The Helfa Gelf Art Trail has started and artists in Conwy are throwing open their doors to reveal their hidden world. Two impressive artists in Conwy County; Ceri Williams and Sarah Kearsley-Wooller, have been driven to study art by their life experiences. They are taking part in the event this year when the Art Trail takes place across the counties of Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.
Ceri Williams, a textile artist specialising in needle felting, is based at Ladder Store Studios in John Street, Llandudno. She had been a foster carer for children with special needs for 21 years while expanding her art education at Coleg Llandrillo. She led the arts and crafts sessions at Creatasmile, a monthly event for special needs children and their families.
“I have always been interested in portraits, mainly using pastels or clay. Three years ago on a yurt holiday I took a bag of sheep’s wool and a barbed needle and I began needle felting. I found the wool is a great medium for sculpting into portraits creating little heads, hands and even feet.
With all these heads sitting in a row, I thought I had better make some bodies, out came the sewing machine. I was soon making tailcoats, jackets, waistcoats, hats, pantaloons, boots and shoes. There seemed to be a queue of characters waiting to be created.
These ‘little people’ are very real to me and often create themselves, evolving under the needle as I work. They take 20-24 hours to create. I try to capture an emotion in my work and hope they speak to people.
I enjoy creating in The Ladder Store Studio in Llandudno and am looking forward to talking to Helfa Gelf visitors about my ‘Bobl Bach’.
The Ladder Store Studio is open on 9, 15, 16 and 17 September 11am to 5pm. Ceri’s work can be seen alongside Judith Samuel, painter in oil and watercolour mainly of birds, a writer and illustrator, with Susie Liddle, printmaker and mixed media artist working with encaustic wax, who are also based at the Studio.
Sarah Kearsley-Wooller, glass artist, opens her studio at Digby Rd, Rhos on Sea. She is well known for her dedication to Ty Gobaith Children’s Hospice, findraising for over 25 years. Looking to fill her retirement years, she attended a range of fused glass courses in Cheshire, Liverpool and Bristol.
I found the wonderful colour and medium of glass very appealing. I was inspired and purchased my own kiln and created my studio space. I use iridised and dichroic elements with powdered glass, fusing multi-layers at over 800. I create summer lanterns, cocktail swizzle sticks, bowls and wall panels.”
Sarah’s glass studio is open 15, 16 and 17 September 11am to 5pm. Ceri and Sarah’s work can also been seen at The Studio at Art and Soul, is a Social Enterprise established by a small group of local artists at Station Road, Colwyn Bay.
The Helfa Gelf Art Trail takes place across the counties of Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham from Friday to Sunday throughout September 2017. Artists pick the days they open their studios; more information is available at https://helfagelf.co.uk/.
Helfa Gelf is funded by the Arts Council of Wales, supported by the National Lottery, and is sponsored by the Welsh Government; plus support from the Local Authorities across North Wales has allowed the development of the Helfa Gelf Art Trail.
To help you plan your art trail in Conwy and across the North Wales region, a full-colour booklet, featuring all the artists, is available and an interactive map is online at https://helfagelf.co.uk/the-art-trail.