News

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Best Stand Award 2017

The winner of this year's Best Stand Award at Beaumaris Festival craft fair was Nick Ashby of Welsh Slate Jewellery. Runner-up was Keith Jones of Box-Bocs.com

Judging was by a panel consisting of Vice-Chairman of Anglesey Council, Co. Dylan Rees, the Mayor of Beaumaris, Co. Frank Carr and Chairman of Beaumaris Festival, Co. Clay Theakston.
Winner of Best Stand Award 2017
Nick Ashby receives the winner's certificate


Anna Hicks Interview

The Politics And Style blogspot at http://politicsandstyle.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/celtic-treasures-theresa-mays-welsh.html?m=1 carries a brief interview with Association member Anna Hicks under the title "Celtic Treasure: Theresa May's Welsh Wardrobe" following the Prime Minister's purchase of rings by Anna while on holiday in Wales recently.

Good Things Come In Threes

As Jane Beachell pointed out on our Facebook group page, good things come in threes. First of all, Anna Hicks's jewellery was in the news after her rings were bought by no less than the Prime Minister when she popped into a craft outlet while on a walking holiday in Wales. Then Tony Vine's work features on ITV News, then Dilwyn Jones gets interviewed about our fairs for Anglesey TV (it's a local news and features site on Facebook)! All great publicity for the Association and its members.

Events 2017

We are now able to confirm most of our event dates for this year, including a new event at Venue Cymru, Llandudno in July. Details on our Fairs Calendar page. Applications will only be accepted from paid-up members for the current year, and provision of proof of insurance. Should space remain two months before the events, we may consider applications from non-members, subject to terms.

Best Stand Award 2016

Judging pnel presenting the award to Verity Pulford (centre)This year's Best Stand Award at Beaumaris Festival Craft Fair was won by Association member Verity Pulford from Coedpoeth, near Wrexham.

Verity has only been a member for a little over two years and to say that she was rather surprised to receive the award is possibly an understatement.

Verity works with fused glass to create her craft products.

Presenting the winner's framed certificate, the panel of judges said that they had made the award to Verity on the basis of saleability, uniqueness and quality of her products.

Runner-up this year was Caron King of Mayfly Mosaics in Bryngwran, Anglesey. Caron works with mosaic glass and recycled crockery.

The judging panel was comprised of Cllr. Gwen Evans-Jones (Mayor of Beaumaris), Cllr. Bob Parry OBE (Chairman of Anglesey Council) and Cllr Clay Theakston, Chairman of the Beaumaris Festival committee. We are very grateful to the judging panel for their time and deliberation.

Click on the picture to see an enlarged version. From left to right in the photograph, Cllr. Bob Parry, OBE, Cllr, Clay Theakston, Verity Pulford, Cllr Gwen Evans-Jones and the Mayor's Consort.

New Event-Oswestry

On 24-25th September 2016, we will be holding a craft fair event at “Trucking Live Shropshire”, a large truck show held at Oswestry Showground, Shropshire. Considered "the friendliest truck event in the UK", it attracts thousands of visitors to the Oswestry Showground each year. Booking forms have just gone out to members for this brand new event in our craft fairs calendar for the year.

The Annual General Meeting

The Association's AGM was held in Penmaenmawr on 22/02/16. Sheila Garlick was voted as new Chair of the Association. New committee members Sue Hayton, Deborah Roberts and Bryn Jones were welcomed, and three long serving committee members (Hilda Whitfield -Jones, Wendy Edwards and Rosalie Davies) retired from the committee after many years of service to the Association. They were thanked for their service and presented with bouquets of flowers. Lin Osborne takes over from Hilda as the new Membership Secretary. A new date was announced for the Grosvenor Garden Centre fair (see below), and a new fair will be held in Oswestry in September if negotiations are successful. Several new members of the Association were welcomed and thanked for helping to make this summer's fairs so successful that they are almost all fully booked already.

Hilda Whitfield-Jones, Wendy Edwards & Rosalie Davies
Hilda Whitfield-Jones, Wendy Edwards and Rosalie Davies

Grosvenor Garden Centre Fair

Tony Vine, organiser of the Grosvenor Garden Centre fair, has announced that this year's event will be held from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th November. Full details and Application Forms will be sent out to members immediately following the AGM on 22nd February. Note: at the AGM on 22/2/16 it was announced that the dates for this fair have now changed to 7-9 October 2016.

Fairs 2016

The Association is pleased to announce its list of fairs to be held in 2016. Booking forms have gone out to members towards the end of January together with the Annual General Meeting papers and our annual dinner booking forms. This year, we will again be able to offer stalls at our fairs to non-members who live in North Wales provided that the usual criteria are met and that space remains a couple of months before the event. Stall holders must have insurance for their stalls and portable electrical equipment such as lights must have a valid PAT test certificate where relevant. Goods sold must have been hand made wholly or substantially by the stall holder, i.e. ready made no bought-in goods may be sold at our fairs. Further details - see the Fairs Calendar page.

