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JULY/AUGUST 1983

Crafts Council of Ireland Thomas Prior House Merrion Road Dublin 4

Telephone 680764 / 603070

Annual General Meeting The fifth Annual General Meeting of the Crafts Council of Ireland Ltd. was held on 29th June at Thomas Prior House. The Chairman in his statement pointed out that the last year had seen a further deterioration in an already difficult economic situation. For the craftworkers, dependent for a livelihood on the market, survival itself was a triumph. The important thing was that while there is both anger and apprehension throughout the craft community, there is very little despair. Against a sombre backdrop and in very harsh surroundings there is a great deal of hope and effort, and some progress. The statement noted that during the last year a great deal of thought and work had gone towards making a success of the European Crafts Conference taking place this September. The format, with a large number of scattered workshops, required an enormous amount of organisation to succeed. The IDA has seconded Marion McGowan as National Co-ordinator and everyone who had worked with her was impressed by her commitment. The Sixth National Crafts Trade Fair continued the advance made in earlier years. The statement noted two special events which for the Council's future evolution had'a special importance, and which marked the growing maturity and quality of Irish crafts. The first was the symposium, workshop and international exhibition organised by the Society of Cork Potters, and the other was the intensive Textile Media Workshop in Ballyvaughan. Commenting on the tiny staff and budget of the Crafts Council the Chairman could think of no organisation more effective in cost benefit terms. This being simply because a very small team works very hard and well.

The statement put forward two conclusions: the first that the size and quality of Irish craftwork is rising rapidly in the face of great economic difficult and the second that the Crafts Council must, if it is to fulfil its responsibilities, move to a new level of work. The Chairman has made suggestions which, if accepted, will make possible a beginnig in this direction. The audited accounts showed a revenue deficit of ÂŁ11,821 for the year 1982 inclusive of depreciation of ÂŁ6,616. The auditors Craig Gardner and Company were re-appointed. The election for the three vacant seats on the Management Committee caused by statutory retirements resulted in Mrs. Alison Erridge of Clare Craftworkers

Catherine McDonald 'Cottage Exterior' printed textile. Textiles of the Burren.

Association, Mr. Rudolf Heltzel of the Kilkenny Craftworkers Guild and Mr. Jim O'Donnell of the Craftsmans Gallery being elected. The Minister for Industry and Energy appointed the following five members of the Management Committee for one. year: Professor Justin Keating (also appointed Chairman); Mr. John Jenkins, Kilkenny Design Workshops; Mr. Johnny Murphy, National College of Art and Design; Mr. Shane McAuley, IDA and Miss Blanaid Reddin, Bord Failte.


Crafts Council of Ireland Management Committee Extraordinary General Meeting At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Crafts Council of Ireland Ltd., held at the RDS on 26th April for the purpose of considering the Resolutions for change in the Memorandum and Articles, these were passed, after a thorough debate, by 29 votes to 1 with two abstentions. The main changes allow for the appointment by the Minister for Industry and Energy of 5 members of the 15 strong Management Committee, including the Chairman. The Chairman in a covering letter with the official EGM documentation pointed out what he considered to be short term obtainable objectives, indicating the minimum changes necessary to the Council's structures to attain them. The objectives he listed need money and staff, funded by the state or the private sector or both. It was his opinion that the Council was not likely to get more commitment and help and power without changing the composition of the Council. He expressed his belief that the Council, in budget terms, was now on a plateau but that it could get off it and make a major step forward, if not it could be faced with stagnation and regression.

Craft Tour

Exhibitions

The Experiment in International Living The Experiment in International Living announces a 1984 Swedish Programme which includes a one or two week homestay with a practising craftsperson. Possibilities include Textile Dyeing (end of August — September), Woodcarving, Pottery or Weaving (September to mid December or mid January to May). Craftspersons who participate stay with Swedish persons. £160 for two week homestay, £100 for one-week homestay. They also announce a Mexican journey mainly to visit working potteries in communities like Capula; Zinapecuaro; Tzintzuntzan; Patzcuaro, Urapan. The dates are Monday 24th October; Tuesday 9th November (these are not final — it may be necessary to alter them slightly). The itinerary is overnight in Mexico City on arrival and orientation by Mexico EIL to help you get the best out of your visit. Transfer to host community the following day. 10 day stay with families. Group visits and excursions. Transfer to Mexico City. 3 day stay with room and board. Return to U.K. Price: £840 plus travel to London/ return and insurance.

