CRAFT AT TGLE 2019: THE FIRST ANNOUNCEMENTS

Connection to craft, through its materials, techniques and experts, will help you live a happier and more fulfilled life. It's a cornerstone to a Good Life. This year our commitment to craft is stronger than ever. We've commissioned Sarah Hellen, founder of the excellent Jwrnal, to curate a craft line-up brimming with the best talent Wales -and the rest of Britain- has to offer.

Here are the first confirmed makers attending TGLE 2019.

NEW. LONDON TERRARIUMS.

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London Terrariums was born in 2014 out of a passion for gardening and the frustration of not having a garden in London.

“We started London Terrariums out of our love of Terrariums and the joy we felt when teaching other people how to make these miniature gardens. Ironically it has all been a very organic growth process.” Emma Sibley, founder of London Terrariums.

Around the same time London Terrariums was founded, the so called ‘renaissance of Houseplants’ was just about to take off providing a perfect platform for the brand. However the history of creating these miniature ecosystems go all the way back to the 1890s.

London Terrariums have number of  impressive projects under their belts from just their first few years in business working with brands such as V&A, Heal’s, Adidas, & Other Stories as well as holding a number workshops across different venues in London.

There are now four members of the LT team, Emma, the founder, along with three other self taught gardeners trained mainly in design but with a strong passion for plants and horticulture.

Usually based in their shop and studio in New Cross Gate, South East London, the team will be relocating to Hawarden for the weekend bringing with them terrariums and smaller flasks and vessels for a range of workshops and demonstrations.

Oh, and Walnut Wiggins. Emma’s Miniature Schnauzer will be coming along to help, too.

Website: londonterrariums.com
Instagram: @londonterrariums

RETURNING. TOM FROST, PRINTMAKER + ILLUSTRATOR.

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You can’t go far without spotting a Tom Frost print these days. Tom has a seriously impressive roster of clients under his belt such as the V&A, Penguin Books, Perry’s Cider, Selvedge Magazine, Nomnom chocolate, Barti Ddu Rum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and many more.

Tom’s style highlights a fascination for old matchboxes, stamps, folk art, tin toys, children's books and the natural world. His colourful and characterful designs adorn matchboxes, bottles of booze, signs and standalone prints - all of which are guaranteed to brighten your home.

2018 festival goers will no doubt have stopped off to print an exclusive festival poster or picked up one of his many wonderful designs to take home. This year Tom will be back with more designs and more print workshops for all ages to get stuck in. Head over to Makers Row to find him.

Website: theboyfrost.bigcartel.com
Instagram: @theboyfrost

NEW. CALLIE JONES, LINOCUT PRINTMAKER + ILLUSTRATOR.

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Callie is a Cornish illustrator, printmaker & digital artist working from her studio on a farm in North Wales. Callie has years of experience working with print for both commercial and art projects. Her bold style takes inspiration from nature, places, stories and the eclecticism of her travels.

Lino printing is a form of fine art printmaking where the printing plate, or pattern, is cut into lino. Yes, lino as in the floor covering. The lino is then inked, a piece of paper placed over it, and then run through a printing press or pressure applied by hand to transfer the ink to the paper. Callie will be teaching you how to carve your own design into the material resulting in a print to take home.

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.

Instagram: @calliejonesillustrator

NEW: MANDY COATES + ROSIE FAREY. FINE RUSH & WILLOW WEAVING. 

Mother and daughter duo Mandy & Rosie are both expert weavers in willow and fine rush, respectively. Local to the Hawarden Estate, Mandy and Rosie live just under 30 miles away up on the North Wales coast.

Both Mandy & Rosie are highly respected within the weaving communities and are true experts in their field. The pair grow, cultivate and then make using their own crops of willow and rush.

Mandy & Rosie will be running a series of workshops and demonstrations over on Makers Row throughout the festival displaying the versatility of natural materials to create something beautiful and practical to take home.

Website: mandycoates.co.uk
Instagram: @rosiefarey

NEW. KATHRYN CRONIN. FIERCE BLOOMS FLORISTRY.

Kathryn is an artisan florist and flower grower with a design studio and cutting garden nestled beside a historic canal in rural Cheshire. British flowers are at the heart of Kathryn’s floral business for both environmental and aesthetic reasons.

Kathryn’s floristry technique follows what she calls ‘wild garden style floral design’, the heart of which are the ‘5 f’ elements -fierce, foraged, fresh, fragrant, follow the seasons- that so aptly characterise the absolute essence of her exciting design philosophy. It’s more than just arranging.

Kathryn 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.

Website: fierceblooms.com
Instagram: @fierceblooms

NEW. FFOWNDRI.

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Just thirty minutes from Hawarden, housed in a very unassuming industrial estate in Dyserth, there is a place dedicated to exploring and he heritage arts and crafts called Ffowndri.

Ffowndri is a not for profit open access art studio focussed on reviving heritage crafts such as letterpress, linocut printing, book binding, paper marbling calligraphy and book arts. Ffowndri are a husband and wife team.

Before opening their studio doors in September 2018, Andrew and Lisa spent two years travelling the country collecting, rescuing and finding equipment. At first the vision was to have a home studio but their plans grew as they became more integrated into the community and passionate about the revival and preservation of the craft.

Ffowndri are dedicated to the education and preservation of printing, letterpress, bookbinding, paper marbling and other associated heritage arts and crafts. ffowndri aims to promote and educate others in the history of these arts and crafts and to inspire others to experience and experiment with them by providing flexible and varied opportunities to visit and use the studio; and through workshops and demonstrations off site.

We are excited to welcome team Ffowndri and their table-top presses for a weekend packed full of workshops for all ages.

Website: ffowndri.co.uk
Instagram: @ffowndri

RETURNING. RURAL KIND.