Llandudno Pop-Up Shop

Monday 26th October 2015 sees the Association open its popup craft shop in unit 7 of the Victoria Centre in Llandudno. This is the shop unit next to Mothercare. The Association has taken an 8 week option on this unit up to Christmas with about 18 members displaying their craft products at various times during this period. Pop in and see us - the place will be full of hand-made crafts, ideal for that unique gift! More news and pictures from time to time on our Facebook page.

Grosvenor Garden Centre Event

Newly announced for this year's list of events is a pre-Christmas fair at the Grosvenor Garden Centre near Chester. Last year's event got cancelled due to the road works nightmare etc in the area - this year's event is a little later than previous years, making the event more attractive for those looking for that unique hand-made Christmas gift. The number of outlets on site coupled with close liaison with the Centre over advertising the event should ensure a good footfall for the fair. This year we will (subject to terms and conditions) also be able to offer stalls to makers of hand-made crafts who are not currently members of the Association (although there are definite benefits in joining!). Contact Tony Vine at Stone Tones for details and booking forms.

Best Stand Award-Beaumaris Festival Craft Fair

The winner of the Best Stand Award at the 2015 Beaumaris Festival Craft Fair was Bethan Jarvis of Fingerprint Jewellery Studio in Rhostryfan, Caernarfon. Bethan is just finishing a college course in Applied Art & Design, so this award is timely for her. She was not in the marquee when the winner was announced and was very surprised when she was applauded as she returned a few minutes later!
Best Stand Award winner presentation
Best Stand Award winner Bethan Jarvis receives the winner's certificate from Beaumaris Mayoress Sarah Zalot, accompanied by Deputy Mayor Gwen Evans-Jones and Councillor Jim Evans, Chair of Anglesey County Council

Runner up this year was Tom Vousden from Llanddona, Anglesey, who has only been a member of the Gwynedd & Clwyd Association of Craft Workers for a little over 12 months. Working from Llangefni, Tom designs and manufactures furniture using the highest quality materials, designed not only with beauty in mind but also functionality and comfort. All pieces are hand-made to order, keeping a keen eye on attention to detail.
Runner-up, Tom Vousden
Runner-up Tom Vousden with some of his products

New Event - Eglwysbach

The Association is pleased to announce an additional event for our Fairs Calendar for 2015. At the invitation of Eglwysbach Show, we will be hosting the craft marquee at this year's Eglwysbach Show. A one-day event in the Conwy valley, close to the famous Bodnant Gardens, with a great footfall of several thousand, over 70 trade stands, show ring, cattle, sheep, light and heavy horses, horticulture, classic tractors, fairground etc, the Eglwysbach Show describes itself on its website as "the finest village agricultural and horticultural show in North Wales". Now you can see the finest hand-made crafts from across North Wales too. We are sure this will be a very popular event. Booking forms are being sent to our members as of the 19th May.

Further details about the Eglwysbach Show itself plus pictures at http://www.eglwysbachshow.co.uk/

Betws-y-Coed Fair Cancelled

We regret to have to announce the cancellation of this fair planned for September. Having booked the site some time ago, we received a message from the local Council in April saying that "I regret to inform you that the Council at its meeting held on Wednesday evening the 8th April, resolved not to allow the sale of goods on Cae Llan with the exception of local businesess." Emails/letters have been sent to members who had booked a stall at the fair and refunds will of course be issued.

Carol Allen On TV!

Picture of Carol AllenWell done to one of our members, Carol Allen of Llanvalley Natural Products near Llangollen on appearing on the BBC1 program Escape To The Country, talking about keeping goats. Carol makes goatsmilk soaps with fresh milk from the goats she keeps above the Vale of Llangollen in North Wales. You can see more about her products at http://www.llanvalley.co.uk

2015 Committee Changes

Following this year's Annual General Meeting, several changes to the committee have occurred. John Langley becomes the new Chairman, while the former Chair Joan Bakewell becomes vice-Chair. Karen Collett takes over from Sarah Anderson as Treasurer and Tony Vine returns as Newsletter Editor. Some new committee members were voted in: Lynn Turnbull, Carol Allen and Sheila Garlick.

Those present held a minute's silence to mark the death of our Fairs Organiser, Ann Evans, who passed away in January this year.

2015 Craft Fairs

The Association is pleased to announce its list of fairs for 2015. At the moment, we have five fairs and may add more later. Dates are on the Fairs Calendar page. Booking forms are being prepared and will go out to members with the AGM paperwork later in January.

As the Snowdonia Arts Festival is not likely to take place this year, we will be holding an independent fair of our own in Betws-y-Coed in early September.

