Artisan of the Month

June 2023

Beacon Creatives Wales Ltd

Beacon Creative Wales Ltd is an award winning social enterprise and has been running for 14 years. They design and produce wax products that are hand made by people with learning difficulties and mental health issues, from the Brecon area.

To start with, they concentrated on manufacturing a range of uniquely chipped candles in three styles, six colours and each with their own fragrance. More recently they have added cylinder candles in a variety of different waxes including soya, rapeseed and coconut. Each have their own fragrance, including Winter Honeysuckle and Elderflower, Raspberry and Peppercorn, Avocado and Mint. This led onto developing a range of natural soaps in the same fragrances, as well as bath bombs, chipped egg shaped candles and character candles.

Customers include small local businesses and larger concerns. We are delighted to have a varied range of their products available here at the Artist and Makers Emporium.

Soaps £2.94 each. Dragon Egg candles £6.30 for half a dozen
A range of candles.

All these processes create meaningful work, broken down into sensory tasks for individuals of differing abilities, creating valued work, for every member of their diverse team. They are also able to provide paid employment where possible.

Being a social enterprise, Beacon Creatives work to create products that involve everyone, whatever their ability and so all their products are designed with that in mind. As a small team they value everyone’s views and their inspiration comes from wanting to continue to provide this opportunity.

A range that they are particularly proud of is the recycled products because of the environmental element. In particular the character candles including the sheep as they feel they represent Wales and the Brecons. We have some at the Emporium and like that the sheep has a leek in its mouth!

Character candles £8.40 each

The team are also proud of their previously mentioned soap range as they had to learn soap making and then were able to go onto create their very own range of beautifully fragranced soaps.

Following on from that they are currently working on developing a liquid soap and body wash range which they hope to sell in local shops and hotels. These have all been designed from scratch and are very on trend. They are excited to get them on the shelves as they believe people will love the aromas and luxurious nature. We look forward to this range being launched and stocking them at the Artist and Makers Emporium in the near future.

May 2023

Stacey Harries

Stacey Harries from Flame of Aurora

Stacey Harries is a local Morriston girl working as a civil servant by day and wax melter by night. She is also the Assistant Musical Director and Conductor of Hospital Notes – a Health, Care and Emergency Services Choir based in Llanelli. Her husband is the Musical Director.

Stacey began her business, Flame of Aurora, in January 2022. Prior to that she had been making candles and wax melts as part of her succulent business, adding them to gift baskets. During this time she realised how relaxing this creative process was and after watching numerous YouTube videos and thoroughly investigating all the laws around this process, she stopped the succulents to concentrate solely on wax melts.

Stacey initially sold her wax melts at Kidwelly Market which helped to build up her customer base. She no longer sells there and we are delighted that she has brought her product range to Artist and Makers Emporium.

Stacey makes all her wax melts using Ecosoya melt wax which is natural and vegan, and allows the added scents to last for a long time. Did you know that the 6 cube wax melt has over 100 hours of burn time?

Her favourite scents include Egyptian Amber, Bum Bum Cream, Angel Eyes (based on her perfume) and Amber and Bergamot (fresh and spicy).

Stacey is inspired by scents, colours, animals and nature. She can use up to four col in one wax melt, depending on the scent she is using. Pastel colours are her favourite and inspired the Flame of Aurora logo as well as many of her clean and freshly scented melts. Apparently the sweeter the scent the wackier the colour. Choccy Egg and Unicorn Poops are good examples of this.

Colours are also chosen to represent the chosen product, for instance a perfume bottle or fruit.

Those wax melts that are not cube shaped have been inspired by her pets and by nature and include paws, flowers and honeycomb.

Stacey’s favourite piece at the moment is Summer Mix, consisting of three 6-cube melts – Sun Cream, Bum Bum Cream and Honolulu. As the nights get longer and warmer these scents remind her os summer holidays.

She has also recently introduced a giant 150g King Charles wax melt as a nod to the Coronation, using fresh Cashmere Glow fragrance. The mould is painted with sparkly white mica powder before every pour to add a classy shimmer.

Stacey loves being creative on Instagram and Tik Tok and is looking to increase her social presence and offer more for her dedicated customers this enabling her to grow her UK customer base. We look forward to having more of her gorgeous products here at the Artist and Makers Emporium.

April 2023

Carole Spackman & Colin Horsman

Carole Spackman in her pottery studio

Carole Spackman makes the most beautiful pottery sculptures and functional pieces that we sell here at the Emporium. She has been making and teaching pottery for over 50 years and has exhibited throughout the UK. This includes at the Glynn Vivian, Newport Museum and Fortum and Mason.

Carole first discovered clay at the Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham in 1970 during her first year of teaching. By 1982 she was working at Towy Pottery helping to fire the enormous wood kiln before setting up her present pottery studio in Llanddeusant with her husband Colin Horsman. This beautiful setting is below the majestic Black Mountain and only 15 miles from the Emporium here at Craig-y-Nos Country Park.