Details have just been received from the promoters about the Third Art, Craft and Design Fair, Mansion House, Dublin 7-11 December 1983. Stand prices are from £100 - £400. 1982 attendance was over 8,000.

BASKETRY CANE

The newly formed Irish Woodturner Guild has organised a seminar/workshop for the weekend of 10th September which should send shivers of antici­ patory excitement through every lathe in Ireland. Three master craftsmen of international reputation will co-lead this event: Richard Raffan, Ray Keay and Mike O'Donnell. A large attendance is expected and as it is taking place within the general period of the European Crafts Conference it will, in effect, be a peripheral activity.

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STOOL FRAMES • S E A G R A S S

ARTIFICIAL RAFFIA • LAMPSHADE FRAMES

SOFTTOY KITS • MACRAME KITS W h o l e s a l e a n d retail counter P l e a s e write for mail order price list

JACOBS, YOUNG & WESTBURY LTD,

Application forms from Christmas Art and Design Fair Ltd., 50 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Closing date is September 15th.

Pieced, applique and crazy quilts have been selected for the high quality of their design and technical significance as well as for their connection with national and important regional historical events. Emphasised in the exhibition is the significance of quilting in the lives of nineteenth century Kentucky women, how quilting developed into a medium of communication and art for 19th century women who were denied other channels of expression and communi­ cation because of tradition and domestic obligations.

Seminar

RUG & STITCHERY KITS

Art, Craft and Design Fair

Exceptional examples of quilts produced in Kentucky between 1800 and 1900 are featured in this exhibition which focuses on the art of quilting, especially in relation to the history of the period. Kentucky was amongst the first states settled in the west and rightfully holds a reputation as an area of excellence in quiltmaking. Quilts were a crucial element of pioneer daily life, and many of the techniques were brought over by early immigrants from Ireland.

For further information contact Mrs. Margaret O'Hehir (Tel 01-829284) or EIL (Experiment in International Living) at Byrnesgrove School, Ballyraggett, Co. Kilkenny (Tel 056-41127).

Crafts Council Trade Fair Application forms will be sent out for the eighth National Crafts Trade Fair at the end of August. The closing date for applications will be 23rd September. Any would-be applicants who for any reason have not received an application form by 9th September would be advised to telephone Jill Breivik, Administrative Officer at the Crafts Council.

Kentucky Quilts The Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, chose Ireland for the first showing of the exhibition, KENTUCKY QUILTS, 1800 - 1900 - opened at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, on American Independence Day.

J.Y.W. HOUSE, BRIDGE ROAD, HAYWARDS HEATH, S U S S E X RH161TZ. Tel: Hay wards Heath 412411 1833— 150 years anniversary—

Telex: 87258 7583

Woodturners' Seminar

The location will be at Retos training centre in Shannon where there will be sufficient equipment to enable all taking part fully to participate and the intention is not to sit at the masters' feet but that everyone will be in there turning. It is said that Mick O'Donnell likes to choose his tree, cut it and turn a bowl from it all in one day, this being his technique. For details ask Liam O'Neill, Secretary of the Irish Woodturners Guild, 35 Corrib Drive, Shannon, Co. Clare.


Textile Exhibition The Crafts Council, with the co-operation of the Irish Life Assurance Company Ltd. mounted the exhibition "Textiles of the Burren" in the Irish Life Mall for two weeks commencing 22nd June. The showing of this exhibition in Dublin, and in a leading shopping centre where a large number of the general public could see it, was made possible by IrishLife's contribution of the space and some funding towards the cost of turning an empty shop into a gallery. The Chairman of the Crafts Council, Prof. Justin Keating spake of this co-operation at the opening of the exhibition when he described it as "good example of enlightened private sponsorship. The Crafts Council needs not only the benevolence of the state but also of private institutions. It should be an accepted practise that every major building should have in it not only paintings and sculpture but craft objects". The exhibition Professor Keating saw as illustrative of a gradual breaking down of the barriers between art and crafts, and it was the better for being both art and craft. The 53 exhibits were the joint experience of a group of craftsmen meeting in a unique area such as the Burren is. The texture and the intensity of feeling for the extraordinary landscape of planes and bare stretches of rock, plants, butterflies, even the light, which are things which do not exist anywhere else where, he felt, reflected by the group.


