CARDIGAN Castle will host a brand new craft festival later this year, which hopes to showcase the best talent from Wales and beyond.

The organiser of a highly successful portfolio of national contemporary craft events, Sarah James MBE, has announced that she is to launch a brand-new event in her hometown of Cardigan.

Craft Festival Wales will be held over three days at Cardigan Castle from 6 – 8 September.

The festival, which is funded by Arts Council of Wales, Ceredigion County Council and QEST, will showcase an exceptional handpicked selection of approximately ninety makers from across Wales and the UK – including jewellery makers, potters, furniture makers, textile artists, glassmakers and many more – all selling their finely made unique products directly to the public.

As well as the activity over the weekend, Craft Festival Wales presents satellite events throughout the town, running for four weeks.

Highlights include a ceramics exhibition, Significant Forms, with museum quality ceramics from Wales presented at Oriel Canfas curated by West Wales potter, Peter Bodenham; a Youth Project with QEST and Small World Theatre, a Sculpture Trail presented by Coleg Sir Gar in the castle grounds; The Capital of Craft LIVE (talks in the Manor House) and the Craft Festival Town Trail with six emerging makers presenting new work inspired by the National Museum’s Collection at six venues curated by Oriel Myrddin. Trail venues are Mwldan, The Albion by Fforest, Crwst, Cardigan Bay Brownies, Awen Teifi, and Make it in Wales.

Craft Festival Wales is part of a portfolio of events organised by Sarah James and Nina Fox, who also organise the multi-award-winning Craft Festival in Bovey Tracey and Craft Festival Cheltenham. Craft Festival was founded in 2004 and is a non-profit making organisation which celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2024. The event has grown from 2,000 visitors to over 10,000 since it started, and it has become one of the most prestigious craft events in Europe.

Craft festival
Councillor Clive Davies, Cabinet Member for Ceredigion County Council and Sarah James MBE Director of Craft Festival (Supplied)

Sarah James says: “I’m excited to launch Craft Festival Wales in my beloved hometown of Cardigan. It’s been a long-term ambition to hold an event and, thanks to support from Ceredigion County Council, Arts Council of Wales, and our wonderful partners, we can do so.

“Craft Festival is a collaborative celebration of making supported by leading arts organisations from Wales and beyond.

“It presents a great opportunity for brilliant makers to showcase, promote and sell their work, and is a fantastic day out for people of all ages. I really can’t wait for the event in September at the glorious Cardigan Castle.”

Cllr Clive Davies, Cabinet Member for Ceredigion County Council who is responsible for Economy and Regeneration, added: “I’m proud that Ceredigion County Council is supporting Craft Festival Wales – realising the ambition of an event we first discussed in 2019.

“Cardigan is home to a thriving arts scene – with many creative businesses and individuals based in the region.

“This event will give makers from Ceredigion a fantastic opportunity to grow their businesses, offer a great day out, and will attract visitors to the town after the summer season ends.

“I’m delighted that we’re a key partner of Craft Festival Wales and hope that it will become a major annual event in Ceredigion’s events calendar.”

Meirion Davies, Director of Cardigan Castle said: “This is a great opportunity for the Castle to invite the people of Cardigan and visitors from afar to experience the wonderful showcase that is Craft Festival Wales.

“It is fitting that many of the crafts and the work produced for the festival would have formed an integral part of the daily life of the Castle and the town’s history: crafts which have transcended time, and pieces of the highest quality will celebrate each maker’s vision and skill. It’s very exciting.”

Applications are invited from makers to take part in the event. Applications open on 12 February and the deadline is 6pm on 5 April.

For details and to apply, click here.