Craft Hub Festival and International Exhibition – Investigating Craft … – Business News Wales

The Craft Hub project at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD will host the Craft Hub Festival – a full programme of events, including the Craft Hub international exhibition of jury-selected contemporary craft from across Europe from September 15 to 26.
With more than 30 workshops and drop-in sessions scheduled at six venues across Swansea, the focus of the festival is on community engagement and social inclusion through craft making. The workshops will be delivered by wonderful craft practitioners from across Europe and tailored to different audiences with the aim of increasing awareness and appreciation of craft as well as encouraging participation of those new to craft.
The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to showcase a jury-selected range of Contemporary Craft from across Europe. The work has been on display at venues in Italy, Germany, Greece, Portugal, and Ireland before reaching us in Swansea, Wales. Next stop Oslo, Norway!

At each venue, the exhibition is complemented by a further jury-selected range of Craft from the host nation.
The exhibition is complemented by an extensive selection from the Craft Hub Material Library, with samples reflecting different thematic areas, including sustainability. Examples include the innovative use of recycled bottle glass to create beautiful upcycled architectural glass; as well as samples created by visiting makers in our Craft Hub Residency “Wild Colour,” exploring and experimenting with the natural dyeing process. Other themes explored through material enquiry, include heritage, experimentation, and technological innovation.
Alongside the physical Craft, the exhibition will feature a digital display (on screens and accessible through QR codes throughout the Festival venues and catalogue). This includes a wealth of Craft Hub tutorial films, with expert Craft Practitioners guiding the audience through Craft processes such as natural dyeing and screen- printing on textiles; as well as Maker Interview Films, exploring the practice, inspiration, and motivation of leading craft practitioners from across Europe.
Shelley Doolan said:
“All of this activity is just part of the wider Craft Hub Festival in Swansea 15-16 September 2023……In addition, there will be drop-in craft demonstrations and wider opportunities to get involved.”
Mark Cocks, Assistant Dean, Wales Institute of Science and Art said:
“With a long history of teaching craft skills at Swansea College of Art, we have been delighted that our staff and students have been able to work alongside the Craft Hub project over the past few years. Our art school philosophy of blending a diversity of traditional crafts with contemporary practices provides our students with the innovative employability skills demanded in their future creative careers. Therefore, hosting the forthcoming Craft Hub International Festival provides a wonderful illustration of our collaborative practices through the exciting opportunities for our community to view contemporary craft exhibitions and experience workshops with expert makers from across Europe.”
Workshop topics include: Borris lace-making, with the wonderful lace-makers from Carlow, Ireland; an introduction to Sashiko, a traditional type of Japanese embroidery and stitching dating back to the Edo period (1615 – 1868); an introduction to botanical dyeing; sculptural papier-maché with craftsman Eustachio Santochirico, of Matera, Italy; metal enamelling with the Wales-based artist maker Julia Griffiths-Jones; introductory sessions to ceramics, glass painting, pattern and print-making, stitching for quilting and darning and much more!
Julia Griffith Jones represents Wales in the Craft Hub exhibition and will be leading a workshop on enamelling on Friday 15th September at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD.
Julia’s work is concerned with the translation of textile techniques such as stitching, quilting, patchwork, embroidery, into a wire and metal form; thus changing its original nature and function but retaining the meaning and the decoration. They are very inspired and influenced by textile work created by women alongside their domestic duties as much as for need as for warmth. This interest began when Julia was a student at the Royal College of Art.
Jessamy Kelly is a designer-maker of contemporary glass and ceramics. A talented, award-winning artist she specialises in the design and production of high-quality art glass. She creates limited edition & one-off sculptures, vessels, and giftware. Brought up in the Northeast coast of England, Jessamy currently lives and works in Edinburgh
Working mainly in glass and ceramics, Jessamy often combines the two materials in her work. She works mainly in slip cast ceramics and blown or cast glass; using traditional handcrafted techniques such as engraving, diamond cutting and sandblasting to refine her work.  Simple and elegant in style, each piece is a limited edition and is a signed original. In 2009, she won The craft & design Selected Maker of the Year Gold Award. She also won the First Prize at The Meffan Winter 2010 Exhibition.
Jessamy’s knowledge of industrial glass design and manufacture has established her as a specialist in the field. Her clients include companies such as Edinburgh Crystal and Kevin McCloud’s homeware brand ‘Place.’ Jessamy draws on her specialist glass design skills and manufacturing knowledge. Jessamy offers a bespoke design consultancy and commissioning service; designing bespoke pieces, appropriate to their specific requirements or environments; most commissions are undertaken.
Diana Butucariu is an artist who works with ceramics and glass. From Bucharest and currently living in Stockholm, they work with sculptural objects where different techniques from the craft fields are brought together. A mixture of textures, materials and techniques activates the senses and accentuates the fine line between a present act and a forgotten movement. The dramatic character of the artworks draws the viewer into a dialogue about social differences and identities, cultural collapses, and traditional remains.


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