and you know what they say; many hands make light work!
Llio James is a contemporary weaver working from her attic studio in Aberystwyth on the West Wales coast. Llio draws up traditional weaving techniques and an extensive knowledge of traditional weaving in Wales to create modern designs. Llio will be bringing weaving to life during The Good Life Experience and she is thinking BIG. More details to come soon.
Sarah is the founder of Jwrnal. You may remember her tent -next door to Pen Bar Lag- from TGLE 2018, which was a constant hive of activity and creative craft. Simply put, Sarah is the perfect person to curate the line-up of craftspeople at TGLE 2019. There is no one better.