SPECIAL EVENTS

WCC-Europe Ireland 1983 EXHIBITIONS Society of Cork Potters The Society of Cork Potters are mounting an exhibition at the Forresters Gallery in Bandon, Co. Cork which will be officially opened in the week of 5th September and will run on through the period of the ceramic workshop in Courtmacsherry. If the record of the Society in mounting the International Ceramics Exhibition in Carrigaline last year is any criterion, this should be worth a visit, and will certainly interest overseas participants.

European Exhibition 1983 Powerscourt Town House in Dublin will be the venue for an unusual exhibition to coincide with the workshops in Dublin and with the European conference and Assembly. All overseas craftsmen participating in the various workshops around the country have been asked to bring with them two examples of their work for exhibition. Finished work from any of the workshops will be added for the final weekend and the result should be a fascinating mix of media for viewing by the public and the Conference delegates. The Irish Patchwork Society will provide a "backcloth" of selected pieces and the atmosphere of the Town House, the patchwork hangings and the various crafts from abroad should be something to look forward to and worthy of the Capital.

Weaving Exhibition The Irish Society of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers are putting on a special exhibition of their members' work at the Bank of Ireland Exhibition Centre, Baggot Street from the 8th to the 24th of September. The initial exhibition of this newly constituted and invigorated society of over 150 members was of a high standard, so this will be an exhibition not to be missed.

To ensure that Conference delegates can see the exhibition there will be a special late opening on Friday 16th September until 9 p.m. and on Saturday 17th during the morning.

GALWAY: The Galway Regional Technical College will be hosting a special reception for the press and invited guests during the evening of 15th September. During the afternoon members of the Irish Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers will visit the workshops on a bus tour from Dublin.

European Crafts

LIMERICK: The Granary, Limerick, an interestingly restored grain store, will be the venue for a reception for Shannon Development for the participants in the textile media workshop at Ballyvaughan and the porcelian workshop at Whitegate. The precise date has not been finalised.

BANDON: Overseas participants in the ceramic workshops (1/C) will attend an informal reception and get together in Forresters Gallery, Bandon, on Wednesday 7th September.

COURTMACSHERRY: (Workshop 1/C). A special reception for local craftspersons will be held on 11th September in the Courtmacsherry Hotel with Mr. Hugh Coveney, ex-Lord Mayor of Cork and a member of the Dail (Parliament) as guest of honour.

Marianne Straub. leader of the Woven Textile workshop Silk scarf woven by Marianne Straub

SCHULL: Participants in the Land Art workshop will be given special entertainment and a buffet in the Courtyard, Schull, Co. Cork on the evening of 12th September.

DUBLIN: The National College of Art and Design will hold an open evening on 14th September for craftsmen with a slide show at which participants in the jewellery (10 M), Architectural Ceramics (3/C) and Textile Print (6/T) workshop will be present.

All those attending these three workshops will be taken for an evening to the well known Abbey Tavern in Howth for musical entertainment and food. Delegates to the Conference will be entertained to a buffet lunch at Power's Hotel, Kildare Street on 17th September.

Kl LKENNY: There will be a reception on 9th September at the Bord Failte Building for those taking part in the workshops in the Kilkenny area: glass (8/9G), leather (13/L), silver (11/M, 18/M), jewellery (19/M) and batik (17/ T). A barn dance has been organised for Thursday evening 15th September in nearby Thomastown.

Bert Van Loo: co-leader of the glass workshop at Jerpoint ' "Yellow Wave" - glass object 1982 by Bert Van Loo.


Conference 1983

On Saturday 17th all Conference delegates will be invited to a cheese and wine reception at Powerscourt Town House to give all an opportunity to see the exhibition after which local craftsmen will entertain delegates in their studios/homes on the evening of 17th September, and there will be a farewell party and disco on Sunday evening. On Sunday, the National Museum of Ireland, close by to the Conference Centre, will be open and is worth a visit.

