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MARCH/APRIL 1978

NEWSLETTER

Thomas Prior House, Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 Telephone 01 680764

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING The First Annual General Meeting of Crafts Council of Ireland was held on February 14th and was attended by representatives of twenty-three of the twenty-nine member organisations. Miss Muriel Gahan, the Chairman, in her report covering the actitives of the Council during the period from September 1976 to the end of December 1977, listed the many achievements in the Council's first report year, many of which, such as exhibitions and trade fairs have been reported in the Newsletter. Looking to the future, however, the report suggests that "the Crafts Council's objective as an all-Ireland organisation is that it should play a full and effective part to the greatest benefit of all Ireland's craftsmen, whether studio, traditional or home, members of a craft organisation or of none." In more specific terms the Council "will concern itself with craft education at all levels. It will seek the most effective administration of grants to craftsmen and through the

grant system ensure that the greater number of qualified craftsmen will be able to contribute to the growing need for handcrafted products." This is a reference to one of the Council's functions, not being a grant giving organisation itself, of ensuring that grants available from the various state and semi-state agencies are administered as effectively as possible for the special needs of the craftsman. Miss Gahan concluded " . . . (the Council) will continue the practical work of giving craftsmen the best opportunities to show and sell their work. In the final analyses it is only through practical help to enable the craftsman to achieve self help and growth that the Council can achieve its objectives." During the course of the report, the Chairman referred to the detailed study which the Planning Sub-Committee has made of the corporate effectiveness of the Council and which will define the short-term strategic role of the Council over the next one to two years.

IDA Promotes Marlay Crafts Centre Eight young craftsmen will be working in the next few months in the new studios in the reconstructed courtyard at Marlay House in the new Dublin County Council park in Rathfarnham. Each of those involved in the initial eight craft industries promoted by the I.D.A.'s Small Industries Programme are young Irish craftsmen, trained in their chosen fields. The decision to locate craft workshops at Marlay House followed negotiations between the County Council and the

I.D.A. which was concerned about the lack of suitable premises for such activities. The following are the craftmen involved: weavers, Judy Toner and Muriel Beckett; earthenware potters, Pauline Cummins and Teresa O'Connor and stoneware potter Paul Martin; Derek Nelson who makes guitars and mandolins; Colm Maher, maker of harps; Paul Kennan, worker in stained glass and Desmond Bellew, silversmith.

Craftsman Potter New Chairman Mr Louis Mulcahy, the craftsman potter from Ballyferriter and representative of the Kerry Craftworkers' Association was unanimously elected Chairman of the Management Committee of Crafts Council of Ireland at the initial meeting of the Committee after the Annual General Meeting. Mr Mulcahy is the first fully professional craftsman to be elected to this office in the seven year history of the Council. It is a tribute to Mr Mulcahy and also to the increasing awareness of the managerial ability of many of our leading craftsmen. Not least, his election is a vindication of the development of craftwor ker associations throughout the country which the Council has been encouraging and the membership of these by craftsmen and the part which as members they play in articulating the requirements of the crafts community and the means towards achieving these.

Council Grant Increased The Crafts Council of Ireland was seeking a grant of £34,500 for its planned programme for 1978 — more money to cover initiative project scheme proposals, for a bigger trade fair, for seminars, exhibitions and other activities. The Council has been given a grant of £30,000 which, though less than requested, is, nevertheless, 25% up on last year which is a tribute to the Council's work.


RDS National Crafts Competition Details of the Royal Dublin Society's 1978 National Crafts Competition have been announced. A new class for leatherwork has been added to the existing categories for embroidery, enamelling, stained glass, lace, ceramics, rush work, glass, metalwork, gold, silver and copper work, fabric printing, woodwork, weaving, rug making, batik, basketry, jewellery, macrame, pottery, tapestry, straw-work and musical instruments. Over £1,000 will be available in prize money. Further awards for work of outstanding merit will be the £500 Scholarship or Development Grant, the Crafts Council of Ireland Medal and the California Gold Medal, together with R.D.S. Certificates. The closing date for receiving entries will be Friday 7th July, 1978. All prize-winning works and other items of a good standard will be exhibited at the R.D.S. Arts & Crafts Stand from Tuesday 8th to Saturday 12th August, 1978 inclusive (Horse Show Week). Details and entry forms available from: Betty Searson Arts Administrator Royal Dublin Society Ballsbridge Dublin 4 Telephone 680645, Extension 312

