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Award-winning designer’s work featured in Yr Egin’s interior design

Sian O’Doherty

The work of Pembrokeshire-based textile designer Sian O’Doherty can now be seen at Canolfan S4C Yr Egin as part of its stunning interior design.

Sian – an award-winning designer based in Kilgetty – has created the cushions that adorn the colourful sofas inside the new digital and creative centre based at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s campus in Carmarthen.

Carys Ifan, Director of Yr Egin had seen some of Sian’s designs and thought the designs would complement the building’s interior perfectly.

“I was looking for something that was both traditional yet contemporary to compliment the interior design of the cafe area and fell in love with Sian’s designs. They express Yr Egin’s values – rooted in Welsh heritage and reimagined for today,” says Carys Ifan.

“One of the aims of Yr Egin is to support young creatives working in west Wales to help them develop their skills and businesses – and working with Sian was one way of starting to realise this. Numerous visitors to the cafe – Y Gegin – which is open to the public here at Yr Egin have commented on Sian’s fabulous cushions.”

Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is an innovative development located within a striking and iconic building that includes an auditorium, editing suites, performance areas as well as a popular cafe. It also offers a varied programme of events, workshops, talks and screenings.

With Welsh language broadcaster, S4C as the main anchor tenant, Yr Egin is also home to a range of companies working in the creative industries including multi-media publishing and digital technology; digital education; video production and photography; post production; graphic design; translation and sub-titling as well as financial management for the creative industries. They include: Atebol, Big Learning Company, Captain Jac, Asset Finance Solutions, Gorilla, Highly, Lens 360, Moilin, Optimwm, and Trywydd.

Sian was delighted to be asked to have her work featured in the building and is thrilled to see her cushions displayed as part of the building’s public area.

“I never thought I’d have the opportunity to be asked to have some of my work in such an iconic building,” says Sian. “I’d been following the progress of the development in Carmarthen and was so pleased when Carys contacted me.”

Based in Kilgetty, near Tenby, Sian runs a studio situated within a converted barn where she sells her designs. Sian also teaches a range of workshops – from beginners to advanced – and has also started running workshops in a range of other crafts and arts disciplines.

“I love teaching,” says the Coleg Sir Gâr BA Contemporary Textiles graduate who until recently, also taught at the college’s Jôb’s Well campus in Carmarthen.

“Working at Coleg Sir Gâr was a great experience – it’s a lovely environment and as a former student, I loved being able to work there.”

Having left to focus on her growing business, Sian still relishes the opportunity to run workshops and to teach at her studio.

“I really enjoy teaching – sharing skills, meeting people and seeing people get excited about developing their own techniques. It’s a passion of mine and that’s why I’ve carried on teaching private workshops at my studio.”

Specialising in knit and weaving during her time at college, knit became Sian’s main focus and is what she’s become best known for but she’s also really excited to get back into weaving at some point.

“Although most of my designs are knitted they still have that woven integration,” continues Sian. “All of the designs in Yr Egin are all inspired by either structures within weave or Welsh culture and Welsh heritage.

“It’s a huge honour to have been considered and been asked to have my work included as part of the interior design at Yr Egin. It’s a huge privilege to see my work featured in such an amazing building in a town that’s close to home – I’m delighted to have been asked.”

2018 was a highly successful year for Sian. As well as having her work included in Yr Egin and renovating her studio, Sian also won the Best Maker in Wales accolade out of 135 makers and artists who exhibited at Made by Hand at Cardiff’s City Hall in November.