We are really pleased to welcome Eifion Griffiths, Jen Jones and Laura Thomas as selectors for the Cambrian Mountains Design and Make Challenge
- Eifion Griffiths partner in forward thinking Welsh mill Melin Tregwynt
- Jen Jones owner of the Welsh Quilt Centre
- Welsh textile artist and designer Laura Thomas
- strategic development consultant James Furse representing the Cambrian Mountains Initiative
- Sue James knitwear designer of Llynfi Textiles
- Suzi Park textiles lecturer and consultant
Eifion Griffiths is a partner in Melin Tregwynt, a small family owned woollen mill in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. The 1980s recession saw the closure of many Welsh mills. Eifion, son of then mill owner Howard Griffiths, joined the family business and began to develop markets further afield. New yarns and new designs kept the mill and its staff busy supplying customers all over the world. The mill developed a reputation for supplying high quality, beautiful designs in wool and lambswool, initially for the interiors market, but now also for fashion. Over 20 local people work at the mill which is near St Davids in the far west of Wales. Today Melin Tregwynt products bearing their signature designs, can be found in design-led shops and hotels all over the world.
Jen Jones Welsh Quilts & Blankets
Ceredigion SA40 9UJ
Jen’s obsession with quilts was triggered by those in her family’s home in Massachusetts but it was not until she arrived in Wales in 1971 that this obsession came into its own. Since that time she has bought and sold many hundreds of quilts while quietly assembling a collection she believes to be truly representative of the whole spectrum of Welsh quilting. Quilts from her collection have been exhibited widely in Wales, England, Scotland, Japan, France , Spain and the United States. Last year quilts from the collection were the antique guest exhibition at the large quilt show in Sitges, Spain, and this coming May they will be featured at The Verona Textile Festival in Italy
She has written two books and has also written for and been featured in numerous magazines. Jen lectures widely both here and in the United States and has frequently talked about Welsh quilts on television and radio.
Jen’s shop, across the courtyard from her home in Llanybydder, attracts visitors from around the world. An unspoiled, early eighteenth century cottage, it houses a tremendous selection of quilts and blankets. Her long time aim was to open a Centre of Excellence to celebrate Welsh quilting, and at long last this ambition was realised. On July 31st 2009 The Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre opened in the splendidly refurbished Lampeter Town Hall.
- First exhibition ‘ Quilts from The Heartland Of Wales’ focused primarily on the bold geometric flannels, which strongly influenced the Amish, are now world famous.
- Second exhibition ‘ Unsung Heritage the Quilts of Wales’ featured paisley and Red from 1800-1940.
- In 2011 ‘ O That Summer Would Last Forever’ ‘ O Na Fyddiau Hâf o Hyd’ was a joyous celebration of colourful patchworks and fabulous stitching.
- In 2012 ‘ A Quilted Bridge: The Amish- Welsh Connection’ comparing these two historic quilting traditions .
- In 2013 ‘Kaffe Fassett comes to Wales’ Kaffe’s gloriously colourful, dynamic patchwork quilts are displayed alongside superbly crafted, solid colour antique Welsh Quilts.
- 2014 Early to Bed Early Welsh quilts . Folk Art and make do and mend
- 2015 The Welsh Quilt Party Historic Welsh Quilts , The work of Eirian and Denys Short & Cefyn Burgess
As part of the Town Hall complex there is a Gallery, shop and café
- Welsh Quilts – A Towy Guide (pub. Towy Publishing: 1997, 2003)
- Les Quilts Gallois / Welsh Quilts (pub. Quiltmania: 2005)
Selection of Articles
Woman & Home (Mar 91); Country Living (Feb 95); Victoria (USA, Mar 95); Patchwork Quilts Tsusin (Japan, Dec 95); A View of Wales (Wales Tourist Board, 1997) Patchwork Quilts Tsusin (Japan, Jun 98); Period House (Aug 98); Colonial Homes (USA, Sep 98); Patchwork Quilts Tsusin cover article, (Japan, Oct 98); Ikea Room (Store magazine, 1999); Country Homes & Interiors Jul 99); Period Living / Traditional Homes (Sep 99); Quilt Mania prime article (France, Oct 02); Ku:nel (Japan, 2004.1.1); Homes & Antiques (BBC, Nov 05): Selvedge (Issue 10, 2006); Cambria – The National Magazine for Wales (Summer 2006); Period Living (April 2007); Embroidery (July/August 2007); Quilts Japan ( January 2009 ) Patchwork and Quilting ( April 2009)
Laura Thomas is an established woven textile artist and designer specialising in producing striking textile artworks for public spaces, corporate environments, exhibitions and private homes. These can either be commissioned directly from the studio or purchased through a number of galleries.
