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Renaissance of Irish Crafts Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, USA. Until 6 November Through a partnership between American and Irish organisations, 29 designermakers based in the 32 counties were invited to participate in an exhibition, curated by Sean McCrum, now on show at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. 77 works were selected . All are unique pieces, drawn from 6 disciplines - ceramics, fibre arts, jewellery, silversmithing and wood-turning. So far, 30 items have been sold. In itself, that is a successful achievement for practitioners, most of whom had no previous reputation in the USA. Sales depended on the response of a sophisticated audience to the quality of their creative expression and technical skill. Generating such a positive American response depends on transatlantic partnership. The Philadelphia Art Alliance had surveyed Irish craftbased work during the early part of this year. It saw an international quality and unusual modes of expression which would interest its audience. As important, it saw that quality ranging over several disciplines, a rich
Cormac Boydell. Photography: Niki Ktori.
source for a survey show. The Philadelphia Art Alliance sought an Irish-based partner to develop this brief in depth and approached the Crafts Council to provide its expertise. The Alliance particularly wished for recent work. Approximately two thirds of the participants responded by using this project as the trigger for trying out new ideas. The result is a dynamic show, which amply fulfils its brief. It
has attracted a consistently strong and positive interest, which translated into the purchasing of work. The show is proving very popular. The glittering opening was attended by the great, the good and the influential of Philadelphia and beyond and there has been a constant stream of visitors ever since. We hope that there will be a major followup exhibition in a couple of years, to tour extensively in the USA.
FOCUS ON BASKETMAKING Masterclasses and Conference Monday 3rd October-Friday 14th October 1994 The event opened with a week of master classes, during which professional basket makers enjoyed the experience of working with well-known specialist makers like David Drew (UK and France) and Colin Manthorpe (UK). Tuition was also given by Alison Fitzgerald (frame baskets), Joe Hogan (Irish creels), Norbert Platz (square work), and Barbara Kelly. The participants enjoyed their freedom to move between classes and to choose the skills they wished to concentrate on. At the end of the week there was an obvious sense of satisfaction that so much had been gained, and general agreement that new concepts of the standards could and should be achieved in the craft. Makers looked forward to returning to their own workshops to practice and perfect their new skills. The conference on basketry and willow growing was attended by 66 makers, a number of whom had travelled from the UK for the event. It was clear that basket makers work in a degree of isolation that is now quite rare within the crafts, and participants felt that the greatest achievement of the conference was in bringing them together. As a result, Irish basket makers have decided to form an association, which will affiliate with the British Basketmakers Association and the Crafts Council of Ireland. Apprenticeship is another issue which is of enormous interest to this craft, where no system of formal training is available at present. An examination of possible forms of apprenticeship is now badly needed, as professional makers who have taken young people
in to train in the past, found that it cost more in time and production than their workshops could afford. The speakers at the conference included Mary Butcher of the British association, who holds a fellowship at Manchester University where she has been developing very interesting programmes of education for young people. Ian Hunter of Projects Environment spoke energetically of his work with young people in North East England, where willow forms the pivotal element in their work in the environment. Ecoarchitects Paul Leech and Sally Starbruck introduced delegates to their work which, comprising the creation of toxin-free buildings that are economical with energy, has considerable scope for involvement of the basketmaker's craft in structures such as wattle and daub work. David Drew and Norbert Platz spoke about basket making and willow growing as a way of life, and Norbert Platz was successful in creating discussion about the real issues of making a livelihood as a basketmaker. Joe Hogan spoke of the important traditions of basket making in Ireland and led the discussion on willow growing. Focus on Basketmaking was rounded up with a week of workshops for novices and beginners. The Crafts Council would like to thank Joe Hogan for his organisation of the masterclasses and conference. The event was supported by funding from the ESF NOVA Programme.
Crafts Council Exhibitions Corporate Gifts Cunt/7 12th November)
Christmas Show 21st November 24th December The newly re-furbished Council Shop and Gallery annual Christmas Show which will open on 21st November. The aim of the show is to capture a greater chunk of the Dublin Christmas shopping market with an emphasis on wide selection, affordability and representation of all types of craft. There will be new names and work on show, particularly some exciting exhibits of furniture, patchwork and jewellery. Enquiries to Hilary or Sally in Dublin . Late submission will be considered.
Crafts Council Announcements Crafts Council AGM Management Committee At the recent AGM, there were several changes to the Management Committee. The Minister of Enterprise and Employment made the following appointments (all for a three year term): Joe Hogan helping Catherine Quigley, Monaghan Town, Co Monaghan with her basket at the Focus on Basketmaking conference. Photo: David Shaw-Smith
Brendan Flood, Manager, Eastern Region, ABT; and Hilary Pratt, Avoca Handweavers were reappointed for a further term; Tom O'Connor, Head of Small Business, Forbairtand David Hargaden of Hargaden Moor Chartered Accountants were appointed. David Shaw-Smith, Bernadette Madden and Mary Jackson stood again and were reelected and Neil Read, Head of Craft Design at NCAD, and Knut Klimmek, furniture maker, were elected by the membership. Outgoing Management Committee members, Mike Feeney of Forbairt, Maureen Cairnduff and Angela Forte, were warmly thanked for all their work on behalf of the Council. Council Membership The AGM considered and accepted a proposal that Council membership should be broadened to include individuals, and that they should have nomination and voting rights to the Management Committee. It was also agreed that a subscription should be levied. Implementation will require changes to the Memorandum and Articles of Association, so an EGM will be necessary. Further details of membership will be announced in the Newsletter when they are available. Staffing The Exhibitions Assistant, Greg McAteer, left the Council after four years to pursue his career as a silk painter and printmaker. We wish him all the best. Sally Dunne has joined us as part-time Shop Assistant and Michelle French is our new part-time telephonist/receptionist.