Carole has a large wild garden that inspires her frost proof sculptures including hares, owls and robins. The owls are inspired by barn owls nesting in an empty building next to her studio. She told us an interesting fact about these owls! Did you know that they snore?

Owl £120, hares £78-£98, robin £38

Carole also makes a range of domestic pottery made to use and enhance serving food. She makes her glazes using locally sourced materials eg wood ash and her decorations are inspired by the wild flower meadows and stone buildings that surround her studio together with the stunning photographs taken by Colin. Her favourites are the jugs, glazed with grass ash and painted with colours to give the impression of wildflower meadows in June.

Wide range of functional and beautiful pottery.

Carole would like to explore porcelain next, having obtained a bag of clay while visiting Jingdezhen, the porcelain capital of the world. We look forward to seeing how this develops.

Colin Horsman

Colin Horsman is married to Carole Spackman and is our additional guest Artisan of the month as his photography work has inspired many of Carole’s creations. We are delighted that a selection of his pieces will be displayed above Carole’s pottery shelf at the Emporium.

Colin qualified in photography at West Surrey College of Art and Design in 1980 and then worked as a photographer and writer both in UK and USA including The Countryside Commission at Cheltenham. His work has been included in several hardback books and the Brecon Beacons National Park Guide Book. Colin also has his unique photography archived at Mary Evans Picture Library, London and Countryside Commissions Library at National Archives, Kew.

Colin’s current work is inspired by the surrounding fields and mountains to where he lives. In 2020 he started recording wild flowers in Llanddeusant churchyard, near his home, recorded over the different seasons.

Colin has several beautiful photographs available at the Emporium and his favourite is a. Unusual close up of a fungus that Carole found. The photo is taken from ground level lit by sunlight from above. Interestingly the day after the photograph was taken it had already shrivelled to nothing!

Colin is planning to continue to photograph the fields and hedgerows of Llanddeusant throughout the different seasons and we hope to be able to display and sell these at the Emporium. Back in February this year he was also photographing the original sunsets that appear for just a few minutes.

March 2023

Julia Harris

Julia Harris is a Welsh artist living in the lovely village of Abercrave, in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons National Parks. Her favourite subject is painting quirky animals in watercolour and she is probably recognised by her Hare and Cow pictures. Her inspiration for painting these quirky animals started when she had a smallholding in mid Wales. One day, on a dog walk, she passed two cows looking over a hedge, who followed her with their eyes along the road. On her return they were still there and again their eyes followed her.

Julia’s journey started much earlier than that though. As a child she had a very encouraging art teacher, who allowed her to use the art room at break times and encouraged her to apply to Swansea College of Art at only 15 years old.

After bringing up a family and earning a living in the “real world”, Julia returned to art after 25 years absence.

She has exhibited in many galleries and shows over the years and is the joint founder of the Artist and Makers Emporium now based in the beautiful Craig-y-nos Country Park. Here you can find a wide range of her art at the Emporium including framed originals and prints, cards and mugs.

Beautiful selection of art starting from as little as £49
Dragon range: Bone China mugs £12.50, Ceramic mugs £9.50, Coasters £3.50 & Placemats £9.95

Julia is currently enjoying exploring with a new style of painting for her. Totally out of the blue she decided to paint something away from her usual style just for fun. She painted these lovely red tulips and found the experience a joyful and relaxing time.

Julia feels she is currently living the dream. Here at the Artist and Makers Emporium she can sell her work and meet the people who like her work as well as the work of the other makers here.

February 2023

Sabine Lenny

Showcase of Sabine’s yarn and creations.

Sabine has been knitting since her teenage years when she also started to develop patterns. Her passion for fibre has continued throughout her career as a nurse practitioner in the NHS.  

Whilst staying at Craig y Nos castle with her husband she learnt how to spin, weave and produce yarn in 2016. They both fell in love with the Brecon Beacons and relocated to the area that year. 

Sabine decided to keep Shetland Sheep as their high quality and versatile fleece comes in 11 natural colours, from white, to black, brown and grey and lends itself to different crafts. She also keeps 2 Angora goats to produce mohair.  

New Meadow Shetlands produce pure double- knit Shetland wool and a Shetland/ Mohair (4ply) blend from their own flock.  

Sabine has created a selection of yarn in natural colours and also hand dyed versions available at the Artist and Makers Emporium, Craig y Nos Country Park.

Her yarn can also be dyed to the customers specifications. Free patterns are available with any purchase of wool.

Sabine has also created hats, gloves, head bands, scarves and cushions, all available to buy at very reasonable prices. She offers commissions and workshops so please let us know if you would like any further information.

Her passion came from the desire to create natural fibre with a known provenance, using Shetland wool and Angora goat mohair. The colours she uses for dyeing were inspired by the seasons of the Welsh countryside. 

Her favourite pieces currently are the headbands and fingerless gloves, both with beads.  

She is planning to use the multi-coloured yarn in weaving and to create some lacy shawls for the summer.’

Hand dyed yarns.
Natural coloured yarn.
Head band and scarf.
Head band and fingerless gloves both with beads. Cushion.

