Page 1

Crafts Council of Ireland

Issue No. 28, Spring 2010

STOPRESS Crafts Council of Ireland Newsletter

Irish Craft Portfolio 2010 P16

Developing Craft Enterprises 2010 P 33

Showcase 2010

Enterprise and Training Programme 2010

- A Review P8 ‘Two Vases’ (small and large) by Marcus O’Mahony (Ceramist)

Contents: News & Reviews


P.3 P.4 P.5

P.30 P.31

P.6 P.8 P.14 P. 15 P. 16 P.17 P.18 P.19 P.20 P.23 P.24 P.25 P.26

Welcome from Úna Dates for Your Diary Thanks to Gerry Wycherley Year of Craft 2011 Public Perceptions of Irish Craft Showcase 2010 – A Review Future Makers: the website Using New Technology Magical Norway & Beyond Irish Craft Portfolio 2010 Buy Irish Craft Campaign 2009 Making it in Business 2009 Kilkenny City in Silver Craftsperson in Context A Tribute to John ffrench GANS Featured Network - IABA GANS Upcoming Diary Dates CCoI Bursary Winner 2009

P.32 P.33

P. 16

Contacts at CCoI Events at the National Craft Gallery CCoI/GANS Meeting Dates 2010 Notice: Scams & Swindlers CCoI Ceramics, Design & Skills Course Leonardo Placements, Norway 2010 Developing Craft Enterprises 2010

P. 23

- CCoI Professional Development Programme - CCoI Continued Professional Development Fund - CCoI Mentoring Service

P.34 P.35

RDS National Crafts Competition 2010 Christmas Retail Campaign 2010 Creative Island 2010 Tourism Demonstrations

Advertisements P.36


Craft Community News

National Craft Gallery (NCG)

P.27 P.28

P.39 P.40 P.42 P.44

Irish Design Shop Cyril Cullen – 50 Years in Business Industry Snippets

NCG Update by Ann Mulrooney Snapshots - On the Edge Collectable Craft Irish Craft Portfolio at NCG

P. 8

Stopress ‘Summer - Issue No. 29’ Publication date is mid-July 2010 Copy Deadline is 1st of June 2010

Submitting articles Submissions for articles from craftspeople and those interested in craft for our upcoming issue of Stopress are always welcome, in particular items for the Craft Community section. If you have a news story you would like to share with us or know of any upcoming events that would be off interest to Stopress readers, please send submissions for consideration to: Caroline O’Riordan Communications/Marketing Manager T 056 7796141 E or

Advertising in Stopress

Design: Eileen Healy

Advertising in Stopress is currently free. Please submit all copy and advertisements for our next issue by 1st of June 2010 to: Emma Briscoe CCoI Communications Assistant T 056 7796136 E or

CCoI does not accept any responsibility for or necessarily endorse the views expressed by third party contributors to Stopress. While every care has been taken in the compilation of this Stopress, the publisher cannot take responsibility for errors or omissions. All copyright, database rights, trade mark design rights and any other intellectual property rights whatsoever in Stopress are, owned by and are the property of CCoI. Crafts Council of Ireland, Castle Yard, Kilkenny T 353 56 7761804 F 353 56 7763754 E

About the Crafts Council of Ireland The Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI) is the main champion of the craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality, design, innovation and competitiveness. CCoI’s activities are funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment via Enterprise Ireland.


Dear reader, Welcome to the first edition of Stopress for 2010. As you can see, we have another bumper issue full of news on what has been happening and what is being planned in the Irish craft sector. We will be publishing quarterly issues of Stopress this year and releasing CRAFTlink, our electronic newsletter, regularly between issues. Thanks to all of you who have provided feedback on both Stopress and CRAFTlink and please continue to send your input and suggestions to the Communications Team. Just before Christmas a survey on consumer perceptions of Irish craft was conducted and it was heartening to see an increased interest in craft from people of all ages. Read some key outcomes of the survey on page 6. We also commenced an in-depth study on many aspects of the Irish craft industry and will be releasing the findings of this research shortly. Showcase was very busy throughout the four days of the show in January and Creative Island, a new initiative for 2010, received a very positive response from both buyers and exhibitors. Highlights of Showcase 2010 are featured on pages 8 –13. In January we received confirmation of a 10% reduction in our revenue allocation from Enterprise Ireland for 2010. We adjusted our expenditure budget to ensure impact on our client services and programmes was minimised. We have also been working on finalising our Strategic Plan for 2010 – 2012 which we will be launching soon. Our primary focus is on ensuring that the organisation addresses the needs of our members and clients in the current economic climate. In January, the craft sector mourned the loss of celebrated ceramist John ffrench. A solo exhibition of John’s work took place at the National Craft Gallery in 2007 and Peter Lamb, who curated that exhibition, has written a short tribute to John ffrench on page 23. We were also sad to hear of the death of former Government Minister and Labour Party TD Justin Keating who died on New Year’s Eve. Justin Keating was instrumental in the growth and development of the Crafts Council of Ireland as far back as 1976 when he secured annual funding for the organisation in his role as Minister for Industry and Commerce at that time. On behalf of the board and staff of CCoI, I would like to extend our condolences to the families of both John ffrench and Justin Keating.