Crafts Media Coverage High The many and varied activities of Crafts Council of Ireland and its members during 1977 has meant that there has been a fairly constant coverage of crafts throughout the year. Every week the press cutting service brings into the Council Offices mentions of some craft exhibition, seminar, craftsman at work. Many are not directly related to Council or member generated functions, but those that are, fill two large press cutting books. Highlights such as the All Ireland Crafts Exhibition, the two National Trade Fairs and the Centuries of Wool — Ireland Exhibition brought headlines and often some pages of photographs. Regional activities like the Knitting Conference in Bunratty, the fairs organised by the Clare and Kerry Associations, the new shop of Cork Craftsman's Guild were widely covered as were the emergence of new county associations. Newspapers apart, both T.V. and radio coverage were also excellent, all of which would seem to underline the wide interest there is in crafts .

LIBRARY

Crafts Council Chairman

Recent Acquisitions in the Library

to be Honoured by TCD

OPPI UNTRACHT Enameling on Metal M CHAMBERLAIN, C CROCKETT Beyond Weaving R & G METCALF Making Stained Glass RUTH CASTINO Spinning and Dyeing the Natural Way DOROTHY WRIGHT Baskets and Basketry ANGELICA GARNETT Mosaics GRANT ARNOLD Creative Lithography LAWRENCE LEE The Appreciation of Stained Glass CECELIA FLECHER The Complete Book of Rug Making B. C. SOUTHWELL Making and Decorating Pottery Tiles J. H. NEWMAN, L S. NEWMAN Plastics for the Craftsman E. FRENCH, S. SCHRAPEL Craft from Scrap Materials MAYNARD G. COSGROVE The Enamels of China and Japan

Miss Muriel Gahan, who retired as chairman of Crafts Council of Ireland on February 14th is to be given an honourary doctorate by Trinity College. This recognition of what Miss Gahan, in her long life, has done for crafts is not before its time. Her close interest in the crafts movement goes back to the twenties and her achievements in the I.C.A., in the Homespun Society, in Country Markets and Country Workers, and in the foundation of An Grianan, the adult education centre for crafts in Termonfeckin and many other areas such as the R.D.S. and Crafts Council are now about to be fittingly recognised. Craftworkers everywhere will join the Newsletter in congratulating Miss Gahan. Crafts Council of Ireland, to mark her retirement has, under its initiative project scheme created a scholarship to bear her name which will enable a student in the traditional crafts to undertake a preliminary training course at An Grianan.

May/June Issue The last date for copy for the May/June issue of the Newsletter is 24 April.

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AOTDXOII A T O M mM a U M ) MEWi NEW MEMBER ORGANISATION The Guild of Musical Instrument Makers has been admitted to membership of Crafts Council of Ireland, The Council was involved in the formation of this guild, the main objective of which is the improvement of standards of craftsman­ ship in the making of musical instruments, whether these are pipes, harps, guitars or the more unusual concert instruments, all of which are made here. They are over 60 craftsmen in the country making musical instruments. The chairman of the Guild is John Fry and the representative on the Council is Andrew Robinson. The first A.G.M. of the Guild was held at the Municipal School of Music in Cork on 11th February.

CORK CRAFTSMAN'S GUILD AGM The AGM of Cork Craftsman's Guild was held on 29th of January at the new premises in the Savoy Arcade and Mr Jim O'Donnell was again elected chairman and Mr John Verling elected representative to the Crafts Council. The chairman's report covered the year which was a momentous one in terms of achievement, not only in the number and variety of craftsmen affiliated to the Guild, but in the move from the small back street shop in Paul Street to the new modern premises in the most prestigious shopping arcade in Cork. GALWAY CRAFTS MEETING A meeting of the Galway Association for Craftworkers was held on 25th January and attended by the Executive Officer of Crafts Council. The film 'In praise of Hands' was shown as was an interesting film covering the September exhibition by the Association in Clarenbridge. WE ARE CLOSING a craft shop in Dublin and would like to find an alternative position in Dublin for the lady who has run it for the past few years. Box MA 2. 5 CU. FT. ELECTRIC KILN for sale. As new. Two Sunvic controls. £450. One banding whell £20. Box MA 1.

