Welsh Crafts


An account of the historic Welsh crafts and as they exist today

By Mary Eirwen Jones

Published by B T Batsford Ltd, London 1978

This listing of Contents and Illustrations by Gareth Hicks [ Feb 2002 ]

**My copy of this book was deposited with Glamorgan FHS in April 2022


This is a substantial part of the introductory remarks on the book's dust jacket.

'The industrialisation of Wales came late and as a consequence Welsh craftsmen, based as they were on a rural community, have a long unbroken tradition which has often continued into the present day. The coracles of the Wye, for example, are certainlly prehistoric in origin yet they still continue to be made and used today.

In this book Mary Eirwen Jones describes the whole range of Welsh crafts, their origins, techniques, survival, and in some cases their recent revival. Some of them have specially close associations with Wales; quilting, slate memorial stones, spelk baskets, Pontypool Ware, Nantgarw china. Others are the traditional crafts of the weaver, the smith, the miller, the thatcher and the furniture maker which have been common to all agricultural societies. A third category of craft-workers is also considered by Miss Jones, of men and women who have introduced and successfully pursued a fresh activity hithertoo unknown in the Principality; the Cistercian monks with their perfume manufactory on Caldey Island are one famous such innovation, while a more recent one is glass-blowing at Saundersfoot..........'


  • Introduction
  • Craft centres
  • Textiles
    • Woolcraft
    • Carding and spinning
    • Weaving
    • Dyeing
    • Knitting
    • Wool Rug-making
    • Quilting
    • Patchwork Quilts
    • Patchwork Today
  • Stone
    • Dry-stone Walling
    • Flour Milling
    • Slate
    • Slate memorial Stones
  • Woodcraft
    • Furniture Makers
    • Types of Furniture
    • The Tool-maker
    • Turnery and Carving
    • Clog-making
    • Boat Building
    • Walking Sticks
    • Toys
  • Leatherwork
    • Shoemakers and Cobblers
    • Horn
    • Horse-hair Halters
    • Tanneries
  • Grass
    • Thatching
    • Basket-making
    • Spelk- Baskets
    • Coiled Basketry or Lipe
    • Green Willow Traps
    • Coracles
    • Basketry Technique
    • Rush and Sea-grass Work
    • Corn Dollies
  • Metal
    • Smithcraft
    • Toolsmith
    • Japan Ware of Pontypool
    • Clock-making
  • Ceramics
    • Pottery
    • Nantgarw and Swansea China
  • Decorative Crafts
    • Stained Glass
    • Miniature Painting
    • Dried Flowers
    • Musical Instruments
    • Lace-making
    • Feather-craft
    • Perfume
    • Jewellery
    • Glass-blowing
    • Miniatures
    • Candles
    • Fine bookbinding
  • Conclusion


(Surnames have been omitted to comply with the requirements of the DPA)

  • Gwyndaf B......., wood turner of St Fagans.
  • Titus H....., aged 10, demonstrates how to use a spinning wheel
  • Fringing a travelling rug
  • A Welsh wool smock from the Snowden Mill, Portmadoc
  • Crewel work embroidery on Welsh flannel
  • Quilting; a cushion and bed cover
  • An old time dry-stone waller on the Welsh border
  • Eighteenth century slate memorial slabs at Llangaddock, Gwent
  • An oak lovespoon made from a single piece of wood
  • A wood carving by Handel E.......
  • A wood turner at work at St Fagan's Folk Museum
  • Using the clogger's knife
  • A clogger in the woods near Abergavenny
  • A leather worker of Fishguard
  • An old photograph of spelk basket-makers (Y Cymro)
  • Making corn dollies
  • Refectory table in Welsh oak and rush-seated chairs
  • Ironwork gates by the D....... Brothers at Chirk Castle
  • The blacksmith; Roger T....... of Llanelli
  • Hand-thrown pottery by Dafydd J........
  • Some products of the  Taurus Pottery, Anglesey
  • A Nantgarw porcelain plate
  • A hand-painted Nantgarw teapot and stand
  • The harp maker; John T..........
  • Packing Caldey Island perfume
  • Marjory C....... demonstrates pillow-lacemaking
  • A glass-blown ornament by Vincenzo S...........
  • Polished stone jewellery

Line Illustrations

(Surnames have been omitted to avoid any potential breach of the Data Protection Act)

  • Robert G........, Blacksmith working at Llechwedd Slate Mine
  • The Buttermaker; Annie D....... [Y Llaethferch]
  • The Miller; Douglas W L......... [Y Melinydd]
  • The Weaver; Parry T....... [Y Gwehydd]
  • The Mason; Thomas Gordon D......... [Saer Maen]
  • The Spoon Carver; Dan T......... [Y Naddwr Llwyau]
  • The Saddler; Hugh J......... [Cyfrwywr]
  • The Coracle Maker; John C........ T............ [Y Cwrwglwr]
  • The Farrier; Dai M......... (Y Gof) [Pedolwr]
  • The Potter; David J......... [Crochenydd---Ewenni Pottery estd. 1610]
  • Wyn P........ polishing slate in his workshop
  • The Clogmaker