‘Landfish’ by Grainne Watts (ceramist), featured recently in the Thrown exhibition in the Lavit Gallery Cork.

Craft Portfolio 2010 publication – see page 16. We are delighted with the outcome of the Fulbright programme ‘Landscape of Aesthetics and Design’, a seminar series that has been running since October 2009 in partnership with NCAD and Fulbright Scholar Mary B. White. The programme recently culminated in a two day symposium at NCAD. Despite the current economic challenges, we remain positive about the opportunities for promoting and increasing the awareness of Irish craft throughout 2010. There will once again be demonstrations of Irish crafts at Bloom in the Park in June and following the success of the craft–strand in the Kilkenny Arts Festival last year, we are working in partnership with the festival team to once again promote craft as a key component of the festival in 2010. We are also working closely with both Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland in developing several key opportunities for promoting Irish craft.

Muireann Charleton, winner of the Crafts Council of Ireland/Irish Arts Review Critical Writing in Irish Craft Award with CCoI Chairman Laura Magahy. Muireann recieved the award for her essay on the work of Pádraig Ó Mathúna.

The CCoI Education, Training & Development Team is delighted to announce a redesigned programme of initiatives offering support to craft enterprises as well as opportunities for further professional development. We would encourage you to avail of these opportunities to help grow your business – see page 33. I am delighted to introduce Maureen Kennelly as our Year of Craft Project Manager. The Year of Craft project is a key component of our strategy in raising awareness of Irish craft. Read about opportunities for getting involved on page 4. Finally we welcome your comments and feedback on the supports and services that we have in place for our member organisations and clients. Please write in with comments to or contact any of our team listed on page 30. Úna Parsons Chief Executive Crafts Council of Ireland

Spring saw the opening of Irish Craft Portfolio at the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny featuring the work of the 38 makers selected for the Irish


Creative Island 2010, see page 8.

dates for your diary

OPPORTUNITY DIARY DATES Applications for CCoI Ceramics Design & Skills Course (p.32) Leonardo Mobility Placements in Norway - Last Call (p.32) 2010 Continued Professional Development Fund (p.33) CCoI Mentoring Service (p.33) RDS National Crafts Competition (p.34) Christmas Retail Campaign 2010 (p.35) Creative Island 2011(p. 35) CCoI’s Annual General Meeting


by by by by by by from on

Friday 28th May Monday 10th May Friday 21st May Friday 21st May Monday 17th May Monday 24th May Friday 21st May Wed 16th June

(see p.31 for more details)

CCoI PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 2010 Dublin: Branding & Packaging Your Craft Products Marketing Tools & Supports for Your Craft Enterprise Managing Your Business Finances Innovating Your Craft Business Cork: Pricing & Costing Your Craft Products Selling Your Craft Product Through Different Channels Accessing Business Supports for Your Craft Business Digital Photography Skills for Craft Businesses Galway: Developing New Revenue Streams for Your Craft Business Marketing Tools & Supports for Your Craft Business Funding & Awards – How to Best Present Your Enterprise When Completing Applications Accessing Business Supports for Your Craft Business

(see p.33 for more details)

on on on on

Tuesday 18th May Tuesday 15th June Tuesday 21st September Tuesday 19th October

on on on on

Tuesday 11th May Tuesday 8th June Tuesday 14th September Tuesday 12th October

on on

Tuesday 25th May Tuesday 22nd June

on on

Tuesday 28th September Tuesday 2nd November

until on on on on

Sat 22nd May 28th May – 18th July 23rd - 30th July 6th Aug - 20th Oct 29th Oct - 11th Jan 2011

RDS Phoenix Park RDS

on on on

14th – 16th May 3rd – 7th June 1st – 5th December

London Shanghai London Harrogate Paris London London Paris London London Chicago

on on on on on on on on on on on

14th-17th May 1st May – 31st October 6th – 8th June 18th – 21st July 3rd – 7th September 5th – 8th September 12th – 14th September 14th – 16th September 23rd – 26th September 23rd-29th September 5th – 7th November