Discussions are ongoing regarding a further two fairs - details will be announced later if they come to anything.


Non-Member Stalls At Association Fairs


This year we will be able to consider applications for stand space from non-members, provided space remains two months before the date of a fair (member bookings only before then).

Some rather strict insurance restrictions mean we have to ask for rather more information than we did in the past in order to maintain a paper trail to satisfy insurance requirements - in particular, the fair organiser may need to see a sample of a non-member's work, the crafts sold must have been hand-made wholly or substantially by the stallholder (no "bought-in for resale" goods may be sold - we take pride in the "hand-made" aspect of our fairs), the stallholder must have insurance for their stand (photocopy of insurance certificate will be required with application) and any electrical equipment on the stand such as lights must have the appropriate PAT-test pass documentation, as checks may be undertaken.

In other words, the non-member has to be granted a temporary membership in the same way as a new member would for the duration of the fair to satisfy insurance requirements. All this causes the fair organiser and the non-member some more work, but it is the only way for us to offer stand space someone who is not a member of the Association.

Members get a reduction on stand cost and priority on bookings compared to non-members, so that in itself is a good reason to apply to join the Association!

Grosvenor Garden Centre Fair Cancelled

Due to major road works in the area at the time, we regret that we have had to cancel this fair.

Snowdonia Arts Festival Craft Fair 2014

Picture inside the Snowdonia Arts Festival craft fair

Picture of marquee Perfect weather meant ideal conditions for the Snowdonia Arts Festival and our craft fair in Betws-y-Coed on 13th-15th June 2014.  Two dozen stallholders came together in a large marquee on Cae Llan for a feast of hand-made crafts and art on show.

See pictures from the event in our Gallery (click on the blue Gallery button in the frame on the left).

Best Stand Award presentationBest Stand Award - Beaumaris 2014

Cr. Ian Davies (Mayor of Beaumaris) and Jim (Cr. Evans, vice Chairman of Anglesey Council) present the Best Stand Award to Dave Wright of Mockbeggar Wharf at the Beaumaris Festival Craft Fair on Saturday 24th.

Dave produces mirrors, sconces, lamps and other artefacts made from driftwood.

Cr. Davies said it had been an extremely difficult task to select a winner due to the extremely high quality of the stands and products on display at the fair!


(Click on the picture to see the larger version).


Association on Facebook and Twitter

Thanks to member Anne Arkle, of the company Jaspersparkle, the Association now has a presence on Facebook. Just search for 'Gwynedd Clwyd Craftworkers' or the group 'Gwynedd & Clwyd Association of Craftworkers'. And remember to Like or Share this website too!

We also have a Twitter presence - https://twitter.com/GCACraftworkers - please follow us!


Association Gallery

We now have a picture gallery on the website which I hope to use for pictures taken at craft fairs, for example, and possibly craft photo albums where members can show a small selection of photos of their work. Just click on the Gallery button in the blue box on the left of the main page. Apologies that it's in English only at the moment as there is no Welsh version of the script available.

Fairs Calendar 2014

Porth Eirias, Colwyn BayOur list of fairs for 2014 is now complete and booking forms will go out to members in the new future.

This year, we will have a new fair at the Porth Eirias centre on the promenade in Colwyn Bay, organised by Association member Bill Jones. This will be a two day indoor event in July, hopefully ideally timed for the tourist season on this popular promenade. The Porth Eirias venue has plenty of car parking space plus parking on the promenade nearby.

June also sees the return of the popular craft fair at the Snowdonia Arts Festival in Betws-y-Coed.

Regrettably, like last year, due to insurance restrictions, stands at our fairs can only be booked by Association members

Association Member On TV

Ray Brook (left) during his TV interviewCongratulations to our member Ray Brook from Rhosneigr, Anglesey, on his TV appearance on ITV1 Wales recently, where he discussed his business supplying flutes and didgeridoos from Anglesey.

He revealed that he had sold didgeridoos to an Australian band a while back, although he didn't know if they actually ended up in Australia or not (that would have been a real case of "selling coals to Newcastle"!)

His efforts at teaching his interviewer to play the instruments were apparently not quite as successful, however! See Ray and hear his instruments at some of our craft fairs!

Best Stand Award 2013

An annual feature at the Beaumaris Festival Craft Fair is the judging of the Best Stand Award. Winner this year was Sue Hayton of Rhos on Sea, Conwy, whose Just Sue stand had a large selection of recycled vintage clothing, brooches and accessories. The competition was judged by the Mayor and Mayoress of Beaumaris, cllr. Dan Jones and Olwen Rees Jones, with Warren Greveson of the Beaumaris Festival.

