ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Oriel Makers, an art and craft gallery in Wales - celebrating 25 Years.

Updated on September 11, 2016
Tulip print by louise Young
Tulip print by louise Young

An artist-run gallery in Wales

Oriel Makers is a bit different from most galleries - it is run by a community of artists and makers, who share all the management responsibilities. It was the first of it's kind in Cardiff and has become a local success story, celebrating it's 25th Anniversary this year. One of it's attractions is that visiting customers will be greeted by a different artist-maker each day.

The gallery opened in the summer of 1991 and continues to showcase quality contemporary art and fine crafts whilst also providing a bespoke service for customers, and selling a wide range of gifts, including glass, textiles, jewellery, wood, photographs, ceramics, paintings, prints and greetings cards.

Metalwork by Aaron Peterson
Metalwork by Aaron Peterson
Claire Collinson jewellery
Claire Collinson jewellery

Running the gallery

Oriel Makers represents the work of thirty or so artist-makers, many of them local, with a central team of six who each have specific responsibilities within the organisation. Meetings are held monthly to discuss finances, improvements, PR and general management as well as looking at work from new applicants and organising the rota for the next month. The gallery's running expenses are paid for out of commission on sales, with varying commission rates corresponding to the makers' level of involvement in management.

Necklace by Suzie Horan
Necklace by Suzie Horan

Oriel Makers operates like a cooperative - member artists are encouraged to play an active role by stewarding, giving them the opportunity to meet the public, network with other artists and gain experience in the administrative and day to day duties involved in running a gallery. All new work is scrutinised for quality and originality and existing work is reviewed to maintain a high standard of excellence. The meetings also provide an opportunity for the group to chat about their work and catch up with news.

Stitched piece by Ruth Harries
Stitched piece by Ruth Harries | Source

Six of the artists:

Ruth Harries - Textiles

Ruth lives and works in Cardiff, having studied Textile Print at Cardiff College. She won the overall award for Welsh Artist of the Year in 2008 and has represented Wales at the Festival Interceltique de L'Orient in France. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including France, Holland, Sweden, the Netherlands, USA and Ireland, and has shown widely in group shows, including Pfaff ArtEmbroidery London, the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Welsh Contemporaries in London and in numerous exhibitions with the Fibre Art Wales Group.

Welsh alphabet by Ruth Harries
Welsh alphabet by Ruth Harries

There are figurative and abstract elements to Ruth's work, which represent emotionally charged atmospheres and recollections within the family. Aspects of her Welsh identity and the use of the Welsh language are also important.

She works intuitively and spontaneously, using machine stitch, achieving subtle variations in colour and tone in a free and expressive way, aiming to express the speed and gesture of a mark. The diverse qualities of mark-making produced by painting, writing and drawing are considered in stitch.

Glass hangings by Christian Ryan
Glass hangings by Christian Ryan
Ruth Shelley - "Gleision"
Ruth Shelley - "Gleision" | Source
Ruth Shelley lamp
Ruth Shelley lamp

Ruth Shelley - Glass artist

Ruth specialises in contemporary glass design. Her works’ signature is the use of vivid, dramatic colour in fused and kiln-formed glass which includes panels, tiles, mirrors, bowls, coasters and jewellery. She also designs and produces more traditional leaded lights and has worked alongside architects on numerous restoration projects.

Much of her work is inspired by the dramatic shapes and forms of the mid Wales landscape where she grew up. Ruth is a member of the Makers Guild in Wales and the Society of Designer Craftsmen. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally and works from her studio in Cardiff.

Indian Intarsia vessel by Ruth Shelley
Indian Intarsia vessel by Ruth Shelley
Ceramics by Margo Schmidt
Ceramics by Margo Schmidt
Tableware by Molly Curley
Tableware by Molly Curley
Molly Curley - dish
Molly Curley - dish

Molly Curley - potter

Molly Curley trained at Cardiff College of Art, specialising in book illustration and teacher training then pursued a career in art education, finally taking early retirement in 1982, after sixteen years of teaching.

Since that time, having discovered the joy of working with clay, she has developed a new career as a potter. Over the last twenty years the scope of her work has developed; various clays are now used, all wheel-thrown to produce a range of domestic ware, mostly decorated with liquid clay (slip) and all fired in electric kilns. In addition there is a big demand for her commemorative ware (plates etc.) and house-plates, which are made to order in slip decorated earthenware.

Molly is a founder member of Oriel Makers, South Wales Potters, and a professional member of the Craft Potters Association. She has exhibited widely and works from her studio in Llanishen, Cardiff, where she lives.

Porcelain vessels by Alison Graham
Porcelain vessels by Alison Graham
"Recipe for Autumn"  Watercolour print by Louise Young
"Recipe for Autumn" Watercolour print by Louise Young

Louise Young - Botanical art

Louise Young works in a medium which has been traditionally used for illuminated manuscripts and has been a favourite of Botanical painters for centuries. Her quiet paintings of flowers and found natural objects are painted in watercolour paint onto vellum. The vellum comes from one of the last remaining producers in the UK. The technique of painting on this surface demands very delicate brush strokes and very sparing use of water. The paint sits on the surface of the vellum which gives the colour its glowing intensity.
Louise sets up an arrangement of items in her studio and paints at life size directly from them. Most of the objects which form her subject matter have been gathered on walks in the countryside and on the beaches of Wales and other parts of Britain.

