Cefyn Burgess, born in Bethedsa, Gwynedd, Wales, is an internationally renowned traditional Welsh fabric designer and weaver. Educated at Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen, he then did an arts foundation course at Birmingham Polytechnic, a BA (Hons) in Fashion and Textiles at Manchester Polytechnic, before doing his MA in woven textiles at the RCA. Burgess still lives in Wales, and was honoured with the white gown and membership of the court at the Eisteddfod in 2004.
Since leaving the Royal College of Art in 1985, Cefyn Burgess has produced a vast body of work and has become established as one of Britain’s foremost designer makers working in the field of textiles. After completing his M.A., he stayed in London for a year and set up a workshop in Bethnal Green where he painted and printed woven blankets and ceramic plates for various shops such as Liberty’s of London and Paul Smith. In 1985, he was offered a two year post as weaver-in-residence at the Paradise Mill Silk Museum in Macclesfield; this gave him the opportunity to develop his skill in Jacquard weaving and to gain valuable experience of working in the textile industry. From Macclesfield, he moved back to North Wales, where he was able to renovate a disused Jacquard powerloom and with the help of grants from the Crafts Council and the Worshipful Company of Weavers, he was able to purchase and renovate three hand looms.
From this period he developed a range of rugs, quilts, upholstery fabrics based on designs taken from the neo-Norman Penrhyn Castle in North Wales and naïve animal images drawn from the Assyrian and Babylonian Galleries at the British Museum in London. Although his initial interest was in woven textiles, his designs have since been applied to many other media and throughout this time, his designs were in great demand for use on textiles and other products. His many clients include: The British Museum; The Contemporary Textiles Gallery; Designers Guild; Gallery Five; International Linen Promotion; John Lewis plc; National Museum of Wales and The Medici Society.