TRIPS OF SPECIAL INTEREST A highlight of the textile workshop (4/T) at Galway will be a visit (weather permitting) to the Aran Islands on the weekend of 10th/11th of September as well as a visit to the Burren and a link up with the Textile media workshop participants. On Monday 12th September there will be a visit by delegates at all Cork based workshops (1/C, 7/T) to Cape Clear Island off the south coast. Like the visits to Aran Islands and the Burren this should be a unique occasion for overseas visitors in particular. On Sunday 11th September Dublin based workshops will combine on a bus tour to the mountains and lakes of Wicklow. Lunch will be at the Roundwood Inn and "home" will be reached via a traditional pub. On Tuesday 13th September the same group will go on an evening guided walking tour of old Dublin and the Liberties. Kilkenny based workshops (8,9/G, 11/M, 13/L, 17/T and 18, 19/M) will make a visit to the well, known bird sanctuary off the South Coast, the Saltee Islands. The same groups will be again waterborne and have their evening meal in a riverboat galley cruise from New Ross down river to Waterford. Crafts Council are indebted to the local organisers for their cooperation and enthusiasm: Hugh McCormack at Galway Regional Technical College; Alison Erridge of Ballycar Workshops both looking after Galway and Ciare events; Potters Peter Wolstenholm, Pat Connor, John Verling and weaver Mie Preckler, organising Cork events; Johnny Murphy and Phillip Murphy of the National College of Art and Design for Dublin events; Potter Michael Jackson and silversmith Pat Dolan for the organisation in the Kilkenny area.


Craft Training A COMMUNITY APPROACH 1. Background to the Programme Augustus John described it as "the most beautiful landscape in the world" and few would disagree with the possible exception of maybe an cfdd Kerryman. Renvyle and Kylemore are areas long associated with the splendour and grandeur of Connemara's wild and rugged beauty. Lesser known Lettergesh, Letterfrack and Moyard and equally beautiful and together with Renvyle and Kylemore form the parish of Ballinakill in North West Connemara. Despite the enchanting beauty of the area it has for generations been plagued by unemployment and emigration. For decades this community had waited for politicians and Governments to show some interest in their plight. Finally in 1971, frustrated by years of waiting they decided to pool their resources into a development company called Connemara West Ltd. in an effort to tackle and solve some of the problems of the area. Now twelve years later the results are there for all to see. As a community based and controlled development company, Connemara West has, since its establishment, seen its primary role as an initiator and facilitator of social and economic development in the North Connemara area and specifically in the Parish of Ballinakill. Its first major project, the construction and management of the thatched cottages in Tullycross, was the means to providing the financial and administrative base upon which to launch other development programmes. The opportunities to promote further development in the area were created in the 1970's with the building of a Teach Ceoil in 1976/77 and the purchase of the former Industrial School in Letterfrack in 1978. Both ventures allowed the company to extend its development role in an active and practical way — the Teach Ceoil by providing a well-designed and suitably located centre for social and cultural events with an emphasis on training in music, song and dance and the Industrial School by developing it as a base for training, employment and recreation. Since the purchase of the Connemara West Centre (formerly the Industrial School), the company has invested a lot of time, energy and finance in renovating, repainting, rewiring and heating the complex and in encouraging its use for social and economic activities. It was always envisaged that the workshops and