NATIONAL CRAFT GALLERY (NCG) 2010 Exhibitions: Irish Craft Portfolio (p. 44) Microcosmos CCoI Ceramic Design & Skills Course Graduate Exhibition Kilkenny Arts Festival Exhibition Bernie Leahy & Alice Kettle Upcoming Events at the National Craft Gallery (see p.31 for more details)

OTHER INDUSTRY EVENTS 2010 Shows in Ireland 2010 The Interior Design & Art Fair Bloom National Crafts & Design Fair International Trade Fair Dates 2010 Collect Shanghai Expo 2010 Pulse Home & Gift Maison & Objet International Jewellery Top Drawer Autumn / Winter Premiere Vision 100% Design Origin SOFA


news & reviews

YEAR OF CRAFT 2011 “Craft is now seen as cool, edgy and of the moment and many individuals and organisations wish to collaborate with us towards 2011.” Thanks to Gerry Wycherley

Welcome Maureen Kennelly

Gerry was appointed Chairman of the Crafts Council of Ireland by Minister Micheál Martin TD (the then Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment) in 2006. Following completion of his tenure last year, the staff and Board of the CCoI wish to take this opportunity to thank Gerry for his contribution to the Irish crafts industry throughout his term as Chairman.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Maureen Kennelly as our Year of Craft Project Manager. Maureen has a varied background as outlined below. The Year of Craft project is a key component of CCoI’s strategy in raising awareness of craft in Ireland so we are delighted to have Maureen working with CCoI in implementing our exciting plans for 2011.

Gerry oversaw the development of the Crafts Council of Ireland’s Strategic Plan 2007-2009, which brought in a range of new initiatives and projects under the following key areas: Image and Positioning of Craft, Stimulating MarketLed Craft, Making Craft Accessible to Consumers, Developing Craft Enterprises and Education. During his tenure Úna Parsons was appointed Chief Executive and the staffing/management was restructured and strengthened.

Maureen was artistic director of the Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray until November 2008. She was director of Kilkenny Arts Festival from 1998 to 2002 and she has also worked with Fishamble New Writing Theatre Company, Druid Theatre Company and The Arts Council. On a freelance basis, she has worked with Dublin Fringe Festival, Project Arts Centre, National Craft Gallery, Earagail Arts Festival and she was project co-ordinator in Kilkenny for the EU Day of Welcomes in 2004. Theatre shows she has produced include Steven Berkoff’s Kvetch, John Banville’s The Book of Evidence and Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape.

Throughout Gerry’s term as Chairman of CCoI, the Board and staff of CCoI gained much from Gerry’s leadership. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Gerry for his dedication, commitment and the energy, time and expertise that he has given to the Irish craft sector. CCoI’s current Chairman, Laura Magahy was appointed in September 2009 by an Tánaiste Mary Coughlan TD who was Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment at that time.

She was a member of the judging panel for the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards for 2002 and 2006 and she chaired this panel in 2003. She is Programme Director of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, Galway for 2009 and 2010. She has recently completed an MA in Literature and Publishing at National University of Ireland, Galway. She is a member of the boards of Kilkenny Arts Festival, The Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, and Barabbas Theatre Company in Dublin.


Year of Craft - Update Excitement is building around Year of Craft 2011. As many readers are aware, the World Crafts Council-Europe will meet in Ireland in June 2011, making this a tremendous opportunity to showcase Irish craft to our international colleagues. Attendees at the recent GANS (Guilds, Associations, Networks and Societies) meeting in Kilkenny heard how several master classes were held with visiting international makers in 1983 as part of a World Craft Council - Europe event (also held in Ireland that year). It was agreed at this meeting that this would once again be an excellent way to optimise the opportunity of the WCC-Europe event next year. Many of the GANS members present at the meeting pledged to explore the potential to bring prestigious makers from overseas in the week leading up to the event. This would then culminate in a large convergence on the WCC- Europe event, to create a truly exciting and dynamic annual conference. Contact is being made with a range of dynamic organisations throughout Ireland to gauge their interest in the year and we are receiving a phenomenal response. Craft is now seen as cool, edgy and of the moment and many individuals and organisations wish to collaborate with us towards 2011. Here at the Crafts Council of Ireland we are eager to hear your ideas towards a successful year. There is enormous potential to secure an elevated place for craft in the national consciousness – if we work together in imaginative and effective ways.

