Sarah James, an acclaimed champion of British contemporary crafts for the past twenty years, is launching a brand-new event in her home town of Cardigan at the end of summer.

Craft Festival Wales will be held at Cardigan Castle from September 6-8.

It marks the fulfilment of a dream for the one-time Cardigan schoolgirl who received an MBE for her services to craft last June.

“I just got a letter from the Cabinet Office,’ Sarah, youngest daughter of former JJ Morris director Roddy James and his wife Pat, recalled.

“My first thought was: ‘Oh no, what have I done?”

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The Craft Festival Wales announcement was made at a photo call at Cardigan Castle with Ceredigion County Council and key partners, including Cardigan Castle, Mwldan, Oriel Myrddin, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, National Wool Museum, Make it in Wales, Coleg Sir Gar, QEST and Sea & Slate.

Funded by Arts Council of Wales, Ceredigion County Council and QEST, Craft Festival Wales will showcase an ‘exceptional’ handpicked selection of approximately ninety makers from across Wales and the UK – including jewellery makers, potters, furniture makers, textile artists, glassmakers and many more – all selling their finely made unique products directly to the public.

“I’m excited to launch Craft Festival Wales in my beloved home town,” Sarah told the Tivyside. “It’s been a long-term ambition to hold such an event.

“Craft Festival Wales is a collaborative celebration of making supported by leading arts organisations from Wales and beyond.

“It presents a great opportunity for brilliant makers to showcase, promote and sell their work, and is a fantastic day out for people of all ages.

And Sarah – who lives in Devon – is already hoping the festival could be held annually at Cardigan Castle.

“I would certainly hope so,” she said. “I’ve no plans to take it anywhere else so, with a fair wind and a lot of support, who knows?

Over the weekend there will be a Children’s Craft Tent, supported by Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, National Wool Museum, Coleg Sir Gar and Small World Theatre – offering children the opportunity to get creative while having lots of fun.

Craft Festival Wales will also present satellite events throughout the town, running for four weeks.

 Cllr Clive Davies, Cabinet Member for Ceredigion County Council who is responsible for Economy and Regeneration, said: “Cardigan is home to a thriving arts scene.

“This event will give makers from Ceredigion a fantastic opportunity to grow their businesses, offer a great day out, and attract visitors to town after the summer season ends.”

Applications to take part open today (Tuesday) and the deadline is 6pm on April 5. For details and to apply, go to

For information, including details of exhibitors, visit 

Tickets are on sale from Tuesday, February 13.