This year's Beaumaris Festival Craft Fair (organised by Ann Evans of the Gwynedd and Clwyd Association of Craft Workers) is one of the biggest ever, with a massive 33m (110 ft) marquee on the green, holding no less than 35 stalls with a wide variety of stands showcasing the best of all sorts of hand-made art and craft products from all over North Wales, from Celtic Jewellery to Wood Turning, from Baby Knitwear to Art, and Goats Milk Soaps to Pottery! The craft workers themselves are there to meet you and discuss their work and everything is hand made and pretty unique. Watch as William Jones demonstrates repairing caned chairs, for example.

The fair runs until 5pm on Monday 27th May and admission is free.

Picture of the Mayor of Beaumaris presenting the Best Stand Award to Sue Hayton
The Mayor of Beaumaris presents the Best Stand Award to Sue Hayton

Picture of the winning stand
The winning stand


Conwy 2013

Second year at our Conwy venue, and another pretty successful event under our belt. This year we had a larger marquee offering more members the opportunity to take stands there, even if the extension to the marquee was a bit disappointing in terms of usable space. That said, most people seemed reasonably happy with the event. Here are some pictures from the event - as you'll see, the best-dressed of people attend our craft fairs!
Lady in vintage costume #1 Inside the marquee during the craft fair Lady in vintage costume #2

Anglesey Arts Weeks

A number of our members are taking part in the Anglesey Arts Forum's Open Studios and Galleries 2013 event, where those taking part open the doors of their studios to visitors. The event starts on Saturday 23rd March and runs to 7th April 2013. Further details (including a downloadable 48 page brochure) from the Anglesey Arts Forum website at http://www.angleseyartsforum.org . Members taking part include Jayne Huskisson, Andrew Southall and Irene Taylor Moores.

Beaumaris and Conwy craft fairs fully booked

Stand spaces at our two most popular craft fair venues, at Beaumaris Festival and Conwy sold out within a few weeks, proving the popularity of these events. Some spaces remain available to members at Erddig, Grosvenor and Anglesey Show fairs. Sadly, there is no Snodwonia Arts Festival in Betws-y-Coed this year, but that event will return in 2014.

2013 Fairs Calendar

A provisional list of our craft fairs in 2013 is now available on the Fairs Calendar page. The list is subject to change of details until we receive the final details from some of the venues concerned. Due to insurance restrictions, only Association members can book stands at the fairs this year.

At last year's Easter fair at the Bulkeley Hotel in Beaumaris space was a bit restricted and we had more requests for stands than we could accommodate. So this year we are trialling two events over the same weekend, one at the Bulkeley Hotel in Anglesey and a second event at Erddig, near Wrexham, the opposite side of North Wales. This should help ensure we can meet the demand for stand space and members can book whichever venue is nearest or best for them.

We are getting a large number of requests from members for booking forms. Please be patient - forms will be sent out to all members at the same time, as soon as we are able to get them printed once all details have finally come in. Ann and Tony are doing their best!

A'dele

Ann behind the counter in her new shopOur Fairs Coordinator, Ann Evans, has gone shopping. Literally. She has set up her own crafts shop in Llangefni, Anglesey, under the name "A'dele"

Visitors to our craft fairs will know Ann from her large stand of children's knitwear she has at these events.

The shop is situated in the courtyard of Canolfan Cefni, a small arcade just off Llangefni High Street, just behind the Oriel Daniel gallery and tea room.

The shop will initially sell a selection of hand-made crafts from North Wales, including knitwear, painted glass, jewellery, local watercolour art and prints, cards, wooden toys and decorative wooden keepsakes. If the shop proves to be a success she hopes to widen the range of crafts stocked.

Having opened on 3rd November, she will be open for business initially from Thursday to Saturday and occasionally on Mondays.

Why not drop in to see her at the shop? There's plenty of Christmas gift ideas there! She says that "reaction from visitors so far has been very positive, with many visitors saying how nice it was to have a new shop of this nature in Llangefni, bringing something new and different to the town centre."

Regarding the "A'dele" name, she claims it comes mostly from the Welsh "Ah, del!" ("how nice"). So now you know.

Association members and craft fair visitors will be relieved to hear she has no intention of giving up her Fairs Coordinator work as far as I know!

Beaumaris Festival Craft Fair 1-4 June 2012


Inside the craft fairInside the craft fair
The marquee on The GreenThe Beaumaris Eye
Despite some horrible weather on the Sunday, the latest Beaumaris Festival craft fair was a great success, with huge numbers of visitors, especially on the Monday. With the backdrop of the Beaumaris Eye wheel and a busy weekend in Beaumaris, 32 stalls were set up in a 4000 square foot marquee on The Green in Beaumaris.

Best Stand Award 2012Carol Allen and son Joe, winners of the Best Stand Award 2012Saturday morning saw the Best Stand Award judged by the Chairman of Anglesey Council (Councillor and Mrs Robert Llewelyn Jones), Mayor of Beaumaris (Councillor and Mrs Jason Zalot), and Beaumaris Festival Administrator Warren Greveson).