Please forward all queries on the Year of Craft 2011 to: Maureen Kennelly CCoI’s Year of Craft Project Manager E

news & reviews

Alan Ardiff (Jewellery)

Inti Leathers (Leather Products)

Public Awareness, Interest & Attitudes Towards Irish Crafts In December 2009, the Crafts Council of Ireland commissioned Millward Brown Lansdowne to undertake research to assess the public’s awareness levels, interest and attitudes towards Irish craft products and categories as follow up to similar surveys conducted in 2006 and 2008. Research also explored consumer’s buying patterns and potential barriers to purchasing crafts. A series of questions were included on Millward Brown Lansdowne’s monthly Telebus survey service. Interviewing was carried out over the telephone throughout every county in the Republic of Ireland with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults, aged 15+.

Glassmaking at Jerpoint Glass Studio

Key Research Findings: Objectives of the Survey:

Increased interest in buying and owning craft. The public’s interest in buying and owning crafts has increased again since 2008. This represents two consecutive years of growth to a position where 41% of adults in Ireland are now either very interested, or fairly interested in buying and owning crafts (this compares with 39% in 2008). This level has increased since 2006. Of those surveyed, it is females (51%) and those aged 50+ (49%) who are more likely to be interested in the category. Male levels of interest have remained stable since last year (30%) and represent a distinct opportunity for growth over the coming twelve months. Encouragingly, interest in crafts has increased among younger consumers (18-34).

The findings of this study needed to be comparable with previous research undertaken in 2008 & 2006. The objectives focussed on five main areas: 1.

What product categories do people perceive as “craft”?


What is the public’s interest in buying and owning Irish craft products?


What are people’s attitudes and associations with Irish craft


What are the Incidence levels of purchasing craft items? How much on average do consumers spend and where do they purchase crafts?


What are the barriers for consumers not purchasing crafts?

Craft now encompasses a wide array of product categories. The public still perceives ceramics and pottery as being the main category with 38% mentioning it spontaneously (without being prompted). Textiles and knitwear (27%), glass (19%), woodwork (18%) and jewellery (14%) make up the rest of the top five categories. Woodwork is the main climber which is up four places versus last year.

Interest in Buying & Owning Craft

The majority of spontaneous mentions have decreased since last year indicating that crafts are not as top of mind in people’s minds as they were. There are numerous reasons for this but perhaps the strongest influencer has been the economic downturn which peaked in the middle of 2009. The average consumer has been badly affected and has changed their shopping patterns and behaviours dramatically. There has been a switch back to basics and a mindset of frugality which has altered what consumers are focussing on. Women predominantly drive the associations of crafts with textiles/knitwear, jewellery and ceramics/pottery. Males are more likely to perceive woodwork as “craft”. In general, the over 50’s associate more product categories as being crafts, especially textile/knitwear and woodwork.


news & reviews

Nicholas Mosse Pottery

CCoI Ceramics Design & Skills Course Student 2008

Heather Finn Knitwear (Textile Designer)

There have been significant increases in the public’s attitudes towards crafts in general. Respect continues to grow for craft makers. 74% of adults agree now that “Crafts use authentic skills and approaches throughout their construction”. This represents the biggest positive move since 2008, increasing by 12%. Other key measures of “Quality”, “Appeal” and “Value for Money” have also all increased significantly since 2008. “Being Irish made” is very important to consumers with nearly seven out of ten people endorsing this.

When consumers were asked to identify the makers name or the brand name of the last piece they bought, only 10% could remember and correctly associate them. Of these brands purchased, the vast majority were either Waterford Crystal or Newbridge Silver. There are two prime locations that consumers buy crafts – Local Craft Shops (22%) and Gift Shops (22%). The two other locations of note were craft fair stalls (18%) and department stores (12%). Males are more likely to buy in gift shops with females most likely buying at craft fair stalls. The 35+ consumers tend to focus mainly on local craft shops and specialised design centres. The younger cohort (15-34) tend to actively visit exhibitions and fairs and are most likely to purchase an item at a craft fair stall.

66% of people consider crafts to be “pieces of art” with only 30% considering them to be “just souvenirs”. It is important to increase awareness of both the quality of pieces available and the skill and art of craft making to alleviate any associations with cheaper, souvenir perceptions.

The main barrier to purchasing craft items is perceived cost. Almost half of non-buyers claim that crafts are too expensive for them. This is particularly evident for females (54%) and the 35-49 age group (55%). The other main barrier to buying craft is simply lack of interest. Nearly 4 out of 10 claim that they have never thought about buying craft items before.

Overall, women and the 50+ age group are the most positive about crafts. Females score higher on all attitude statements, especially in terms of quality, appeal, value for money and affinity. There are no significant differences in attitudes between those people in the higher social class band and those in the lower social class band. This is evidence that crafts have opened up to and are accessible to more people than ever before. Those in all social classes now have an appetite for the category.