Greetings cards by Louise Young
Greetings cards by Louise Young
Contemporary Stitch by Ruth Harries
Contemporary Stitch by Ruth Harries
Hares by Moonlight - Calligraphy print by Helen Lush
Hares by Moonlight - Calligraphy print by Helen Lush
"Porthclais Harbour" watercolour by Helen Lush
"Porthclais Harbour" watercolour by Helen Lush | Source

Helen Lush - Painter

Helen's paintings draw inspiration from the colour, texture and mood she finds in her subjects. Her Degree was in Textile Design and texture continues to be important in her work. Watercolours often start with a watery wash of paint and develop through the accidental flourishes this creates. Her paintings feature the beautiful landscapes of Wales, particularly the Pembrokeshire and South Wales coasts, the historic buildings of Cardiff, and her local park, Roath Park, with it's boating lake, bridges and resident ducks and geese.

Helen also takes great inspiration from all things botanical - wild flowers, trees and gardens - particularly her own small city garden. The botanical theme has continued with her gaining a Diploma in Garden Design, and forming the group "Roath Botanic Garden Artists" in 2010 with fellow artist, Louise Young.
A love of poetry and the written word has encouraged her to use calligraphy in many of her paintings, commissions and her bespoke Calligraphy Prints.

"Roath Park Lake" watercolour by Helen Lush
"Roath Park Lake" watercolour by Helen Lush
Platter by Alun Rees
Platter by Alun Rees
Yew platter by Alun Rees
Yew platter by Alun Rees

Alun Rees - Woodturner

Alun has been interested in working with wood since his school days when he first had the opportunity to use a lathe in woodworking classes. Years later he bought a small lathe and began turning as a hobby, making a wide variety of objects. Since then he has expanded and refined his skills and knowledge about wood-turning.

Using a VB36 lathe allows him to produce bowls and platters up to 36inchs in diameter, as well as a wide range of smaller items. A large part of Alun's inspiration comes from sourcing wood with burrs and pronounced grains which add to the individuality and character of the finished piece.

Photograph by Alun Rees
Photograph by Alun Rees
A markerOriel Makers -
37 Pen-y-lan Road, Cardiff CF24 3PG, UK
get directions

Finding Oriel Makers

Oriel Makers is situated in a leafy suburb of Cardiff, very close to Roath Park and the fashionable shopping area of Wellfield Road.

Summary

Over the years Oriel Makers has run a changing program of exhibitions in their upstairs gallery, showcasing the work of invited local and national talent, including Open Exhibitions and reciprocal shows where work is exchanged with other galleries. The gallery is now delighted to be hosting the Weaving Studio of group member, Jane Nicholls, who is happy to welcome visitors to her upstairs studio space.

The gallery's resident weaver, Jane Nicholls in her studio upstairs.
The gallery's resident weaver, Jane Nicholls in her studio upstairs.
Bird by Jan Beeney
Bird by Jan Beeney

Oriel Makers has been represented at the National Eisteddfod, been involved in local arts events, and continues to play an important part in the promotion of local and national artists and makers.

In the UK in recent years the economic climate has made life difficult for many small businesses particularly those involved in the arts and hopefully this local success story provides inspiration to other artists and makers thinking of setting up their own enterprise!

Oriel Makers, 37 Pen-y-lan Road, Roath Park, Cardiff, CF24 3PG. Tel. +44(0)2920 472595. email info@orielmakers.co.uk

Porcelain Lights by Alison Graham
Porcelain Lights by Alison Graham
Instinctive Quilt Art: Fusing Techniques and Design
Instinctive Quilt Art: Fusing Techniques and Design

By textile artist and Oriel Makers' founder member Bethan Ash

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      This gallery looks and sounds wonderful :) I dream of going to Wales someday. When that day comes, I'll definitely have to visit Oriel Makers! Thanks for sharing :)

    • DaffodilSky profile image
      Author

      Helen Lush 4 years ago from Cardiff, Wales, UK

      Thank you - I hope you get here one day :)

    • Rose Anne Karesh profile image

      Rose Anne Karesh 4 years ago from Virginia

      Thank you for such an informative, well written hub! You've made me want to travel to your gallery and see for myself.

    • DaffodilSky profile image
      Author

      Helen Lush 4 years ago from Cardiff, Wales, UK

      Thanks Rose Anne - it's a long way from Virginia :-)

    • WriteAngled profile image

      WriteAngled 3 years ago from Abertawe, Cymru

      I will have to investigate! The only gallery I know is the one in the Bay. My sat-nav messes me about so much when I try to drive round Cardiff that now I only ever come in by train and as a result tend to stay in the very central or Bay areas. I think I visited Roath Park once several years ago shortly after moving to Treorci.

    • DaffodilSky profile image
      Author

      Helen Lush 3 years ago from Cardiff, Wales, UK

      Good - I hope you will come and visit us in the gallery. Wellfield road, round the corner is brimming with cafes and nice shops and we have the park and a fab new ice cream parlour nearby!

    Click to Rate This Article