CAD/CAM Training for the Irish Knitwear Industry started on Monday 24th October with Julie Griffiths as co-ordinator. Anyone seeking information should contact Leslie Reed at the Kilkenny office. Photographing Craftwork Seminar: Two practical seminars one in Dublin, the other in Cork have just been run with great success. A third which is almost fully subscribed is scheduled for Saturday 5th November. However we will run it again if the demand continues. Anyone interested should contact Catherine Jordan at the Dublin office. The cost is ÂŁ25, there are 15 places on each seminar. Leaflet: We have published an illustrated information leaflet (which is the basis for the seminar) with lots of tips about equipment, set-ups, basic technical details etc. It is available from the Dublin office for ÂŁ1.50.
World Crafts Council The World Crafts Council, founded in 1964, is a category A UNESCO non-Governmental organisation. It is a non-profit membership organisation set up to strengthen the status of the crafts as a vital part of cultural and economic life, to promote a sense of fellowship among the craftspeople of the world and to offer encouragement, help and advice. WCC is divided into 5 regions: Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. Each maintains its own secretariat and holds regional assemblies. The Executive Board comprises the President (Mrs Obeysekere of Sri Lanka),
five regional vice-Presidents and Deputy vice-Presidents and a Treasurer. The Crafts Council is the National Entity for Ireland and attends the annual European region meeting. The President of the European region is Bernd Roeter of Handwerkskammer RheinHessen in Germany, with other Board members from Belgium, Greece, Slovakia and Switzerland. The European region secretariat is in Frankfurt. WCC-Europe activities include the publication of a quarterly newsletter (circulated to all CCI members) and a directory of European craft organisations. Copies are held in the Dublin and Kilkenny offices. WCC Europe promotes joint activities such as travelling exhibitions (a recent one was a collaboration between the new Baltic states and Scandinavia) and aims to hold biennial workshops and a conference. The WCC-Europe network is a fast growing one, with considerable interest from the new countries of Eastern Europe and former USSR. If Irish craftworkers are interested in making contacts in specific countries they should let us know and we can pass on addresses where possible. "Craft Roots" The Danish Handicraft Society are proposing a series of 12 workshops in Kerteminde, Denmark from 30th July - 6th August 1995. Contact: Inge-Lise Therkildsen Dansk Husflidsselskab Tyrebakken II DK - 5300 Kerteminde Denmark Phone: +45 65 32 2096 Fax: +45 65 32 5611
European Ceramics Work Centre
Four studios for young artists from Ireland and Great Britain. Available from 1st January 31st December'95. For further information and documentation contact:European Ceramics Work Centre, Zuid-Willemsvaart 215, 5211 SG-'S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. Tel:-+31 (0)73 124500 Fax:-+31 (0)73 124568 Comortas Gaeilge don Reimse Gno
A competition to promote the use of Irish in business The winners in each category will go forward to the international Euroblas International Awards in March, 1995. There are various categories including craft villages or centres. A prize
The Management Committee 1994 Chair Mr. Cyril Forbes Wee Chair Ms. Hilary Pratt Mr. Tom O'Connor Ms. Suzanne May Mr. Michael McCrory Mr. Rudolf Heltzel Dr. David Shaw-Smith Ms. Breda Haugh Mr. Knut Klimmek Mr. David Hargaden Mr. Brendan Flood Mr. Neil Read
fund is being sponsored by Bord na Gaeilge. Contact:Euroblas Bord na Gaeilge, 7, Cearnog, Mhurifean, Dublin 2. Tel. 01-6763222 Fax. 01-6616564 Competitions ART '95 annual open multimedia competition. Requests for official application forms must be post marked by December 9th 1994. Telephone/fax applications must be received by December 16th 1994. Tel. 914-623-0599 or 800-2787000 (US only) Fax. 914-6230611. Postal address:- Ashley Ames, Art '95, Craft Department, Room PC, 275, Route 304, Bardonia, New York, 10954, U.S.A.
Crafts Council Staff
Entry by slide and entry form by 1st December, 1994. Information from:- Fletcher Challenge, Ceramics Award 1995, P.O. Box 33-1425, Takapuna, New Zealand. Tel. 649-630-8581 or 649 445 8831 Fax. 649-630-8581 Craftworks new retail outlet at Bedford House, 18-22, Bedford Street, Belfast, will open in the first week of November. The offices remain in Linenhall Street. For further information contact Hazel at:-Craftworks, 13, Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8AA. Tel. 08 0232 236334 Fax. 08 0232 236335
The Crafts Council of Ireland
Dublin Chief Executive Craft Development Officer Administrative Officer Administrative Assistant Gallery Administrator Exhibitions Assistant Retail Manager Shop Assistant (PT)
Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award
Dublin Christine Ross Sean O'Farrell Margaret Jones Catherine Jordan Mairead McAnallen Vacant Hilary Morley
The Crescent Workshop Training and Education Officer Supervisor/Information Officer Administrative Assistant
Powerscourt Townhouse Centre South William Street, Dublin 2 Tel.
Leslie Reed Emer Ferran Nuala McGrath
Kilkenny The Crescent Workshop, Castle Yard
Ms. Kaethe Burt-O'Dea
Ms. Mary Jackson
Thomastown Pottery Skills Course
056 61804 or 62734
Ms. Bernadette Madden
Jewellery Design and Production Skills Course Trainer
CAD/CAM Training for the Irish Knitwear Industry Coordinator
All information is published in good faith but without research, so please check carefully before committing yourself to work or financial outlay Please forward all information to Emer FerranThe copy date for the next issue is 9th December. The Print date is 16th December.