Almost half of respondents claim to have purchased a craft item within the past year. Again it is females who are most likely to purchase with a 57% buying level. Buyers tend to be from higher social class professions and over 50 years of age.

2010 will be an interesting year for craft makers and the Irish craft industry as a whole. The purchasing excesses experienced during the Celtic Tiger no longer hold any relevance for the public. The nature of craft items and the quality, skill and tradition that defines the industry will hopefully capture consumer’s attention further throughout 2010.

The average spend per purchase across all craft products and categories is €97. Males on average spend €120 and females €81. There is likely a gifting trend visible here. Again, the older age group tend to spend more per purchase than younger age groups. The highest spenders are again 50 years + who on average spend about €111. This is most probably due to the fact that over 50’s tend to be more sheltered from our economic recession - in general, they have a large proportion of their mortgages paid, no longer have dependents and the most amount of disposable income. As the recession’s grip loosens on consumers, the home owning 30-50 age group will become more important for growing the craft category.

Interest in buying and owning craft inceased from 39% to 41% between 2008 and 2009. The question now is: How do we translate this increased interest and general good feeling into active engagement and involvement with the category? Value for money will be key. Females and those consumers aged 50+ are currently the main target for the craft industry. They tend to have the most affiliation and highest purchasing power. Going forward, everyone working in the crafts sector needs to motivate the key house owners (the 35-49 year olds) to become interested in craft, and try to convince them crafts represent better value, higher quality and more local tradition than mass produced imported products.

Furniture and glass are the highest spending categories. The average euro spend on furniture purchases is €214 with glass in second place coming in at €100. The main craft items purchased by consumers are ceramics /pottery, jewellery, glass and candles. Buyers aged 50+ are most likely to buy jewellery and glass. Those aged 35-49 are most likely to purchase ceramics/pottery and furniture.


news & reviews



Showcase 2010: Ireland’s Creative Expo was opened by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan. The show which ran from the 24th to the 27th January at the RDS generated an estimated €20 million in sales orders over the four days and attracted more than 5,000 buyers from the domestic and 27 overseas markets, including North America, continental Europe and Japan. Despite the current economic challenges Showcase 2010 was an exciting and invigorating display of Irish Creativity at its best. Recognised as the most important event in the year for the crafts sector, this year’s show included 400 exhibitors of which 163 were craftspeople. And the good news is that for the first time in several years, buyer attendance figures were up 30% on the 2009 show. Furthermore, 88% of buyers confirmed that orders were or would be placed as a result of a visit to

the show: 45% of total orders placed are destined for Ireland, followed by the US at 14% and the UK at 12%. “The team worked very hard to modernise the image of Showcase to make it more attractive and desirable to buyers. A new website, a new brand identity, a new ezine programme and a strong collaboration with our partners Expo and Enterprise Ireland all contributed to a strong increase in web registrations in advance of

the show.” said Brian McGee, Head of Market Development for the Crafts Council of Ireland. As part of its three year strategy, the Crafts Council of Ireland has been transforming Showcase to make it ‘the show’ to do business and buy quality Irish craft gifts. Below are some of the key initiatives and highlights of the 2010 Show.

CREATIVE ISLAND A big draw for buyers to this year’s show was ‘Creative Island’ an exclusive new hotspot, located at the main entrance to the show. Creative Island featured an impressive range of quality crafted products – all ‘Imagined. Designed. Made. With Passion in Ireland.’ by the 58 participating designers and makers. Selection for Creative Island was by an independent retail panel, who rewarded creativity, innovation and craftsmanship. Creative Island is part of a bigger campaign spearheaded by the Crafts Council of Ireland to create more awareness and appreciation of contemporary Irish craft amongst consumers. To complement the area, a stunning book was produced which was made available to buyers at the show. The Creative Island book gives the location and details of each of the participating Irish craftmakers and tells their unique story. Creative Island will also shortly be accessible online. Hard copies of Creative Island are available to craft retailers. Contact Gillian O’Callaghan (see details on page 30).

“Great layout on Creative Island. Buyers very relaxed with it.”

