About Make it in Wales


“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
  – Socrates

 

It is well documented that ‘crafting’ is good for you.

What is crafting about? What does it mean? In my Collins pocket dictionary (1981 version) craft-ing is not even in there as a word. So is it a modern word?

I found these definitions online:

  1. the activity or hobby of making decorative articles by hand.

  2. an art, trade or occupation requiring special skill

  3. skill; dexterity

“crafting has emerged as a fashionable form of self-expression”

I prefer to define crafting in a simpler way… to make something really good with your hands.

Upholstery workshop with Mick Sheridan

 

Make it in Wales founder Suzi Park talks about her background 

I love crafting. I think I always have, now that I think about it. My earliest memory of crafting was making cutlery and crockery out of tin foil for my Barbie and my brother’s action man. I can still remember fashioning the shapes of the forks, spoons and knives out of the foil, I even made wine glasses with stems! I must have been 6 or 7 years old.

Me, aged seven

I wasn’t very academic at school and the only things that I really excelled in were art and swimming. My swimming coach did try to turn my hobby into a career but actually at the age of 13, I was having none of it.

So the ‘art’ route it was.

Art was the only ‘A’ level I passed, followed by a years Art Foundation course at Lincoln College of Art. After that, a four-year knitwear design degree at Nottingham Trent. In the eighties, there was no shame in being good with your hands and wanting a vocational career. There were academic bits to the degree obviously and I chose to write my dissertation on West African narrow strip weaving, interestingly.

Following my degree, I spent a lot of my working life in knitwear design in the Midlands, followed by my own business in embroidery & wedding dress design, then a ten-year stint in higher education part-time lecturing. My lecturing career morphed into me becoming a full-time Project Manager working on various European funded projects. During that time I also wrote accredited qualifications and a Foundation Degree in Technical Textile Technologies.

In 2015 I took voluntary redundancy and left my Higher Education career behind me.

 

Make it in Wales is born

In March 2015, I launched a partnership business with a friend in Aberporth. We gathered together around 10 Welsh designer-makers and invited anyone interested in making things to come along and to try out some things with us. We had knitting, sewing, jewellery making, paper-folding, tapestry weaving, photography, dressmaking and natural dyeing.nn

Since 2015, MiiW became a limited company and during this time we collaborated with over 20 makers and developed over 25 courses together. We continued to run our workshops in venue we hired in the counties of Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.

 

In late April 2018, discussions between myself, Gareth and Debbie began and a plan was formulating… to have our own venue in Cardigan.

After a fair amount of to-ing and fro-ing we eventually got the keys to 3 High street Cardigan on 16th November 2018 and within 2 weeks we had spruced up, painted to within an inch of its life the beautiful building that we have now named Stiwdio 3.

We have a cafe, workshop and making space, retail shop and gallery.

 

I recently attended a leadership course run by Swansea University. Whilst it describes the benefits of the course, I think it also sums up where we are with Make it in Wales currently.

Please take time to browse our website. You can find lots of information via social media. If you would like to contact us please email hello@makeitinwales.co.uk

“A man (or woman) at work, making something which he feels will exist because he is working at it and wills it, is exercising the energies of his mind and soul, as well as of his body.” – William Morris

 

 

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