Monday, 5 July 2010

Wales 1 - art, crafts & mills

Before embarking on this, my first visit to Pembrokeshire I had a couple of weaving mills lined up which I wanted to visit. The first mill was just down the road from where I stayed and was called Melin Tregwynt near Castlemorris. The mill was an old white building and you got a brief look inside at some of the looms in action. Using traditional fabrics they weave very contemporary fabrics for a lot of designer labels. Needless to say that when I headed into the shop the stuff was pretty expensive and there were no cast offs or fabric scraps available to buy which was a shame. I wanted a souvenir made with their fabric so all I could afford was this small purple purse and the blue woven squares which are coasters.

The other mill I visited was down the coast near the pretty village of Solva. Middle Mill at Solva was much more traditional in the type of fabric they were weaving. Didn't get to see any production as part of the mill was inaccessible due to renovations. In the shop there were a few roll ends of wool being sold off cheap so I got the blue and this soft candy striped scarf which was £20 cheaper than any of the scarves I saw and wanted at Melin Tregwynt!

Other places I visited included Narberth which had a good cluster of galleries in the town. Fishguard was near to where I stayed and I found a fantastic wool shop, absolutely piled high with unusual wool from around the world. I treated myself to a handpainted crochet hook and also the 2 groovy balls of wool.

On the journey back home I travelled through Machynlleth where you will find MOMA, Museum of Modern Art so had a quick look in there. Was lucky to find a textile exhibition on, Common Threads with work by Caitlin Shepherd.

The photo I got in one of the gallery rooms was work by Mary Lloyd Jones, a local artist. She had some work created from fabric as well as painted abstract work. Alot of her work focuses on language and celtic archaeology.

I also had another happy find in Machynlleth, Fabrics Ltd, a small shop on 3 floors absolutely stuffed to the rafters with fabric. They even had scrap bags for sale which I got 2 of as they were only £2.50 and had some wonderful and very generous remnants in.

The areas I visited are certainly well catered for in terms of galleries and arts and crafts.

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