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It’s almost two years since we opened the doors to the new St Fagans in October 2018. As well as the new galleries and main entrance that you see when you visit – we’ve increased the size of our learning spaces by 80%.Traditional Welsh craft has always been the beating heart of St Fagans. But there’s never been enough space to get you all in, get you inspired by the fabulous stuff in our Museum collections, and then let you make a big happy mess on the floor.

But now we can! We’ve got 3 studios in the main building with some swanky tech and loads of elbow room. They’re right beside our new ‘Collections Study Room’, where we can get precious and fragile objects out of the Museum collections. So you can see things, and we can keep them safe for future generations.

Then there’s Gweithdy, a gallery and craft workshop that celebrates the skills of makers across millennia. It has a workshop kitted out to run activities with more serious tools and bigger mess making.

Since 2015 we’ve been growing our programme of hands-on craft courses. While St Fagans was still a building site, we started with things that didn’t need special comfy places to learn. (If you book to do lambing or hedge laying, you have to be expecting sheep poo/thorns/bad weather!)

Then, in the last two years, we’ve expanded to include all kinds of exciting new subjects:

  • Blacksmithing
  • Enamelling
  • Machine embroidery
  • Spooncarving
  • Leatherwork
  • Basketmaking
  • Bread making
  • …and lots more

In 2019-20 we delivered 80 courses across 26 subjects. And the great news is that we have spread our wings to deliver sessions at our Museums across Wales. We’ve done Blacksmithing at Big Pit and the Slate Museum in Llanberis, Botanical Illustration at National Museum Cardiff, and Embroidery at the National Wool Museum.

Since those first few events in 2015, over 400 of you have come in, rolled your sleeves up, and had a go. Some learning brand new skills, others brushing up their technique. Some alone, others sharing special time with friends or family. The response has been overwhelming.

The Covid19 pandemic has put the brakes on everything for now. But in this moment of reflection, it’s clearer than ever that making matters. We know craft is good for us and our mental health. We know that if we learn to repair and love the stuff we already have, then it’s good for our planet too. So we will be back (when we’ve figured out all the tricky stuff) – and we look forward to seeing you then!

Here’s some of the lovely things you said about our courses:

  •  …lyfli gweld y Georgetown Oven yn cael ei ddefnyddio’ (Bread making)
  • Bread making Course was excellent with the added bonus of baking it in the Georgetown Oven
  • Roedd mynd i fewn i’r oriel i weld y casgliad o hen gadeiriau yn ffordd bendigedig o ddangos i ni y technegau oedd yn rhan anatod o greu stôl’ (Make a Stool)
  • The course tutor was superbly patient, encouraging, skilled, kind and funny. What a set of attributes!’ (Leatherwork)
  • I never believed we’d actually be so hands-on (Lambing)

 

Bernice Parker

Public Events Officer

Comments(2)

Nia Evans Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Staff
30 June 2020, 17:42

Dear Sara Hardy,

Thank you for getting in touch with us. I'm afraid we aren't able to offer valuation on paintings which aren't in our collections. We'd advise maybe taking it to your local auction house, that may be a good starting point to get some more information on it.

Many thanks,

Nia Evans
(Digital team)

Sara Hardy
30 June 2020, 15:33
I’m redecorating presently in the family farm B&B and found a painting by Bertram Priestman RA ‘The Mill on the Marsh ‘. Having no knowledge where this may have come from or value .Would you be able to help ? Where would I take this for valuation . I have looked on line for his works and had no knowledge of his notoriety . Would like to send a photo but there are no uploading modes.
I await to hear from anyone who can throw some light on this.
Many thanks
Sara Hardy

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