Creative Island received a very favourable response from both buyers and exhibitors. According to show figures 43% of overseas buyers purchased from Creative Island exhibitors, with 62% of all craft orders at Showcase placed with exhibitors in this area. Feedback from overseas buyers confirms that they consider Irish crafts to be of excellent quality. “It was clear from buyers at this year’s show that stocking a selection of contemporary Irish craft is back in vogue with 87% of buyers acknowledging that country of origin is important to their customers. In today’s

Donal Sweeney, Rathlin Knitwear


competitive environment buyers areonly too aware of the increasing importance of having something different to offer to today’s new conscientious consumer and Ireland’s designers and makers offer a wonderful range of quality, authentic products at a variety of price points”, said Úna Parsons, CEO, Crafts Council of Ireland.

news & reviews

“It is important that we are here, even in quiet times.” Richard Morfoot, Troll Beads

AWARDS A series of awards were presented at Showcase 2010, by Chairman of CCoI, Laura Magahy. The Craftsmanship Award this year went to furniture designers, Tim and Sean Dunleavy of Dunleavy Bespoke.

and Accessories the award went to Wicklowbased Unicorn Design for ‘Diva Dress’, and metalworker Paddy McCormack from Skibbereen won the award for the Craft and Gift category for his copper ‘Moon Bowl’.

“Showcase allowed us to display new products in a great environment and to gain new clients and new contacts.”

Elaine-Sarah Comerford of Button & Co., scooped the overall prize for Best New Product at Showcase as well as Best New Product in the Jewellery section for her ‘Button Charm Bracelet’. The two-tone silver and gold bracelet depicting old-fashioned buttons was lauded for its quality, design and innovation. Best New Product Awards were also presented in three other categories. The Table Top and Interiors Category Award went to Jerpoint Glass Studio in Kilkenny for its ‘Jester Vessel’; for Fashion, Knitwear

The winner of the ‘Creative Island Award’ selected for creativity, innovation and craftsmanship – was Inti Leathers, the Dundalk based accessories company owned by Catherine Prendergast.

“It’s still the best event to pick up new business and make contacts.”

The new features introduced to Showcase 2010, in particular Creative Island received a very positive response from both buyers and exhibitors. Plans are already being developed for Showcase 2011.

Sophie Rieu, Unicorn Design

Kieran Higgins, Woodturnings

“Showcase is where we show our products and meet our buyers, both current and prospective, each year. This is it for us. We like the new layout, it affords buyers and exhibitors a relaxed environment.” Paul & Patricia Maloney, Paul Maloney Pottery

“This is my first experience and it was everything I expected and more.”

HIGHLIGHTS FROM SHOWCASE 2010 STATISTICS A new marketing plan for buyers led to a 30% increase in buyers despite the negative environment globally. The show attracted more than 5,000 buyers from the domestic and 27 overseas markets, including North America, continental Europe and Japan. There were substantial increases from the USA and UK. An estimated €20 million in sales orders were generated at Showcase 2010. Showcase 2010 included 400 exhibitors of which 163 were craftmakers. 88% of buyers confirmed that orders were or would be placed as a result of a visit to the show: 45% of total orders placed are destined for Ireland, followed by the USA at 14% and the UK at 12% with the average order ranging between €5,000 and €30,000. 24% of overseas buyers said that 100% of their purchases at Showcase were from Irish producers and 71% of buyers found new products and/or suppliers during their visit.

Victoria Foutz, Victoria Foutz Bijoux

The big draw for buyers to this year’s show was ‘Creative Island’, which put Irish creativity at centre stage. Creative Island received a very favourable response from both buyers and exhibitors. According to show figures 43% of overseas buyers purchased from Creative Island exhibitors, with 62% of all craft orders at Showcase placed with exhibitors in this area. Feedback from overseas buyers confirms that they consider Irish crafts to be of excellent quality. 87% of buyers acknowledged that country of origin is important to their customers. 63% of buyers attending this year’s show committed to returning next year. According to show figures 45% of domestic buyers agree that Irish Craft items are good value for money and 65% of overseas buyers consider Irish crafts to be of excellent quality. 62% of the craft orders placed were with Creative Island exhibitors proving the success of this initiative.

“Great show this year, much better than last year in terms of layout, and crafts. Really enjoyed the show.” Sinead Clarke, EssenC Designs

SHOWCASE 2011 Upcoming call-outs and announcements for Showcase and Creative Island 2011 will be announced over the coming months in Stopress, the CCoI website and online ezine CRAFTlink. To see the update on Creative Island 2011 see the Opportunities section on page 35. For general Showcase enquiries contact: Gillian O’ Callaghan CCoI Retail Programme Manager E: T: 056 7796153

Showcase Ireland Ltd. is organised by Showcase Ireland Events Ltd. on behalf of the Crafts Council of Ireland and is promoted internationally by Enterprise Ireland.


news & reviews

'Raku Owl Jar' by Oriain Pottery (highly commended New Product Award)

'Parachuter Bag' by Garvan de Bruir (highly commended - New Product Award - Fashion Knitwear & Accessories)

