Art at Waunifor

09
Jan
2015

We have been incredibly busy since we launched our blog and new website. Being busy means that admin work, such as blog upkeep, tends to get put on the back burner. We do intend to blog about once a month from now on. You can look forward to a range of topics. In the meantime here’s an update of what Ferric Fusion has been up to.

Crafts in the Bay exhibition, Cardiff. Run by the Makers Guild in Wales http://www.makersguildinwales.org.uk Crafts in the Bay is one of Wales’s top galleries for contemporary crafts. Earlier this year members of the cooperative were invited to work alongside a non- member, specialising in a different medium to their own, to produce works that fused both materials. This offered artists the opportunity to explore exciting new developments and share creative concepts.

Aaron was invited to participate by member Billy Adams. Irish born, Cardiff based, ceramicist Billy is a Fellow of the Craft Potters Association. (www.cpaceramics.co.uk). He specialises in vessel forms influenced by landscape and the elements. His work has been exhibited internationally and is recognised as being highly collectable.

Their joint body of work was shown at the “Material Connections II” exhibition held in May 2011 at the Flourish Gallery in the heart of Cardiff. The combination of Billy’s textural ceramics and Aaron’s forged ironwork made for a strong combination resulting in a series of striking pieces including vessels, sculptures and wall mounted art. Celtic themes, mythology and archaeological references were a cohesive link throughout the collection. Feedback from those attending was extremely positive. One piece, “Dali dreams of sheep “was sold almost immediately to a guest who took it back home to America.

Art at Waunifor.
Aaron was asked to exhibit at the ‘Art at Waunifor’ end of summer exhibition in August. The setting of Waunifor is truly beautiful, nestled in the West Wales countryside, it is a little gem. Waunifor offer accommodation and a range of courses. Have a look at their website http://www.waunifor.com/ The exhibition showcased artists of very high quality and attracted a good number of visitors.

The new Origin gallery and shop in Carmarthen.
Origin is a cooperative of artists and craftspersons that has been running for over 20 years. Ferric Fusion is an active member. As well as selling products in the shop Aaron regularly works behind the counter. Previously called ‘Origin Dyfed’, now rebranded “Origin West Wales Artists and Makers”. They have just moved from their old base in Blue Street to King Street at the top end of town. Members worked their socks off cleaning, painting, sanding floors and restocking in time for the grand opening in September. The opening was a great success and it looks likely that the move will be a good one. The new premises are a great deal larger than the previous one and are likely to attract a much larger number of visitors.

King Street is an exciting place for artists and craftspersons to be based at the moment. The already established King Street Gallery (www.kingstreetgallery.co.uk/) and Oriel Myrddin (www.orielmyrddingallery.co.uk) give the area a distinctive creative “feel”. It is hoped that the area will attract more businesses of a similar nature. An experimental pedestrianisation scheme tried out by the council seemed to work well and we would hope that this would be reintroduced to increase footfall and improve the overall shopping experience of visitors. By the way if you are in the area and want really good food in a chilled out atmosphere you couldn’t do better than to eat at the new Parrot cafe bar (record shop upstairs, cafe downstairs, music venue by night) – probably the best vegeburgers in town!

You can find Origin on Facebook (search for “Origin West Wales Artists and Makers”. Details of their new website coming soon – watch this space

Myddfai Festival. May saw us setting up our stall at the Mydffai Festival. Myddfai is a very special little village in rural Carmarthenshire. Steeped in history. It is famous as the home of the Physicians of Myddfai, 12th century herbalist healers. More recently it hit the headlines when Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, chose it as their Welsh base. Their house on the Llwynywermod estate, complete with a192-acre organic farm attached, sits close to the village.

With no amenities, no shop, pub or school; not even a mobile phone signal, Myddfai was at risk of becoming a ‘ghost village’. However the community’s Village SOS project has turned this around. Myddfai is now its own ‘brand’. http://www.myddfai.com was set up to revive the village’s fortunes. All profits from online sales are pumped back into the community. (Search for Myddfai on the SOS parent website http://www.villagesos.org.uk). We wish the Myddfai project all the best and hope we can continue to support them as their community regenerates. (Oh and HRH – if you want some Carmarthenshire made ironwork – you know where to come!).

What’s coming up?
The countdown to the Winter Fair at Aberglasney has begun (http://www.aberglasney.org) This year’s event promises something for everyone; with crafts stalls, Welsh produce and food and a host of other interesting stalls and displays. Perfect for finding that tricky Christmas gift

Social networking. Ironworking may be an ancient craft but that doesn’t mean we are completely antediluvian. Many of today’s craft workers are a techno savvy lot. One of our aims over the coming months is to improve our social networking. We are already on Twitter – follow us at www.twitter.com/FerricFusion. Look out for our Ferric Fusion Facebook site coming soon.

Our website. A good website is a must. We are very lucky to work with a talented website producer and photographer – David Evans. Have a look at some of his atmospheric photos and portraits at http://postcardfromwales.tumblr.com/ We are looking forward to him doing a filmed virtual tour of the forge soon– U Tube here we come!

Ferric Fusion in the media. We have had a lot of media coverage to do with our course lately, including an interview on Radio Wales and articles in the Carmarthen Journal (see http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/step-time-pick-smithing-skills/story-12812711-detail/story.html), Carmarthenshire Life and a fantastic two page spread in the Sunday Telegraph (seehttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/countryside/8774606/Blacksmithing-forges-ahead.html), as well as a mention in this month’s NFU “Countryside” Magazine.

Our courses continue to do well – we are now taking bookings from November onwards.

Aaron is working hard on replenishing gallery stock as well as hitting deadlines for a number of commissions. We’ll tell you more about that in our next blog as well as details of some of our new designs and items.

So, until the next blog (which will be in about a month) – “Hwyl Fawr am nawr!” – Bye for now.

Trudi & Aaron Petersen