As the world eases back into normality once again, many of us will be visiting Cardiff Bay. A new exhibition is set to open this weekend at Craft in the Bay, celebrating contemporary craft by Queen Elizabeth scholarship trust artists and makers.

Curated by QEST Scholar Ambassador Laura Thomas, this exhibition of contemporary crafts by eleven QEST Scholars will offer a visual feast of eye-catching pattern, line and form – from the undulating carved wood forms of Philip Walker to Gordon Robertson’s etched and spun pewter bowls, and the ethereal core-cast glass sculptures of Joanna Manousis to Yeena Yoon’s architecturally influenced jewellery.

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) supports excellence in British craftsmanship by funding the education of talented and aspiring craftspeople through traditional college courses, vocational training or one-to-one learning with master craftspeople.

As a charity of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, QEST was established in 1990 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Association and the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. HRH The Prince of Wales is the charity’s Patron with Vice Patrons the Earl of Snowdon and the Marquess of Salisbury.

Since 1990 the Trust has awarded £5 million to over 625 craftspeople, working across more than 130 craft disciplines including thatching, millinery, luthiery, enamelling, printmaking, textiles and more.

Created from a variety of materials including pewter, willow, stone, silver, glass and porcelain, the works on show all share a focus on pattern, line and form. They include the precise geometric stone carvings of Zoe Wilson and the multi-layered screen prints of Jessie Higginson which explore the rhythm of pattern and the meditative nature of repetition.

Several of the scholars will be presenting works with Welsh connections. QEST Tom Helme Scholar Celia Dowson will be showing glass pieces from her Rhossili collection alongside ceramic seascape vessels – all inspired by the Gower Peninsula. Her work is motivated by the colours, changing light and wild landscape of the area and informed by the movement and flux of the natural world.

QEST Winch Design Scholar Nico Conti creates beautifully intricate 3-D printed porcelain objects, and his scholarship is enabling him to spend time at Nantgarw, developing ways to incorporate the local clay into his 3D designs.

Curator Laura Thomas said……

“QEST and the Makers Guild Wales are two organisations that have been so important to my professional practice and so it’s been a joy to curate this exciting exhibition.

Pattern, Line and Form are design fundamentals for many makers, but for the selected QEST scholars in this exhibition, it’s truly core to their practice.

The diversity of material mastery is inspiring: there is purity of form, precision of line, and poetry in pattern, with each maker demonstrating excellence in their craft.”

QEST CEO Deborah Pocock told us……..

“We’re thrilled to be able to showcase the diverse work of these QEST Scholars in Cardiff, and hope to raise our profile in the country over the coming years. We’re always looking to support talented makers and we’re keen to reach more living and working in Wales.”

Participating scholars:

  • Winch Design Scholar and ceramicist Nico Conti
  • Scholar and basketweaver Susan Early
  • Ashley Family Foundation Scholar and textile artist Laura Thomas
  • Pewterers’ Company Scholar and pewterer Gordon Robertson
  • William Parker Scholar and jeweller Yeena Yoon
  • Carpenters’ Company Scholar and wood sculptor Philip Walker
  • Scholar and printmaker Jessie Higginson
  • Scholar and glass artist Joanna Manousis
  • Britford Bridge Trust Scholar and ceramicist Sophie Southgate
  • NADFAS Scholar and stone artist Zoe Wilson
  • Tom Helme Scholar, ceramicist and glass artist Celia Dowson.

The exhibition – PATTERN, LINE & FORM is running from the 22nd January through to the 20th March at Makers Guild Wales (Craft in the Bay). All the details are HERE.

Craft in the bay

If you’ve been to the Bay we’re pretty sure you’ll have seen the venue for the exhibition. While you’re there, we can highly recommend a browse around the rest of the building, and maybe treat yourself to something uniquely Welsh.

Craft in the Bay say this is why you should buy from them (and we agree)……

  • Our not for profit ethos and cooperative roots mean that when you buy from us you are supporting Welsh Makers and supporting the promotion and preservation of Craft skills both in Wales and Internationally.
  • Discover our collection when you Visit our gallery to see and buy unique and beautiful handmade craft from Wales, perfectly crafted and exclusively made by our Guild of 85 makers.
  • For that perfect and unique gift, never massed produced, always an original! Jewellery, Glass, Ceramics and much much more.
  • Birthday Gifts, Christmas presents, whatever the occassion we have the perfectly crafted gift idea, our ever changing stock supplied by our Guild of Makers means we have over 5000 unique pieces of work on display.
  • So when you buy from us you know you are buying direct from a Welshmaker, a small business in their own right!
  • We’re in the perfect setting in the cultural heart of Cardiff, just a stones through from Wales Millennium Centre. We are open 10.30 until 5.30pm everyday of the week

You can find out more about the Makers Guild Wales HERE and If you’d like to find out more about the work of QEST just go HERE.

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