Tributes have been made by the family of a former Ammanford pottery teacher after she passed away a week before her 95th birthday.

Glenys Thomas (née Rowlands) died peacefully in her sleep on January 27.

During a long and productive artistic life, she captured many classic Welsh landscapes and portraits of local dignitaries.

Her paintings are held around the country, as far away as America, and she regularly exhibited her work, including in a one-woman show of over 30 paintings in Llandrindod Wells, the town where she started her teaching career.

Mrs Thomas was also a successful competitor at the National Eisteddfod and a stalwart of the Ammanford Arts Club.

Glenys taught pottery and art at Amman Valley Comprehensive School for many years, inspiring and introducing generations of students to three-dimensional art forms. Several of her students have gone on to very successful careers in the arts.

She was born at her grandmother’s home in Carway in 1923 where she was brought up and attended the local primary school.

She gained a scholarship to Carmarthen Grammar School for Girls studying there for three years before moving to Ammanford and the Amman Valley Grammar School.

Her father, Owen Rowlands, a mining contractor, had moved the family to be closer to the work in the local mines. In his spare time, he was a highly skilled model maker and Glenys seems to have inherited her artistic talent from him.

After her ‘O’ levels, she studied at Llanelli Art School, completing her studies as war broke out.

During the war she was a land girl in Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire, frequently staying at the Queens’ Hotel in New Quay.

When not farming she taught art at night schools in Llandybie and Llanelli, and to evacuees staying at the mansion in Derwydd.

At the end of the war teachers were in short supply. With no teaching qualifications she was sent to Llandrindod Wells Grammar School to teach art which she did between 1945 and 1950.

In 1951 she married John, a naval officer, who was to be her husband for 66 years. When they started a family he ‘swallowed the anchor’ for a job on dry land to be able to help Glenys bring up their two growing and boisterous sons, Wyn and Alun.

Glenys took leave from teaching whilst they were young but found time to paint at home and this period was probably her most productive. The strain of painting enough pictures for her one-woman show at this time took its toll on family life.

When John was interviewed at the grand opening of the exhibition, and asked if he painted too, he replied "one artist in the family is enough"

With the formation of the Amman Valley Comprehensive School in 1970 a post for a pottery teacher was created.

Against stiff competition from 11 other candidates Glenys was given the job. Her devotion to her work found her not infrequently working alone at the AVCS on a Sunday, especially if her kiln was in use. She retired in 1982.

When the Eisteddfod was held in Ammanford, a chance visit to a tent advertising holidays to Patagonia triggered a love of travel. For many years afterwards, she would happily leave John and her two sons to travel for as long as a month each year, and these trips ranged from Europe to as far afield as India, China, the United States and New Zealand, and inspired some of her later paintings.

This also led to her two sons becoming very independent at an early age. John, who had been sent to sea at the age of 15, had seen enough of the world.

A spokesperson for the family said: "She is remembered by all who knew her as a warm individual with a good sense of humour.

"She loved to pass on her skills and knowledge about art and was always ready to help her many students and family, frequently working late into the night on projects."

She is survived by John, 96, her sons Wyn and Alun, five grand-children and one great-granddaughter.

The funeral will be held at 12pm on February 16 at the Bwtrimawr Chapel of Rest, Betws.