After a long deliberation, the award was presented to Carol Allen of Llanvalley Soap from Cefn Mawr. Carol's company makes natural goat's milk soap and she was absolutely delighted with winning after only being a member of the Association for about a year. The picture on the right shows Carol and son Joe proudly holding the Best Stand Award framed certificate.

Runners up receiving honorary mentions were Sue Hayton of Rhos-on-Sea, who makes vintage clothing from recycled materials, and David Thomas, whose company Querx makes Welsh stick chairs and slate topped tables.

Holyhead Craft Fair 16th May 2012

Picture taken at the craft fair in a quieter momentWendy's big Welsh flagWe learned too late that the cruise ship had failed to dock at Guernsey the day before due to the weather there, so it arrived earlier than planned in Holyhead. With the fair timed to open from 10am, we found the first visitors entering the craft fair before some of the stallholders had even arrived!

With a room decorated with Welsh dragon bunting and even flags (it was eventually decided that Wendy Boden's Welsh flag was bigger than Ann Evans's!) we had a busy morning and the number of visitors tailed off towards late afternoon. Mixed fortunes for the stall holders, some did very well, others not as well as expected, but there seemed to be nothing but praise all round from the mostly American visitors. The months or so of planning and hard work had paid off and hopefully our craft fair has done its bit for Holyhead and Welsh crafts in general. Now to see if further such events can take place in the future.

Holyhead "Cruise Ship" Craft Fairs

Picture of the Caribbean PrincessFull steam ahead for this next craft fair at Venue Walkway in Holyhead on Wednesday 16th May. With the arrival of the Caribbean Princess cruise liner bringing a few thousand passengers to Holyhead and the surrounding areas, many other activities are planned on the day in Holyhead too, making it a perfect day out for the family. The craft fair will be held in the function room of the popular Venue Walkway in Market Street, Holyhead (at the junction of Market Street and the Celtic Gateway footbridge). Venue Walkway has a cafe and bar too. We will have 18 craft stalls, with hand-made crafts from our members from all over North Wales.

We look forward to this unique opportunity to present hand-made crafts from all over North Wales to the world!

Crafts On The Quay - Conwy Craft Fair

Panoramic picture of inside of marquee
Picture of inside of marquee, courtesy of Digby at Wicanspirit
Picture of the Crafts On The Quay marquee at Conwy
Wow, what a start to our first event at this location! To say we were surprised at visitor numbers to this event is probably an understatement. Saturday and Sunday saw hundreds come in each hour most of the day, although Monday's weather dampened things somewhat. Such was the success of this event, though, that we are already talking of repeating it next year if we can!

It was so nice too to hear the kind comments from so many visitors during the three days. "So nice to be able to meet the craft makers and talk to them." "So nice to see the hand crafted items not available in shops." "So nice to see all the quality products made here in North Wales." And "so nice to be able to visit the marquee for free!" Just some of the comments heard during the weekend, which made all the hard work beforehand so worthwhile, and proving that our rather unique policy of promoting quality locally made crafts from Association members from across North Wales combined with free admission to our events is paying off in these times of economic uncertainty.

In particular, the Association would like to thank local member, the artist Charles Bell from Rowen, near Conwy. It was Charles's original idea to have a craft fair here on this purpose-made events site on the quayside, and the hard work put in by Fairs Coordinator Ann Evans, plus committee members Dave Garlick and Tony Vine to bring it all together is greatly appreciated. A special thanks to Tony Vine for the hard work he put in at short notice to secure publicity for the event.

Events Page

Following a suggestion by one of our members, we are trialling a new page which lists non-Association fairs taking place in North Wales which we have been told about. There is a link to a contact form on the page (which is accessed via a link at the bottom of our Fairs Calendar page) to allow you to let us now about your local craft event. We hope that this page will help to promote craft events in general in North Wales, as well as offering another way for our members to get to know about your event.

Fairs Full Up! (early April)

picture of Ann Evanspicture of Tony VineThe good news for us as an Association is that most of the fairs earlier in the year are already fully booked! Somewhat unexpected perhaps, given the economic situation. Our fairs at Beaumaris Bulkeley Hotel, Conway quay, Holyhead cruise ships fair and Beaumaris Festival are fully booked, and the other fairs at Anglesey Show and Grosvenor Garden Centre are filling up fast! The fair in Betws-y-Coed (Snowdonia Arts Festival) is currently full, but we are waiting to hear if we are able to have a slightly larger marquee which would allow us to offer a small number of extra stands once we know if this is possible or not. A small number of stands are available at the time of writing (early April) at  Anglesey Show craft fair in August (contact Ann Evans to book) and at Grosvenor Garden Centre (near Chester) in August and October - contact Tony Vine to book . Contact details on the Fairs Calendar page.


