Meet The Maker – Ffigys Designs & Ryland Pottery

We almost can’t believe how fast this year has flown by since our last “Meet the Makers” blog posts.  We are delighted to be featuring some of our newest members of the team as well as welcoming back some of our favourites. 

We’re embracing our 5th year of Etsy Made Local with some great finds and gift ideas for everyone. So, grab yourself a cosy cuppa and enjoy meeting our first two makers; Shirley (Ffigys Designs) and Glyn of Ryland Pottery.



Ffigys Designs 

Shirley photo - Shirley Smith72dpiWe’ll start it off easy by introducing you to one of our Etsy Team Leaders; Shirley makes the most intricate and delicate beaded Jewellery and gifts that prove she has the patience of a saint. 

Shirley explains further as to how her business got started:

“I started crafting when I was 4 years old and have been making things ever since. I used to do mostly textile work (knitting, sewing, embroidery, lace-making, spinning, and weaving) then switched to jewellery after receiving a gift of beads and tools about 10 years ago. Ffigys Designs started up soon after that as I found that I really enjoyed designing and making jewellery and beaded gifts.”

Light wood cube earrings 1 - Shirley Smith72dpi

With a sharp eye for detail, Shirley’s inspiration for creativity comes fairly naturally to her as she gains her motivation from being surrounded by her materials and tools.

“Ideas for new products pop into my head if I stare at a pile of beads for more than a few seconds…As well as basic beading techniques, I currently do Kumihimo braiding, silk knotting, and wire wrapping.”

We love how Shirley uses a mixture of her skills to create elegant yet very mesmerising pieces such as her Black Kumihimo necklace.

Black-and-gunmetal-Kumihimo-necklace-1 - Shirley Smith72dpiRainbow-Kumihimo-bracelet-1 - Shirley Smith72dpi






What is your favourite thing about EML? 

“Looking at all the wonderful products made by members of the Cardiff and Valleys Creatives team.”

On the top of Shirley’s gift wish list is the wonderful MINT and Feather resin clocks; so we all know where Shirley will be sneaking off for a quick break during Etsy Made Local this year. 

Clear beaded snowflake 1 - Shirley Smith72dpi


Shirley’s delicate clear beaded snowflake shows just her level of design and skill whilst also being very suitable to welcoming in the winter season.

To browse more of Ffigys Designs products head over to their Etsy store or social media pages; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter




Ryland Pottery 


Our second feature is one we can all agree will be pretty busy at this years Etsy Made Local, Glyn sells incredibly tactile and skillfully made functional tableware. There’ll certainly be some very happy people receiving a few of these delights under their Christmas tree that’s for sure.

Where did it all begin and where do you see yourself going?

Many years ago at art college when I decided to follow pottery instead of fine art sculpture.


S-plates3-sept2018 - Glyn Ryland72dpi

Glyn takes most of his inspiration from classical and contemporary pottery, it’s undeniable that there is certainly a slightly eastern inspiration to the choice of textures and tones that we can’t get enough of.



What skills or techniques do you need to create your products? 

So many, from geology to throwing on the wheel, firing and creating glazes and much more.

It’s clear to see that Glyn has a keen eye for detail and has an ability to make his tableware look effortlessly classical and with a style that will withstand the test of time.

A personal achievement for him this year has been focusing on developing both his technique and S-square2-sept2018 - Glyn Ryland72dpibusiness exploration;

“I continue to develop my work both in forms and glazes,  I enjoyed showing again at the Wardlow Mires pottery festival,  held every year in the Peak District with some of the best functional potters in the country.”



Like a lot of us, Glyn loves to support small indie-businesses so no doubt his wish list and stockings will be filled to the brim with wonderful handmade creations. 

“…There is so much great work on Etsy,  but I think it depends on who I’m buying for.

_12A6596 - Glyn Ryland72dpi72dpiWhat is your favourite thing about EML? 

It’s my first one, so I’m just really looking forward to meeting lots of local makers.

We have to agree with Glyn, that when it comes to favourite makes Glyn isn’t biased, and why should he be:

“I like so many,  you kind of have to like making them all, but I guess cups and mugs are always good as you get to see so many people using them every day.”


My favourite place to relax and unwind is…beaker2-sept2-18 - Glyn Ryland72dpi

The beach.

As this is Glyns first Etsy Made Local in Cardiff we are very excited to be introducing such wonderfully crafted product; if you’d like to admire some of his latest collection then you can head over to Ryland Pottery Etsy store or Social Media; Facebook and Instagram. We just hope he has a few vases and mugs left for us to enjoy.


Come join us on the 30th of November, 10 am-5 pm at Cardiff City Hall for Cardiff and Valleys  Creatives 5th Etsy Made Local. For more information head over to our team’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages and show your interest on our Facebook event page.

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