‘Diva Dress’ by Sophie Rieu of Unicorn Design (winner - Best New Product Award - Fashion, Knitwear & Accessories)

View of Creative Island at Showcase 2010

'Oval Perfume Bottle' by Maureen Lynch (highly commended New Product Award - Jewellery)

L-R: Úna Parsons (CEO of the Crafts Council of Ireland), Laura Magahy (Chairman of the Crafts Council of Ireland) with Tanáiste Mary Coughlan

Catherine Prendergast of Inti Leathers (winner - Creative Island Award)



‘Luna Lamp’ by Belleek Pottery Ltd. (highly commended Best New Product Award Tabletop & Interiors)

Elaine-Sarah Comerford of Button & Co. (overall prize winner, Best New Product Award - Jewellery, and highly commended - Creative Island Award)

'Claddagh Key to Your Heart' by Solvar (winner Exporter of the Year Award and highly commended Best New Product Award - Jewellery)

Piece by Helena Malone (highly commended - Craftsmanship)

'Moon Bowl’ by Paddy McCormack (winner Best New Product Award - Craft & Gift)

Printed Silk Section Dress by Jennifer Rothwell (highly commended Best New Product Award Fashion Knitwear & Accessories)

'Jester Black and Red Vase' by Jerpoint Glass Studio (winner Best New Product Award - Tabletop & Interiors)


‘Dancer’ by Tim & Sean Dunleavy of Dunleavy Bespoke (winner - Craftmanship Award)

news & reviews

TRENDS & SEMINARS Showcase offered a unique opportunity for those attending to see the latest products, network with colleagues, craftmakers and buyers and hear about emerging trends and developments. The Trends area at Showcase 2010 displayed product in keeping with current forecasts for mood, colour and pattern. The CCoI also developed and produced a 2010 reference Trends book which was distributed at the show. If you are interested in learning more about Trends see our upcoming clinic in May on Branding & Packaging in the opportunities section on page 32, and/or to get a copy of the 2010 Trends book see below. The Showcase seminar programme offered presentations by leading experts in branding, retailing, e-commerce, merchandising and trend forecasting during the Show and the Buyer’s Suite allowed buyers the opportunity to network, relax and avail of pertinent information on craft.

Organic Geometry

Copies of some of the presentations are available on the Showcase website: or contact Gillian O’ Callaghan for more information (see contact details on page 30). This year’s show also featured Club Showcase, a major Networking Event on the opening night, offering buyers and exhibitors a place to relax on the grounds of the event and network each evening. This event proved very successful with very favourable feedback received from both exhibitors and buyers.




TREND WORKBOOK 2010/11 Get on Trend with the 2010/11 Trend Workbook The CCoI’s Trend Workbook 2010/11 was devised by stylist Eleanor Harpur (formerly creative director of Habitat) and Emma McGrath, CCoI’s Retail Executive. It is a great insight into current and upcoming global trends and styles. The workbook was launched at this year’s Showcase as a research tool and guide for retailers and craftmakers when considering applying trends to their product ranges.

“It’s the beginning of the New Year. It fills order books and makes a positive reason to be producing products, new and old.” Heather Neilsen, 1200 Centigrade

The workbook is presented in an easy to follow format and outlines the simple steps involved in applying a variety of trends - to help give you an edge over your competitors and keep your product fresh and up to date.

The CCoI’s Trend Workbook is now available to download free from the CCoI website:

Four key trends have been identified as Playtime, Timebends, Witchcraft and Organic Geometry. Within each of these trends, samples are given of narrative, mood, colour, pattern as well as examples of products in the Tabletop, Interiors, Homeware, Gifts, Fashion, Accessories and Jewellery categories.

A limited number of the Trend Workbooks are available free to CCoI clients. To get a copy contact: Emma McGrath CCoI Retail Executive E T 056 7796150 12

“A good mix of buyers from several countries who would have been hard to contact without this show.” Diana, Buttercup Knitwear

“It’s great to see vibrant talent and entrepreneurship in times of recession.” Sharon Rose McKeever, Nosey Rosie & Friends

news & reviews

COUNTY ENTERPRISE BOARDS AT SHOWCASE 2010 In 2010, there was a very strong presence from the County Enterprise Boards, with 13 individual stands showcasing the work of 34 craftmakers. Commenting on the show Meabh Ring, Craft & Gift Coordinator for Showcase 2010 for the Cork County and City Enterprise Boards said, “Creative Island was a super model and from feedback I received from buyers and exhibitors the model was very highly regarded. The Cork CEB exhibitors were also really happy with the format of the show and support provided and all wrote concrete orders”.

