In the first of a series of articles exploring the foundations of our brand, we explore why hiraeth, hwyl and cynefin capture the essence of who we are and what we stand for.
Collectively the three most romantic words in the Welsh language, hiraeth, hwyl and cynefin reflect the luxurious sensuality of the work showcased by First Of March. Individually, they create the context for the remarkable stories we can tell through the exquisite craftsmanship of Wales.
At the heart of hiraeth lies a love of the myths, magic and legends of Wales – tribal memories that evoke an intense response and conjure a spiritual, human and personal connection. At its finest, craftsmanship gives voice to these stories, spinning emotive narratives through texture, colour and shape. Steeped in the traditions of their craft, our Makers honour its heritage while creating work of contemporary relevance and enduring significance – a vital counterpoint to the transience of the digital era.
Hwyl speaks of the pride and passion of our Makers, permeating every inch of their creative journey. Hardwired into their pursuit of perfection and their meticulous attention to detail, it reflects their respect for the raw materials they work with, the skills into which they are breathing new life and their palpable pleasure in the stories their craft relates. In a world drowning in the mass-produced, the careless and the humdrum, hwyl celebrates the timeless values expressed through fine craftsmanship.
As with hiraeth and hwyl, the poetry of cynefin defies direct translation into English prose, but perhaps the closest we can come is place and belonging, shared history and emotional connection – the visceral bonds between our Makers, their craftsmanship and their country. Every piece we showcase wears its provenance with pride, rooted in the mountains, valleys, coastlines and rivers of Wales, conceived and born under its skies.
Taken together, these three small words symbolise something far greater than language – the heart and soul of our brand and our unique community.