Over the weekend, a series of craft and artmaking courses will start in the Conwy area to raise funds towards this year’s Conwy County National Eisteddfod.
The aim is to offer a taste of a wide range of visual arts elements to people of all ages across the region.
The idea is the brainchild of the local Visual Arts Committee, and committee Chair, Carol Owen, says, “We were determined to raise funds in a different way this year, and as the Visual Arts Committee, we wanted art and opportunities to learn new skills and creativity to play a central part in all our work.
“We’ve already raised a few thousands of pounds by working with auction house, Rogers Jones on an Eisteddfod Art Auction, and today, we’re announcing details of our latest project, in the hope we’ll see a similar level of support over the coming weeks.
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a rise in the interest in one day courses looking at different elements of arts and crafts, and our courses will be held regularly throughout May and will concentrate on a number of techniques and genres.
“We’ve also ensured the courses are held across the county, to strengthen the fact that the Eisteddfod belongs to everyone in Conwy County, so people from across the area can get involved and join in.
Eisteddfod Visual Arts Officer, Robyn Tomos, added, “We are very grateful to the committee for working so hard to raise the profile of the visual arts in such a creative way. What better than creating opportunities for people to learn new skills and to enjoy a vast array of visual arts elements, by fundraising for the Eisteddfod?
We are also grateful to the locations for their readiness to be part of the project and to Conwy County Borough Council for their help and support. And finally, we are grateful to all the artists for agreeing to be part of the project. The programme includes some of Wales’ leading artists and everyone has been so ready to help and offer their support.
“The committee and the Eisteddfod are very proud of this programme and we very much hope that every session will be full - and who knows – we may ignite a spark of interest in people who’ll go forward and become artists who will exhibit in Y Lle Celf in the future!”
Registration details on the Eventbrite website. Details of all sessions below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Conwy County National Eisteddfod is held from 3-10 August. For more information go to www.eisteddfod.wales.
The courses start on Saturday 4 May with an afternoon session to create a decorative paper jug or bowl with the artist, Siân Hutchinson. Siân uses collage, photography, quick drawing, printing and mark making techniques to create box-art, masks, decorative vessels and forms. The course is held at Oriel Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, and places can be booked here.
On 10 May, Ann Lewis will lead a day-long course on lino printing, unique wrapping paper and gift tags, at the Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy. Ann’s work is inspired largely by the Welsh landscape, especially the challenge of capturing moving water or light shifting across the landscape, and you can book your place here.
Join Mandy Coates for a course on basket and willow work at the HAUS Studio in Llandudno on Saturday 18 May. This is a chance to create a traditional Catalonian platter using willow weaving techniques. Mandy Coates grows her own willow giving her a palette of many coloured barks and laths of different woods which give her baskets their distinctive style. Register here.
Rhian Haf won the National Eisteddfod’s Gold Medal for Art and Design in 2015, and was given a solo show as part of Venice Glass Week in 2018. She recently received the prestigious Creative Wales Award. On 18 May, she will lead an afternoon session at Oriel Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, on fusing glass and using different types of colour glass. You can register for this course here.
On Sunday 19 May, visit Paul Pigram’s studio in Tal-y-Cafn, Conwy Valley for a day-long course on how to paint your own landscape using pastel painting techniques. Paul Pigram is a professional artist and tutor, who specialises in pastel painting and is the author of the tutorial book, Beginning Pastel. Register for this course here.
The final course in May is an evening course with jewellery maker, Angela Evans on Tuesday 21 May, in the Glasdir Centre, Llanrwst. Angela is responsible for this year’s Eisteddfod Crown, and on this course, participants will create a pair of beautiful Sterling silver earrings. They will learn how to create interesting shapes with special plates and then add textures to the use with cold hammering techniques and stamps before finishing by polishing the work. Register for the course here.