a substantial portion of the main building should be used for the location of small workshop industries which over time would provide training and employment for local people in skilled work. Its proximity to the new Connemara National Park makes it a very attractive location for the production and sale of craft products. For the past four years, a major part of the company's policy has been to generate such employment by attracting to the Centre highly skilled craftspeople who would set up and manage their own enterprises with administrative, managerial and secretarial backing from Connemara West. To date the fruits of that effort are evident in workshops which have been established in Ceramic Sculpture; Patchwork and Quilting; Ironwork; Woodturning; Eartherware Pottery and a manufacturing workshop in Pewter to be established later this year. In early 1982 Connemara West Ltd. began to investigate with Frank Sutton and Sean O'Farrell of the Crafts Council and Brian Keane of AnCO the feasibility of initiating a craft training programme for young local people. Encouraged by the response of the Crafts Council and AnCO Connemara West contacted various other agencies including I.D.A., Kilkenny Design Workshops, Galway Regional Technical College and Limerick School of Art and Design and in May 1982 a proposal on the setting up of a Craft Training Programme in Wood to be administered and managed by Connemara West Ltd. was submitted to the Youth Employment Agency. There were specific reasons why Connemara West felt obliged to take this form of initiative. First, the numbers of young unemployed people in the area has increased greatly within the past few years primarily because of a slowdown of emigration to the traditional urban centres of employment in Ireland, Britain and the U.S.A. Second, a high proportion of the young unemployed has dropped out of full-time education and consequently were at a further disadvantage in seeking employment. Even for those who completed secondlevel education, the employment opportunities locally are very low so most have to leave the area. Third, we believed that there were many young people in the area who had the ability and interest in developing manual and creative skills but who had not the opportunity to develop them either because they failed to reach the academic requirements for entry to third level institutions or because they cannot be facilitated within existing training programmes in the industrial or craft field. Fourth, Connemara West have always felt that the long term solution to

job creation in such rural areas lies in equipping young local people with the necessary craft and business skills which would enable them to launch their own small industries. In short, the existing educational skills are of little use to those who wish to stay in the area and those who are forced to stay do not have the opportunity to develop skills which would allow them to live and work in this area or elsewhere. The Craft Training Programme was designed by Connemara West as a response to this situation.

2. Objectives of the Craft Training Programme For Connemara West, the proposed training programme in craft skills for young unemployed local people has the following objectives: a) to provide a comprehensive training for young people in a wide range of high grade craft skills in a chosen medium followed by identification of suitable products rather than identifying products at the outset and training only in skills related to them. This type of training should make the craftsperson more adaptable; b) to base the training on the development and creative use of manual dexterity and skill to a high standard of workmanship; c) to encourage in the trainees a curious and creative attitude towards their skills based on an understanding through workshop experience and knowledge from reference and research; d) to provide the trainees with the knowledge and opportunity to develop and manage their own craft workshops; e) to awaken in the trainees and awareness of good design and of its importance as an integral part of the programme.

3. Aims of the Craft Training Programme in wood skills (19821985). The first phase of the training programme in wood skills, which commenced in October 1982 has the following specific aims: a) to train fourteen young people in wood craftsmanship in the following skills: woodturning; cabinetmaking; woodcarving; inlaying and routing; b) to provide them with a training in mechanical drawing, sketching and freehand drawing, an appreciation of design and its constituent elements


and an understanding of the history of craft and craftmanship; c) to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to set up and manage their own craft production workshops.

4. Administrative and Training Policy Given the background to the establishment of the Craft Training Programme, the abilities and needs of the young people to be trained and the environment within which they will be working when trained, it is of the utmost importance that the training programme be guided by the following principles in meeting its objectives:

stages of the practical training and should be presented in a nonacademic manner which is lively, relevant and easily assimilated. The method of assessment to be adopted for the programme should not be examination oriented but should be designed to monitor and evaluate adequately the progress of both the individual trainees and the programme as a whole.

Newsletters C R A F T S COUNCIL

1. The young people will be trained to become craftsmen/craftswomen in their particular disciplines rather than operatives or technicians. Consequently, the emphasis in their training will be on the proficient and imaginative use of hand tools rather than machinery. The role and use of machinery is seen as an aid to efficient workmanship and not as a substitute for creative skill; 2. The young people will be given training in a wide range of craft skills. This is essential because in later years, while they may specialise in the practice of one particular skill, they will have a much better chance of surviving and competing commercially if their skills are adaptable and interchangeable; 3. The trainees should be given a thorough appreciation of the role, importance and principles of design in craftsmanship. While they should be given the opportunity to work in both traditional and contemporary styles of craftmanship, they will also be encouraged to work on an individual basis, to break away from pre­ conceived notions, to see the relationship between design and material and to use their skills creatively as an expression of selfreliance and good judgement; 4. The emphasis throughout the training programme will be on the acquisition of knowledge and skill through practical workshop experience and training and especially through experience and contact with the Master Craftsperson. While a certain amount of classroom-based teaching, tutroial and seminar sessions are essential, these should not be allowed to dominate the training or overpower the trainees. Rather, they should be intergrated closely with the various