MEATH

WEXFORD

On the 1st February a meeting of Meath craftworkers was held in Navan as the first step towards the setting up of a Meath Craftworkers' Association.

Plans are being made for a selling exhibition at Easter by the members of Wexford Craftworkers' Association. The location is expected to be the Y.M.C.A. Hall at North Main Street.

The meeting, which was organised by the County Development Team, was attended by over 70 part-time and full-time craft­ workers and was addressed by Mr Jim Donnellan, the County Develop­ ment Officer and Mr Frank Sutton, Executive Officer of the Crafts Council.

Evening talks will be held during February and March on various crafts and in addition to the craftsmanship aspect will also cover such matters as costing, pricing and profit margins.

A working party was set up to draw up a draft constitution. The meeting was also in agreement with participation by some of those present in the Navan Trade Fair on 6th March, aided by the County Development Team.

MONAGHAN ASSOCIATION The County Monaghan Arts and Crafts Association at its first Annual General Meeting at the end of January elected the following officers: Mrs Josephine Carroll, Monaghan Chairman Mrs Patsy Coogan, Monaghan, ViceChairman Mrs Monica McQuaid, Newbliss, Hon. Secretary Mrs Nellie Brown, Cortolvin, Hon. Treasurer The C.E.O. of County Monaghan Vocational Education Committee, Dr Joseph Hill was elected President. Dr Hill stated that 'excellent craftwork is produced in County Monaghan and it merits proper recognition.' The Association is planning a crafts centre in Monaghan town which will be used for displaying all art and craftwork presented in Monaghan for sales. Mrs Jospehine Carroll is chairman of the Monaghan Urban Council.

FAST ACCURATE REPETITION THROWER is required for three to six months. £60 per week plus accommodation. To avoid unnecessary correspondence only experienced repetition throwers should apply. Reply Box No. JF 1.

BUNRATTY FOLK PARK EXTENSION As a result of acquiring additional acreage adjoining the Folk Park at Bunratty, a number of traditional and other craft workshops will be established where craftsmen will create their products on a day to day basis and will be part of a iving craft 'village'. Their products will, of course, be available to the many thousands of tourists who come to the Folk Park every year. Details of these different crafts being catered for have not yet been released. ISDC The Irish Society for Design & Craftwork opened their 25th Exhibition in the Bank of Ireland Exhibition Hall in Dublin on 20th February.

Musical Instruments Clare Compeition Clare Craftworkers' Association, jointly with Comhaitas Ceolteoiri, are organising a competition open to all makers of musical instruments. The prize will be a perpetual trophy and replica and the closing date, to be announced, will be during May. The instruments will be exhibited during the Fleadh Nua in Ennis. Details may be had from the Hon. Secretary, Clare Craftworkers' vssociation, the Courthouse, Ennis. POTTER 3rd year pottery student seeks summer employment — anything considered Please contact: Brenda O'Brien Dunbuain Lodge Kill, Co. Kildare


NEW FACES on MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Chairman's Statement

The new Management Committee elected on February 14th includes an additional member from a craftworkers' association, Mr Toddie Byrne from Galway and brings on to the Committee the representatives of Bunratty Folk Park, Mr Tom Sheedy; County Development Officers' Association, Mr Tom Broderick; and Country Markets, Miss Mary Coleman.