Plassey Fairs

The two fairs at The Plassey (in Eyton, near Wrexham) in July and December have now been transferred to The Plassey centre themselves, who will be rebranding and expanding the fairs to become the "Plassey Country Foods And Craft Fair". The 2012 marquees will be held in a marquee on site, allowing The Plassey to offer more stands and at ground level, along with food stands, rather than the smaller fair we were able to put on in the first floor function room there last year. Existing bookings by our members (apart from any jewellery stands, to prevent conflict with a jeweller's shop on-site) will be honoured by The Plassey centre. following the transfer in April 2012. Enquiries for any new stand bookings should now be made directly with the Plassey themselves - contact Sarah Brookshaw, email "sarahbrookshaw AT btconnect DOT com (replace AT with '@' and DOT by '. '  -  anti-spam measure) or tel 01978 780277


Cruise Ships Craft Fair, Holyhead

This one day craft fair to coincide with the visit of the Caribbean Princess cruise ship to Holyhead on Wednesday 16th May 2012 will take place at Venue Walkway, Market Street, Holyhead (at the junction of Market Street with the footbridge joining the town centre to the ferry terminals). Fair also open to the public. Booking forms will go out to Association members a few days after this was written on 28th February 2012 and it is hoped that about 18 single stalls will be available.  Ayone wishing to register an interest in taking a stall should contact our Fairs Coordinator, Ann Evans. This fair is currently open to members only. (Fair now fully booked)


Picture of new Chairman, Joan BakewellNew Chairman

At the Association's 2012 Annual General Meeting, Joan Bakewell (right) was voted the new Chairman. Joan was Treasurer of the Association for several years, and is perhaps better known as one half of jeweller JM Crafts. She is also a keen golfer. Sarah Anderson - also a jeweller (Sarah Anderson Jewellery) - becomes the new Association treasurer, and Rosalie Davies the vice-Chairman.


Fairs Calendar 2012

A list of the fairs being planned for 2012 is available on the Fairs Calendar page of this website. Not all of the event dates have been confirmed yet. We hope that the application forms will be sent out to Association members early in 2012, and available to non-members closer to the date of the event.


New Craft Fair In Conwy

Conwy craft fair site, with Conwy Castle in backgroundOn the Bank Holiday weekend of 5th-7th May 2012 we will be hosting a new 3-day craft fair event on Conwy quayside. Located in a dedicated events area with a small parking area for stallholders alongside it, less than a minute's walk from Conwy high street and easy walking distance of attractions such as Conwy Castle and the Smallest House In Britain, this new craft fair will be in a marquee with a beautiful view  out over the harbour and river, in a busy area. With it being a bank holiday weekend and Conwy always busy on Bank Holidays this event should be popular and successful.

Booking application forms should be with members by the end of January and as with all our events will be opened up for non-members who make their own crafts to apply to book two months before the event.

We are very grateful to local Association member, the marine artist Charles Bell for locating this new event venue for us. Charles has, of course, hosted his own events here using small marquees last summer, so knows the site well. Sadly we have to report that the Erddig craft fair held on this weekend in recent years has been cancelled this year, but we remain in contact with them with a view to other possible fairs there.


Plassey Fairs 2012 News

Great news regarding the Plassey craft fairs for 2012  - the fairs in July and December will now be marquee-based events. This upgrade allows us to offer the following benefits:

At the time of writing (22/01/12), final costings were being prepared ready for application forms to be sent out to Association members in the near future!


Plassey Christmas Extravaganza

Extravaganza organiser Sarah BrookshawInside the Craft Fair before it openedFather Christmas's carriage

(1) Sarah Brookshaw - (2) Inside the craft fair - (3) Santa's carriage

Our second event at this prestigious craft and retail village went ahead on Saturday and Sunday 10th and 11th December. The Extravaganza had been organised by Sarah Brookshaw of The Plassey centre and extensive publicity for the event ensured a good number of visitors to the site. After all, who could resist coming to meet Father Christmas himself arriving in a carriage drawn by two white horses. Santa had set up his grotto near to the garden centre and even came to visit the craft fair more than once during the weekend. He was also accompanied by Mrs Claus on this occasion. Sadly for us, the number of visitors to the craft fair on the Saturday did not really reflect the number of visitors to the site. On the Sunday, Ann brought an Association banner to be placed near the entrance to the craft fair which improved the number of visitors for a while, although the rain on much of the Sunday contrived to keep the number of visitors down.



