My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Craft business brings the community together

Creative and fun: from left Bethan Bowyer of The Paint Pot, Martin Palmer Tata Steel subsidiary UKSE and Sian Wyndham Neath and Port Talbot County Borough Council. Picture by Nick Treharne

As social life starts to return to normal, a Port Talbot crafts business is working had to bring the community together.

The Paint Pot offers creative and fun experiences to people of all ages and is becoming a focus for parties, special events, groups and families who want to develop their artistic skills in decorating pottery ware and enjoy themselves at the same time.

Bethan Bowyer and assistants Laura and Tara have created a colourful, inviting environment, well-stocked with  plenty of figures to choose from.

They work closely with the nearby bakery which provides food to order for the sessions. Finished artwork is either taken away on the day, or underglazed and fired overnight in the kiln.

“It’s lots of fun and people usually find they are much better at painting than they thought they were,” said Bethan.

“They take away their own piece of art as a memory of an enjoyable day.”

After a career teaching in local colleges, Bethan wanted to carry on supporting the community, and came up with The Paint Pot. Unfortunately  the business launched just before Lockdown in 2020, but her enormous personal commitment and that of her team saw them through, and now the business is moving steadily forward as its reputation grows, with customers from the local area and further afield.

“During Lockdown we put together special activity packs and delivered them to customers’ homes. This was really appreciated at the time as people were isolated and it gave them something to pass the time,” added Bethan.

The Community Support Programme,  managed by UKSE, a subsidiary of Tata Steel and also Neath and Port Talbot County Borough Council gave the business a £500 grant which went towards equipment.

UKSE Regional Executive in Wales Martin Palmer said: “Tata Steel is very committed to the community and is pleased to support businesses such as The Paint Pot, which are making a social and economic difference. This will be important as the town emerges from this difficult period and we are delighted to provide help to Bethan and her team, and wish the business every success.”

The studio is in a prominent position on the town’s Commercial Street, on the site of the first Co-Op in the area.

A Garden Studio has been built at the rear, and there is a developing range of activities to suit all ages. “We have children’s parties, Crafternoon Teas, and also adult painting sessions with Prosecco. We are working with charities too, and have an increasing number of special needs customers,” she added.

Sian Wyndham New Business Support and Development Mentor Neath and Port Talbot Council added : “It was a pleasure to be able to support such a great local initiative in partnership with UKSE through their Community Support Programme. Businesses such as The Paint Pot are vital for bringing people and groups together within the local community and we wish Bethan and her team all the very best with the future success of her business during these challenging times.

“The Council’s Economic Development team can offer a whole host of support across a wide range of sectors to new and existing businesses and urges other businesses who are looking to develop and grow to get in touch.”