January 2023

Helen Banthorpe

New Glass Display at the Emporium

Helen has run Helen B’s Glass Creations for a few years now and has an established glass studio at her home in Pontarddulais where she designs, creates and shares her skills with others.

Helen always loved stained glass windows as a child but it wasn’t until much later in life that a friend signed her up for a taster day at the local college. Quickly hooked by this new skill, she joined the evening classes and for the next year learned as much as she could about both the copper foil technique and the traditional stained glass method.

It can be expensive making a stained glass window and that’s why Helen has developed a range of copper foil items that can hang in the window so that everyone can afford some glass. Her gifts start from as little as £10 and come in a range of colours and designs to suit everyone! Most of her glass gifts can be also be hung outside in a sheltered spot.

Helen has been involved with the Emporium for 18 months now and can be found copper foiling whenever she staffs the shop.

Helen told us that she is inspired by nature, church windows and often the texture and colours of a specific sheet of glass.

Her favourite range at the moment is the 3D stars. She currently offers three sizes and has attached spinners to them so they can live outside. They are happy in rain but not so keen on windy or freezing conditions. Alternatively they can be hung inside or sat on the windowsill, perhaps with a battery tea light underneath to make the glass sparkle.

We asked Helen if she’d set any new goals for this year and she promised us that she has some new designs she is looking forward to developing over the next few weeks. We look forward to seeing them at the Emporium very soon.

November 2022

Julie Butler

Beautiful wire trees
‘Tree of Life’

Julie Butler has a range of jewellery, ‘Trees of Life’ and pyrography gifts at the Emporium and is an active member of the core team, staffing the shop on a regular basis.

Julie grew up in Swansea, has 2 adult children, and now lives in a pretty village in the upper Swansea Valley with her 3 rescue dogs.

As young as 5 her mother taught her how to knit. That first creation of a very holey dish cloth ignited a life long love of crafting and making gifts.

During the recent Covid lockdowns Julie discovered wire work . Her ‘Trees of Life, and jewellery are decorated using only semi precious stones, crystals and glass beads to make them sparkle. They all look beautiful adorning the windows at the Emporium and start from as little as £10.

Julie is also very happy to take commissions, so why not choose your design and colour choice for that unique and beautiful special gift.

The latest range for her to bring to the Emporium are the wood range of gifts, decorated using the pyrography technique.

Clock £30
Plaques from £15
Pyrographed candle holders £20
‘Trees of Life’ prices start from £10

October 2022

Naomi Gaskell

Naomi Gaskell is the founder of ReCherishedCrafts and is passionate about rescuing something that has been abandoned and then restoring it. She believes items that may seem old can be given a new lease of life and cherished again, hence the name ReCherished Crafts. She loves to look in skips and on local sales pages for this purpose.

Naomi says “To repurpose and up cycle is a creative and challenging process that saves new items being made, which are damaging to the environment. The aim of ReCherished Crafts is to be a eco friendly as possible and use available resources wisely to provide sustainable alternatives that are functional as well as beautiful.”

For years Naomi restored furniture for her own use and made gifts for family and friends. She turned it into her full time job in 2020 and we are delighted to have not only her beautiful and unique products in the shop at Craig-y-Nos but Naomi is also a big part of the Emporium team.

When asked where her inspiration comes from, Naomi said she has an interest in interior design. She uses reclaimed wood, metal, beads and vintage fabrics to create her home decor and gift items to prevent them from becoming landfill. She especially likes using wood, using it’s rustic charm.

A range of her smaller furniture and gift items are beautifully displayed at the Artist and Makers Emporium at Craig-y-Nos Country Park.

A pair of display shelves at £35
A selection of wooden signs starting at only £5
Pearly Peacock created from a hand whisk and beads. £25

September 2022

Rhian Goodhand

Newly arrived at the Emporium

Rhian Goodhand’s Glass House is based in South Wales where Rhian produces the most wonderful works of art with glass.

In 2009, Rhian walked into the Glass Department of Swansea University to enquire about night classes. She walked in as an I.T. Manager of 25 years and left knowing for the first time in her life that she had found what she didn’t know she was looking for…. Glass! Within two weeks she’d changed her life path and signed up for a BA in Architectural Glass. She says “Sometimes in life you know where you are going.”

On graduating, Rhian invested into her future in glass. In 2013 she opened The Goodhand Glass Studio. In her first 2 years she developed her warm glass techniques and working practices to develop products that are unique , affordable and keeping the business carbon foot print, a small mark in the sand.

Rhian loves life, loves colour , loves her future and this energy is reflected in her work. When asked what her dreams and goals were she told us this: “When you run a business which is your art, it sometimes taints the fun of your creativity. So Fridays are now play days. Playing with new ideas and creating for fun and no rules.

We are proud to be able to stock a large variety of her beautiful glass creations at The Artist and Makers Emporium where our new shop at Craig-y-Nos has huge windows, allowing the natural light to show these pieces off at their best.