Cruise Ship Visit Craft Fair

The Caribbean PrincessMembers of the Association Committee have met with Anglesey Council's Cruise Visit Coordinator with a view to organising craft fairs to coincide with the visit of some of the larger cruise liners to Holyhead. Although preparations for the first event are not yet complete, we are hoping that a craft fair will be organised in a vacant shop on Holyhead's high street to coincide with the visit of the Caribbean Princess liner on Wednesday 16th May 2012. The Caribbean Princess is a large ship, able to carry over 3,000 passengers, and it is hoped that such an event will be attractive to the craft workers of Anglesey and North Wales in general - an opportunity to showcase hand made crafts from Wales to a large number of visitors as this vessel  arrives at Holyhead on its 12 day tour of the British Isles. It will also of course be of great benefit to Holyhead locally! More details will be made available via this website in the course of time and the fair is being organised by Sarah Anderson and Ann Evans on behalf of the Association, and we have asked Jayne Huskisson to liaise with members of the former Anglesey Guild of Craft Workers, as the Council are anxious that we should offer opportunities to Anglesey Craft Workers to take part.


Article About Tony Vine

The articleThe magazine

Our Wrexham Representative, Tony Vine, appeared in print recently. The Wrexham Tribune Wrexham Christmas Shopping Guide published an article under the heading 'Romancing The Stone' about how his interest in Lapidary Wall Art came about, together with the Australian connection! Grab a copy of this magazine and read all about him and his interest in this craft.


Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold Craft Fair

Inside the Mold craft fair

This one day event was well booked by members, but only really managed a moderate turnout of visitors to the event. Organiser Rosalie Davies remarked that there was the possibility of a further event at this venue in early March 2012.


Grosvenor craft fair

Picture of Tony VineOrganiser Tony Vine (picture on the right) described this as an "excellent event" with most stallholders being well satisfied by takings and attendance (last weekend in October). Luckily, the weather was kind and the tarmac where the marquee was erected was bone dry despite some overnight rain.

This event has been booked once more for 26th-28th October 2012, and negotiations are under way for a new event at this popular venue early in August next year.


Snowdonia Arts Festival craft fair

Inside the marquee at Betws-y-Coed

(Picture courtesy of Digby at Wicanspirit)

The rain and the mud conspired against us this year, to the extent that we weren't even allowed to take vehicles onto Cae Llan, that's how wet and soft it was underfoot. Nonetheless, 36 hardy stallholders braved the weather and set up stall at this event which had proved so successful in the glorious weather of 2010. This year saw the craft fair extended to three days, although visitor numbers on the first day (Friday) were a bit disappointing. Those hardy souls who had ventured into Betws-y-Coed for the Snowdonia Arts Festival found a welcome respite from the weather in our huge 110 foot marquee, complete with heater! Visitor numbers were up over the weekend, although the numbers were never going to match last year's due to the weather. Fortunately, fair organiser Ann Evans had the foresight to bring a couple of bales of straw along which were scattered around the walkways to make it a bit less slippery for visitors, not to mention giving a rather nice rustic impression to proceedings! And stallholders Dave Wright and Charles Bell went as far as to gather fallen leaves to spread in front of their stand, which added a splash of autumnal colour.

When Sunday night came, we were faced with the dilemma of how three dozen stallholders were going to be able to get their stalls and goods back to their vehicles a little distance from the marquee, given that the field was so wet and muddy that there was little point in even dreaming of trying to bring a car onto the field to load up. Into the breach stepped Digby of Wicanspirit and his trailer, who carried several stallholders' loads from the marquee back to the little car park with the precision of a military planned operation! I don't know where we would have been without Digby and his trailer, so a big huge thank you to Digby for his hard work, along with those who stayed behind to help until the last person (Digby!) had vacated the marquee.

The Snowdonia Arts Festival itself provided a wide variety of entertainment over the weekend and we were treated from time to time to musical backgrounds outside and several morris dancers in their attire and bells walking through the marquee to add a spot of colour and sound to proceedings.

It was heartening to see a number of new members taking stalls at this fair and despite the conditions we very much hope they will  continue to display their hand-made crafts at future events. Several asked me to add links to their own websites to the Member Links page here so you can get an idea of who they are and what they do.

We can now look forward to our next events this year - the fairs at Grosvenor Garden Centre near Chester end of October (organised by Tony Vine), Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold in late November (organised by Rosalie Davies), and at The Plassey Centre at Eyton near Wrexham in December (organised by Ann Evans).

Picture inside the marquee   Picture of the marquee   Picture of inside the marquee


Picture of a carrier bag

Carrier Bag Levy

At the time of writing, the dreaded carrier bag levy is almost upon us in Wales. Thinking positively, it should reduce waste and litter and encourage people to use re-usable bags - after all the simple way to avoid the 5p charge per bag is to bring your own re-usable bag with you to our fairs!

