I live and work in the Brecon Beacons, where I grew up, and to where I returned after completing my arts courses in London.
I am an artist, tutor and events coordinator, and creative director of an artisan gallery near Hay on Wye, The Makers Mezzanine. I work with The Big Skill, which is how I met Adele, and where we ‘clicked’ and realised we both loved to share. In working with The Big Skill, I began planning and coordinating creative and practical workshops, enterprise projects and festivals in and around Wales. I organise Artisan Markets, which aim to both showcase local makers, and raise funds for local charities. I am experienced in marketing and social media and love to help others discover how best to utilise these.
I travel around Wales, teaching needle-felting classes as FfolkyFfelt; ensuring my resources and materials are sustainable and as local as possible are of high importance to me. I discovered felt-making quite by accident, during my cancer treatment 7 years ago, having previously worked with printmaking and photography. It inspired me to leave behind my previous work, and take the leap into working with wool. I gave a talk at the Abergavenny Writing Festival entitled ‘Brave Steps’, and I am looking forward to sharing what led me to where I am now.
I am an author and forager, in love with the Brecon Beacons, where I moved to in 1994 a week after coming to Wales for the first time. Impetuous? Possibly. But sometimes you just have to dive in at the deep end. This is a trait that Emma and myself have in common.
Prior to becoming an inky-fingered scribbler and professional weed-botherer, I had a long career in the music industry, first as a singer/composer, then with my own indie label in the role of artist development, marketing and PR and just about everything else, and then as General Manager and head of A&R (Artist and Repertoire) for a major label. My writing career happened by accident; I ran away from the corporate hell, moved to Wales, got ill, started looking at things a different way, and ended up with a book deal.
I had an incredibly generous Head of Acquisitions at Harper Collins UK who gave me advice for which I will be ever grateful, and which I want to share with other writers, but which equally applies to artists and craftspeople. For those of you who might be interested, two of my books are proper best sellers; one of them has sold in excess of 300,000 copies.
We’ve been friends for some years now, and realised that we had both had the idea for a retreat at the same time.
We want to give you the sort of experience that we would want for ourselves.
Somewhere where the air is clear and clean, fresh – a place to breathe.
Somewhere beautiful, in the Brecon Beacons, and somewhere with the freedom to roam, both physically and mentally.
Somewhere with cosy spaces and a welcoming atmosphere, where we can kick off our shoes and wear slippers all the time – if we want to!
Somewhere with delicious food, open fires, spaces to sit and chat or stretch out.