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Returning to Makers Row for another year are Mike & Nia, AKA Rural Kind; designers and makers of simple, functional, and durable carry goods.

Mika and Nia create objects by hand using simple techniques and traditional materials with a desire to return to a more sustainable time when quality and craftsmanship were valued over the mass produced and poorly constructed. They produce goods that are well made, thoughtfully designed, and are built to last. Working from a small workshop in rural Wales, Rural Kind love simple clean lines, considered detailing, and -above all else- functionality. 

Mika and Nia will be running a series of traditional leather craft workshops throughout the festival over on Makers Row.

Website: ruralkind.com
Instagram: @ruralkind

RETURNING. JIM PARKYN.

Jim is a firm friend of TGLE, and it's been a pleasure to welcome him back year after year. He has over 17 years experience working as a model maker in the world of stop motion and film, television and theatre. With this background in animation, and with the help of his wife Lea, Jim has been inspired to combine the world of theatre and animation and build ' The Scene machine'. A combination of puppet theatre, animation and Phantasmagoria, this unique contraption will make for a unique interactive experience.

Make a mini effigy of yourself or let your imagination go wild and make what ever takes your fancy. Give your Masterpiece to one of the technicians who will then feed it into the machine and it will be added to the evolving scene that captures the magic of TGLE. From blank canvas to finished film you can take part and even appear in this unusual experience. We can't wait to take part!

Instagram: @jimparkyn

RETURNING. ALEX POLE, BLACKSMITH.

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Alex has a lifelong passion for metal work, and has been working now as a blacksmith for 25 years. Using both traditional and modern techniques, and local or recycled materials wherever possible, Alex makes bespoke pieces for private clients or designers, as well as developing his own range, Forge Kitchenware. He also runs regular blacksmithing courses from The Forge in Somerset. 

Alex returns to Hawarden for TGLE 2019 with big plans. Watch this space.

Website: alexpoleironwork.com
Instagram: @alexpoleironwork

Watch the TGLE film about Alex and his craft here.

RETURNING. MICHAEL MAY, KNIFEMAKER.

Michael May never wanted to be a knife maker.

After leaving music college he ended up working in cutlery factory, as was the family tradition. After working in various departments he ended up in the pen and pocket workshop where he remained for three years before leaving to study history at university.

Two degrees later he was back making knives. Under Keith Moorby,  Michael learned how to make knives to the highest standard, and it was then he realised that this was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Over the years, more and more people would ask Michael to make a knife for them as they were impressed at the high level of craftsmanship. He found a workshop at the historic Portland Works, where Harry Brearley developed stainless steel for the use of cutlery over 100 years ago. When it was time for respected knife maker and well know Sheffield character Trevor Ablett retired, Michael bought all his tools, continuing his work and following his traditional patterns that Sheffield is famous for. Each knife Michael makes is crafted to the highest standard, and can quite literally be made with his blood, sweat, and tears.

Since learning his trade, Michael feels a responsibility to continue with the skills and crafts that made Sheffield famous.

Now Michael is a knife maker and couldn't imagine doing anything else, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to The Good Life Experience.

Website: michaelmayknives.com
Instagram: @michaelmayknives

RETURNING. GAIL BRYSON, SCREEN PRINTER.

Gail Bryson is a textile, graphic and product designer. She specialises in simple and graphic prints that complement a wide range of home styles.

Trained at Edinburgh College of Art, she developed her design skills at The Conran Shop and The Nest before subsequently becoming co-founder and creative director of Bryson Loxley. Amongst her clients there are John Lewis and Jamie Oliver. She has also collaborated individually with Pedlars and Future and Found on a wide range of projects over the years.

Gail is a firm believer that good design will always last the test of time. Her products are designed to last both in design and manufacture, and are hand-printed and hand-sewn in London. Ultimately, her aim is to create things that can passed down through the generations, like the collection of linen she has inherited from her own family.

Colour also plays a big part in Gail’s work. Combinations are dreamed up from photographs taken on her travels and provide inspiration back in her studio.

Gail will join Makers' Row offering screen printing workshops at The Good Life Experience.

Website: gailbryson.co.uk
Instagram: @gailbryson

RETURNING. HELEN GITTINS, CERAMICS.

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Helen Gittins is a potter, living and working in the Clwydian hills with her wood-fired kiln. Helen and her team of three are bringing three kilns to The Good Life Experience to teach festival goers all about the raku firing technique, a spectacular and dramatic way of firing that produces amazing colours, from metallic coppers and golds to blue and white crackles. The team will have a whole lot of hand thrown pots at the ready that participants can glaze themselves, and some of the workshops will take place after dark, which is quite something to see. 

Watch the TGLE film about Helen and her craft here.

Website: helengittins.com

RETURNING. NELLIE + EVE, WEAVING.

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Coming from a long line of creative women, seamstresses, embroiderers and home makers, ‘nellie and eve’ is named after Helen Hickman grandmothers. Based on a hill in rural Carmarthenshire, south west Wales UK, Helen uses locally sourced fleeces, usually from the sheep that happily graze the fields surrounding her workshop, which she washes and prepare by hand from their raw state through to the finished item. The production of each piece uses a traditional spinning wheel to spin yarn, a loom to weave, an old Singer sewing machine or a simple crochet hook.

Join Helen's workshop at The Good Life Experience in 2019.

Website: nellieandeve.co.uk
Instagram: @nellieandeve

CURATOR. SARAH HELLEN, JWRNAL.

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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.

If you love craft, or Wales in general, we urge you to buy a copy of Jwrnal, or sign up to Sarah's newsletter. You can do both via her website.

Website: jwrnal.com
Instagram: @jwrnal_wales

MORE TO COME...

CRAFTTom Cronk