If you are a craft worker and want to find out more about the charge, Committee member Tony Vine has drawn up a short document for members to assist with getting used to the new system, and members can request a copy direct from him - he hopes to publish a summary in our next newsletter. There is an official government site with plenty of information about the carrier bag levy, and it includes information for both traders and customers - visit the site at http://www.carrierbagchargewales.gov.uk - the site is available in both Welsh and English.


picture of Jayne HuskissonPicture of Jayne Huskisson's stand

Jayne Huskisson Exhibition

Association member Jayne Huskisson's next solo textile art exhibition will be held at Ger Y Fenai Gallery, Llanfairpwll, Anglesey LL61 5YQ this September.

The opening night is on Friday 2nd September 2011 from 7-9pm.

The exhibition runs until Sunday 18th September.

Further information on Jayne's Anglesey Textile Art website, and on the Oriel Ger Y Fenai Gallery website.


Anglesey Show Craft Fair 2011

Front Entrance To Our Marquee At Anglesey Show 2011Inside The MarqueeSheila Garlick of Little Gems KnitwearAnother year for this long established event at the premier agricultural show event in the area. The two days were poles apart in terms of weather and (as a result) attendance. The first day brought us fine weather, traffic jams and a packed marquee as you'll see in the picture. Sadly, the weather deteriorated during the second day, becoming wet and windy, although a large marquee like ours gave shelter to visitors on the field ensuring we could at least try to make the best of a bad weather day!

Not having that much to do during the first afternoon, this webmaster decided upon seeing the crowds to count the number of visitors coming in for five minute periods randomly during the day. From lunchtime onward, we averaged about 100 visitors per five minutes, making that about 1200 visitors per hour of all ages through the doors between about midday and mid afternoon. Little wonder that the stall holders seemed to have smiles on their faces on the Tuesday!

Someone with a particularly broad grin by Wednesday was Association member Sheila Garlick, of Little Gems Knitwear (see picture on the right). Not being content with having won knitting prizes at the show for the previous two years, she went a step further this year when, together with her daughter, they won a knitwear and crochet award in the craft and produce marquee. Well done Sheila - further testimony to the high standard of work of our members.

Although we weren't to know it at the time, we had some pretty influential anonymous (to us) visitors walking around the marquee, who later got in touch and paid tribute to the high standards of the products, the fact they are hand-made locally here in North Wales and the standard of presentation of the stalls. While nothing is confirmed as yet, these high standards could well lead to new prominent craft fairs for us next year. Keep an eye on this News page later in the year for more news on this subject, hopefully.

Our USP of "High Quality Hand-Made Crafts, Made in Wales" etc. is increasingly getting us noticed and leading to more and more membership enquiries and requests for stalls at our fairs.


The First Plassey Craft Fair

Aerial picture of The Plassey Craft and Retail CentreThe Plassey Shippon RestaurantOur first craft fair at Plassey Craft and Retail Centre in Eyton, by Wrexham, was held in the Plassey Shippon Restaurant's function rooms. This was held over the weekend of the 23-24th of July 2011. Attendance was better on the Saturday, probably because the sunny weather on the Sunday sent everyone to the beach rather than to the craft fair!

The fairly small venue meant that just under a dozen stalls (some of them quite large!) filled the two function rooms above the Shippon Restaurant. The organiser Ann Evans suggested limiting the maximum size of stands next year if the fair is held again then, so that we can get more stalls in there.

The next fair to be held here on December 10/11th 2011 (as part of The Plassey's Christmas Extravaganza in the Edwardian buildings) is already fully booked.

Below are some pictures taken at the July craft fair, with the organiser Ann Evans in the centre.

Pictures of stalls at The Plassey craft fair


Association Member Wins Best Stand Award

Best Stand Award
 
Charles Bell receives the Best Stand Award framed certificate from the Chairman of Anglesey Council (left), the Mayor of Beaumaris (right) and the Lady Mayoress.
The artist at work
 
The artist at work on his latest marine watercolour on his stand at the fair.
Charles Bell with his framed certificate
 
Charles Bell admires his Best Stand Award certificate.

Charles Bell, a traditional marine and landscape watercolour artist from Rowen near Conwy, scooped the Best Stand Award at the Beaumaris Festival Craft Fair on 28th May 2011.

Having only been a member for less than two years, he was more than a little stunned when the winner was announced and was almost lost for words, but promptly announced he would "celebrate with a nice cup of hot Ribena"!

The Best Stand Award was judged by the Mayor of Beaumaris, Clay Theakston, and the Lady Mayoress, along with the Chairman of Anglesey Council, Councillor Gwilym O. Jones.

Judging went on for much longer than expected - the judges later explained they had some difficulty deciding on a winner due to the very high standard of products and stands at the event. Councillor Jones also mentioned how impressed he had been with the Association's website, especially the fact that it was fully bilingual.

Charles's works mainly depict the beautiful coastal scenes of North Wales. He also undertakes commissions. You can find out more on his website at http://charlesbellart.com