Subscriptions From now on the annual pre paid charge for the Newsletter will be IR£6.00. The Crafts Council would like its Newsletter to be more than simply an information sheet. It would like it also to be a forum for discussion of the many issues which interest and worry craftsmen today. Articles would therefore be most welcome, on any subject, however strange, controversial or outlandish, provided it is relevant to craftsmen and their work. Apart from providing a place where thoughts can be aired, it would also be interesting to get people's reaction to those thoughts. In addition the fullest understanding of craftsmen's thinking is essential if the Council is to properly represent them at Government level. Contributions in the form of articles, letters, photographs (black and white) and comments will be welcome at any time, particularly news of forthcoming events thougn such notice must arrive at the Council's office not later than two months before fhe event to ensure that the information is circulated in time.

Advertising Rates The following rates for advertisements will apply:. I R£10.00 per column inch (IR£15.00 with logo). Small ads will be charged at the rate of 8p per word.

HANDWEAVERS GUILD OF CORK EXHIBITION The Handweavers Guild of Cork, an association of weavers, spinners and dyers continues to send out a most interesting Newsletter detailing their many activities, past and future.

That the Guild is very active may be inferred from their June Newsletter which notes a meeting of members at Marian Sweetman's studio in Cork. The programme for the meeting included a review of the AnCO weaving programme, discussion on unusual materials used by Marian Sweetman in her own wall hangings and the planned exhibition in September to coincide with the-European Crafts Conference and the special workshop in Cork. The July meeting will be devoted to a discussion on rugs, both double corduroy and rya. The Guild's Chairman is George Bowen and their Crafts Council representative is John Jermyn. The date for the September exhibition, incidentally is 12th to 24th.

Guild of Thatchers The Newsletter has recently received a copy of t he-News letter of the Guild of Thatchers in Ireland. This first edition covers training for thatchers, grants towards thatching costs, a glossary of thatching terms (nitch, yealm, liggers, stulch, dolly, fleeking), insurance and other matters of interest.

Crafts Council Leaflet Trading Practices The Crafts Council has just published a booklet entitled "Trading Practices — recommendations for the craft sector" which is available at 30p post paid. It is relevant both to craftsmen and to retailers and other selling craft products.


Euro Conference Batik Workshop Peter Wenger, organiser of the batik workshop for the WCC-European Crafts Conference writes to the Newsletter as follows outlining the programme: "I see this workshop as one of the rare opportunities for batikers from a few European countries to actually meet. To make the most of this unique opportunity I consider it best not to tie ourselves down too much to a strict working schedule but rather leave us as much freedon as possible, especially as I have chosen as the theme for this workshop: an exploration into the creative possibilities of batik as a medium. All the same, you might want to know what we will be doing during these six days together. In practical terms this workshop will consist of experiments with different waxing and dyeing techniques on your part, demonstrations on my part, short lectures on different aspects of batik and a small exhibition of Javanese batiks. And I hope that a lot of the time available to us will be spent in the exchange of ideas and the discussion of problems which affect us

A necklace using metal beads made by Verena Sieber-Fuchs, the Swiss coleader of the Lace workshop at the WCC-Europe Conference in September.

Batik hanging by Peter Wenger

as batikers. With this in view I would like to ask you to bring slides of your own work plus at least one actual batik plus anything you can think of that might be useful for that purpose and would not be too much of a burden during your travels".

Incidentally, a special working area to suit all the needs of this workshop will be set aside for it at the Kilkenny Design Workshops in Kilkenny with all the necessary materials and utensils. Participants are, however, advised to bring their own cantings and brushes on the basis of no tools being as good as one's own.

CCI-newsletter-1983-40-July-August  

Association, Mr. Rudolf Heltzel of the Kilkenny Craftworkers Guild and Mr. Jim O'Donnell of the Craftsmans Gallery being elected. Commenting...

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