As many of you will know, the Good Life Experience Festival has been instrumental throughout the building of Jwrnal. Back in the early Summer of 2017, I met with festival co-founder Charlie Gladstone, who, on hearing my ideas and enthusiasm to ‘shout about makers in Wales’ put faith in me to curate a corner of the Marketplace during the festival that year. Without really knowing it, this kickstarted the project; I gave 'it' a name, I gathered friends and contacts and together we curated a space with products, demonstrations and continued to build this network I had started to create. Having gathered some interest during the festival, shortly afterwards I started this newsletter. The next year, 2018, Charlie invited us back to curate an entire tent dedicated to Welsh craft and makers. So, calling on some old and new friends, together we stepped it up a notch. During that same festival, I launched Jwrnal in print too. Which, was a pretty great milestone.

This year, Charlie asked if I'd like to help curate all of the craft areas of the festival -gulp- "yes please!" And that is what I'm busy working on at the moment; easily one of my favourite projects yet.

So, what is The Good Life Experience?

The Good Life Experience is a festival of discovery. Discovery through making, doing, listening, learning, dancing, eating, drinking. And it’s about people; old friends and new ones. The line-up offers the best music, food and drink, workshops, talks, craft and making all with a key focus on creating experiences that make you happy.

How did it start?

A key part of why the Good Life Experience began was to reconnect people with making, to fight back against mindless consumption, to retreat to values and fashions that seem to encapsulate simpler times; the good old days. So that’s what Charlie, Caroline, Steve and Cerys did - they created a festival all about the good things in life.

Craft at TGLE

The approach to craft at the Good Life is simple; it’s about experience. The key is to learn by doing. I read something recently that really resonated. That was ‘things you can’t get on the internet; hammering, stitching, getting your hands dirty, covering yourself in paint, playing with fire’ etc. Being a self-confessed millennial, I’ll happily hide behind emails and communicate via my Instagram feed, but nothing compares to that experience of physically doing or making something and learning from one another. That, is what craft at the festival is all about. No boundaries, no boxes, just a bunch of people doing good stuff.

Craft and making are very much at the core of the festival and I have been working with some of the best makers from Wales -and the UK- to curate a line up that has something for everybody. This is a festival for the curious. You can dip your toe into a craft or you can plunge right-in.

What to expect

I'm excited to be bringing back some of those very original makers from that corner of the Marketplace back in 2017, this time with their own, dedicated space. Expect print-making, knife forging, spoon whittling, lino-cutting, weaving, stitching, painting, pot-throwing and more. Oh and then dancing and partying until you’re ready to do it all again the next day.

If you're not familiar with the festival already -and you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about- then you can find some more information here;

Here is just a glimpse of some of the amazing makers and craftspeople who will be offering their skills through workshops, demonstrations and more throughout the festival.

The Good Life Experience is at Hawarden Estate, Flintshire, North Wales and takes place from 12-15th September.

You can read more about craft at The Good Life here and then purchase your tickets here.

Jwrnal newsletter subscribers can get 10% off all tickets -excluding bell tents, glamping or parking- by using the code "Jwrnal".

See you there!