Painterly gradiations of hues and shades, or blocks of bold colours with selective contrasting highlights coverage with tactile qualities. Unusual yarns and surprising woven structures to invite the curiosity of the viewer.
Striving to push the expected boundaries of woven textiles, Laura welcomes collaboration with architects, interior designers and other creative practitioners on projects for the commercial or conceptual sphere.
Laura is also a highly experienced commercial home furnishings textile designer, with past clients including Larson, Melin Tregwynt, Lasa International (UK), Inch Blue, John Lewis Partnership and Osborne and Little.
James Furse is Chairman of the Cambrian Mountain Farmers and has been involved in the ongoing development of Cambrian Mountains Initiative. Formerly founder and Managing Director of Greenbee.com, the Consumer Finance division of the John Lewis Partnership, James is founder and Director of Jaconet Consulting Ltd. He is Executive Director of Prince’s Social Enterprises Ltd., a group of Social Enterprises including Retail, Grocery and Organic Food Production that benefit the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation. Advisor to North Highland Products Ltd and to Duchy Originals Ltd.
Knitwear designer and entrepreneur Sue James, in partnership with her daughter Emily James, produces ‘cottage couture’ from their small studios in rural wales: ethical and sustainable clothing, hand made from British wool and organic cotton or linen. Sustainability is at the core of Llynfi’s work, with thoughtful design, and confidence in the source of materials, being key. Their collection is available to buy year round from The Old Electric Shop in Hay on Wye, online from their website, or at events throughout the year. In Sue’s words:
Not having had the opportunity for further education, I am proud to have been largely self-taught through determination, observation and a passion for textiles and design, building on the knit and dressmaking skills acquired from my mother and grandmother. I’ve been involved with the development of Cambrian Mountains Wool for most of its life, and am also proud to be its first licensee for wool products.
My abiding interest in wool – its place in our industrial and social history, its regional differences and uses, and economic quandaries – began when I was a teenager: my mum and I would lay out fleeces in the back garden and relate diagrams and descriptions to sorting the mass of fibre filling the lawn……she’d taken up handspinning and weaving and I was about to be hooked!
Since then I have handspun it, felted, dyed, stitched with it….even woven a little, but knit – with all its creative possibilities by hand and machine – dominates, and my work continues to focus on our national fibre
Sue is a member of the Cambrian Mountains Wool Group.
Suzi Park has been involved in textiles since graduating in Knitwear Design in the mid eighties. After working in industry in the Midlands for ten years she moved to Wales and set up her own digital embroidery design business producing embroidery for the Wedding Dress market for over 15 years. Along the way she has also lectured part-time at Coleg Sir Gar, Project Managed various Welsh Government and European funded projects assisting businesses in Wales in the Fashion and Textiles sector. More recently she worked with Skillset to develop and run an Apprenticeship Pilot in Fashion and Textiles, the first in Wales. Heritage craft skills are her passion and by working with the Cambrian Mountains and the wool group, she hopes to continue to promote and encourage design, craft, rural enterprise and skills. You can find out more about Suzi at her website.
Suzi is a member of the Cambrian Mountains Wool Group.