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PTArtsCafe is all about the promotion of artistic talent from the capital city of steel. It’s not often that we’ll seek inspiration from outside the SA12 and 13 postcodes but our Arts & Crafts featured guest has a great story with hopefully a very happy ending.

A demanding life of full-time work at one of Wales’ top private schools as Head of Geography, juggling children, divorce, single parenthood and eventually the adolescent angst of helping two high achieving daughters successfully through university, put a hold on much of Janet Shambler’s artistic ambitions.

Her father Bryan Richard Shambler, later a well-known and much appreciated local artist and teacher, was first and foremost a successful engineer working overseas with BP, who promoted an academic future, not an artistic one for his only daughter.

A Bachelor in Education qualification from Cardiff College, now Cardiff Metropolitan University, preceded over 33 years of teaching at The Cathedral School in Llandaff, with the only expression of Janet’s stunning artistic ability, being her own beautifully crafted displays on the classroom walls and the gifts she made for friends and colleagues.

We often ask is artistic talent nature or nurture? In Janet Shambler’s case, the answer could be both. Her artistic eye comes most certainly from her recently departed father Bryan, some of whose large body of work in oils and watercolour sits in the Norton Gallery in Bridgend awaiting exhibition and sale following lockdown. Her innate crafts skills are learned from her grandparents for whom sewing, knitting and crocheting were a way of life and something precious to be passed on.

Retirement from work and personal happiness has restored Janet’s mojo and belief in her own abilities. Using only the finest quality materials in her creations, her ‘Knittynoonoo’ range of products including hats, bags, wall hangings, children’s clothes and toys, the latter inspired by Gigi her granddaughter, are finding a ready and appreciative market. Bespoke, original, fine, hand crafted, quality products are never cheap but the ‘Knittynoonoo’ portfolio remains exceptional value and still very affordable.

Currently, Janet’s new and very unusual range of hand-made, crocheted greeting cards for all occasions, are flying out – so much so, that meeting the demand is proving to be her next biggest obstacle. While her merino wool hats are seen adorning the rich and famous in Courchevel’s après ski, her greeting cards are proving an irresistible purchase for those requiring the ultimate salutation for their loved ones during lockdown.

So, what’s next? Like all creatives, inspiration is needed. As soon as restrictions lift and travel is allowed, Janet will be spending time at her partner’s holiday home, close to the ocean and the vineyards, chateaux and lakes of south west France’s Gironde Département. Here, her new range for ‘Knittynoonoo’ will be created and available for viewing and purchase in Autumn ‘21.

You can view the existing ‘Knittynoonoo’ range on Facebook

Orders can be taken and commissions arranged by emailing Janet Shambler at janetg37@hotmail.com or messaging via her directly via Facebook.