The following statement for the Newsletter was made by Mr Mulcahy after his election as chairman:

For personal reasons or due to pressue of other business commitments, Miss Gahan, Miss Findlater and Mr Moynihan did not put their names forward for the new Committee. The Management Committee, with Mr Louis Mulcahy as Chairman, and with the honorary offices who were subsequently appointed is as follows: Mr Louis Mulcahy, Chairman Mr James Warwick, Vice Chairman Miss Betty Searson, Hon. Secretary Mr Jim Connolly, Hon. Treasurer Mr Toddie Byrne Mr Tom Broderick Miss Mary Coleman Mr John Corrigan Mr Anthony Courtney Mrs Patsy Duignan Miss Cecil O'Donohue Miss Blanaid Reddin Mr Tom Sheedy Mr Gerald Tyler Mr John Verlinq

Ceard Chumman Chiarrai Northern Ireland Royal Dublin Society Clare Craftworkers' Association Galway Association of Craftworkers County Development Officers' Association Country Markets Irish Goods Council Coras Trachtala Slievebawn Cooperative Handcraft Market National College of Art & Design Bord Failte Eireann Bunratty Castle & Folk Park Kilkenny Design Workshops Cork Craftsman's Guild

TRADE FAIR The Second National Crafts Trade Fair was reported on briefly as a late news item in the last issue of the Newsletter. With 67 exhibitors, and in professionally erected stands, uniformly designed, the Industries Hall at the R.D.S. had an authoritative look and there was obviously nothing ad hoc about it. The National Crafts Trade Fair had arrived, and was going to stay in terms of its being a yearly meeting place of crafts­ men, small craft based industries and the buyers. The buyers were generally very pleased with what they found and were impressed also with the overall standard. The fact that buyers from 190 buying points came to the fair was indicative of how they rated its importance — underscored by the fact that in the three days they placed orders valued at £1 55,000. With positive expectations of another £50,000 the fair was a success. Press coverage was excellent with all the main Dublin daily and evening papers giving the fair wide coverage, as did also many provincial papers and coverage also came from three radio and two television interviews connected with the Fair.

The R.D.S. venue has been provisionally booked again for next year when more exhibitors, more buvers and more orders will be the aim of The Crafts Council which organised it. The Industries Hall at the R.D.S. proved to be an ideal venue and all the experience of the R.D.S. made for relatively easy organisation, an important factor for a small secretariat such as that of the Crafts Council. Parking, catering, communications, proximity to Crafts Council offices, transport and other factors were uncomplicated and the location from a press point of view was also important. Both exhibitors and buyers made many helpful comments towards further improving the fair and all these will be considered and put into practise where relevant. Certainly, the next fair will be announced at an earlier date than the last one and the interest in space is expected to be keen. Already there are 15 early birds who have had their space bookings pencilled in. Watch the September/October issue of the Newsletter for details.

The immediate overall aims of the Crafts Council are the advancement of quality in contemporary crafts, the revival of the old and dormant skills and the creation of as many jobs as possible in both fields. To do this we need to widen and even reawaken public appreciation of the positive contribution of the craftsman to our community. It is only through the public's endorsement of the role of the craftsman that we can gain the support we require to carry out our development programme. The two primary objectives under this programme are closely inter-related. These are the creation of Irish craftsmen to fill the obvious market potential and the safeguarding and raising of quality of Irish craft products. We now have a well qualified and extremely active committee who are anxious to make rapid progress. The only impediment is financial. I hope we can given evidence of value that will ensure that our budget will be brought up to the required level for 1979.

RDS £ 5 0 0 Award Winner Returns from Study Visit Desmond Byrne, winner of £500 Scholarship or Development Grant in the R.D.S. 1977 National Crafts Competition, has recently returned from a two-week study tour in London. He visited the Goldsmiths' Hall, which houses a vast collection of works by world-renowned gold and silversmiths and also spent some time in Sir John Cass College, one of the leading schools in the United Kingdom for training apprentices; Desmond Byrne is in charge of training apprentice silversmiths in the Kilkenny Design Workshops. He also visited a number of London's leading gold and silversmiths and The Crafts Advisory Committee. Desmond Byrne will invest the remainder of his prize fund in tools for his new workshop.

RTE to Screen Craft Films 1

The series of /2 hour films on Irish traditional crafts made by David Shaw Smith last year commissioned by RTE will be shown weekly commencing on April 3rd at 7.30 pm.

CCI-newsletter-1978-13-March-April  

Mr Louis Mulcahy, the craftsman potter from Ballyferriter and representative of the Kerry Craftworkers' Association was unanimously elected...

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