A composite image of some of the designs made by the women. Lots of the women attending are Muslim and didn't want to be photographed. Photo credits: Craft in the Bay

Gallery wants Butetown’s women to get out of the house and make things

Craft in the Bay has been holding free craft sessions on everything from pottery to screen printing

CRAFT in the Bay is a charity championing Welsh makers – and now they’re trying to get more minority women stuck in.

This month, it has launched its Connect Through Craft project, teaching women in Butetown how to make different things.

Members are working in partnership with local artists to provide craft lessons after a successful trial in December.

“Taking part in our craft lessons is important for these women because it encourages them to get out of the house,” said manager Charlotte Kingston, 57.

“We’re targeting women living in Butetown because we’re right on their doorstep.”

The workshops are free and for any woman living in multicultural Butetown. Due to increased demand, sessions now take place in both the Craft in the Bay building and Butetown Community Centre.

Workshops range from screen printing and pottery to felt-making and women are encouraged to share their own expertise.

Most of the women who come to the sessions at Butetown Community Centre are retired or young mothers.

Craft in the Bay started the sessions to inspire the community to get more involved with art.

“We want to make the local community feel we’re a place they feel welcome, as well as raise awareness about our arts centre,” added former secondary school art teacher Charlotte.

The project finishes at the end of March and will be reviewed to consider whether it should be extended to families, to help with childcare concerns.

Craft in the Bay has worked with the Butetown community before. Its freelance artists have taught primary school pupils craft, including pottery and metalwork.

“Cardiff Bay is a strong community. We try to support one another,” said Charlotte.

Funding comes from the Welsh Government, through the Anti-racist Wales Culture, Heritage, and Sport Fund 2022-2023.

Craft in the Bay has been based in an iron former docks warehouse on Lloyd George Avenue near the Millennium Centre since 2002.

It hires freelance “makers” to run exhibitions in the Grade 2 listed building, and run these sessions.

There are about 125 volunteers and 11 salaried staff, plus the freelance artists they hire.

  • Connect Through Craft workshops take place on Mondays and Tuesdays between 1pm and 3pm at Craft in the Bay and between 1pm and 3pm on Fridays at Butetown Community Centre.