ICONIC CRAFT & CRAFT EXHIBITON AT THE SHOW Iconic craft from leading Irish designer makers was also on display in the centre of ‘Creative Island’, and the CCoI’s National Craft Gallery displayed a selection of work in the balcony area of ‘Emerging Irish Makers’ from the recent Generation exhibition.

Education Training & Development at Showcase 2010 There was great activity at the education training and development team stand throughout Showcase 2010. The event was an opportunity to provide information on CCoI education initiatives and programmes, to meet with education partners and to liaise with makers on their training needs. Over the 4 days we had over 300 visitors to the stand including; An Tanáiste Mary Coughlan TD, Kilkenny Labour Party Cllr. Séan Ó hArgáin, Fine Gael TD, Phil Hogan. The exhibition that our ceramics and jewellery skills students had at the stand received a very positive response from visitors; as did the unique ‘Kilkenny Buildings’ project which was recently unveiled at the National Craft Gallery and is currently on public display at CCoI.

designed to support and develop our next generation of makers and consists of awards for students and early stage practitioners to develop their craft. Throughout the event we also worked with a team of graduate volunteers who coordinated tours of Showcase for colleges who visited Showcase. Over 200 enthusiastic young makers from colleges around the country visited the event and also attended the seminar programme and the pre–launch of the Future Makers website. It was a great opportunity for learning for everyone involved and gave our next generation of makers an insight into the realities of working in the craft industry

The team also conducted a survey of training needs of makers present at Showcase which was used to build the programme of workshops being delivered by CCoI in 2010. The Education team also took the opportunity to launch the CCoI Future Makers initiative at Showcase. Future Makers is

at ed by being ything I gain “Out of ever g I will take e biggest thin Showcase, th design is alive ct that craft/ away is the fa an achievable it’s certainly d an l el w d an gave . Showcase a career in it ve ha to al go d t, I saw an nfidence boos co al re a e m a and left with the industry t ou ab d ar he g nerous servin hope and a ge of n io rt po g bi to side. Thanks ment on the ge ra u co en of l at CCoI.” case and to al w ho S at ne t everyo IT Textiles Studen Mark T Burke –



Volunteers at Showcase L - R: Sean Breen, Eadaoin Berkley, Elaine Fleming, Mark T Burke & Serena O’Neill

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Future Makers: the website An on-line resource and network forum for craftspeople The Future Makers website was set up to promote the Crafts Council of Ireland’s, grants and awards scheme (which provided funding of over €30,000 to craft students and graduates - opportunity now closed) in addition to acting as an online resource and network forum to our growing craft community. The website which was launched at the end of January, provides ongoing information about upcoming opportunities such as seminars, conferences, master-classes, grants and exhibitions. The site is linked to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and, providing multiple platforms for CCoI to communicate with craftspeople nationally and internationally. The Future Makers page on Facebook (which currently has over 400 fans), provides a fantastic opportunity for craftspeople to interact with each other and to build a craft community. CCoI encourages craftspeople who hear of any opportunities to let us know through the website, Twitter or Facebook so that we can ensure that information is constantly updated and reaches the widest audience.

e remakers.i www.futu

TOP TIPS Keep updated by regularly checking our blog on the Future Makers Website on: Become a fan of our Facebook page and interact with other makers Check out our tweets on Twitter View our video resources on Blip TVincludes interviews with makers as well as other resources

For further information contact: Louise Allen CCoI Education & Awareness Manager T 056 7796142 E

Using Technology to better serve our clients Over the past nine months the Education, Training & Development team has tried a number of new technologies to see if we can bring our programmes and initiatives to a wider audience and also to make them more interactive and fun for all involved. We now have a blip tv channel where you can watch some CCoI events that took place last year, the major one being the Creative Pathways seminar. If you go directly to you can choose which segment you are interested in and watch it. You can also watch some short clips we made of makers talking about what inspired them to pursue their craft. These clips are also used as a way of promoting craft as a career to third level students.


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Our Future Makers initiative (mentioned in the article above) is the first CCoI programme to use social media – Twitter, YouTube etc., and since its launch in January 2010 it has been receiving a great response. Finally we piloted some new technology in our education outreach programmes at the National Craft Gallery. We made recordings of makers talking about their work so that visitors to the National Craft Gallery could use their mobile phones to listen to an audio tour during the ‘On the Edge’ exhibition. These recordings are also available through our web site at: www.ccoi/audiotours We continue to explore how we can use technology to bring our initiatives to wider audiences and welcome any feedback or suggestions you may have. Please send any comments to: Leslie Ryan CCoI Education Outreach Officer E 14

urs ie/audioto i. o c .c w w w

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Magical Norway & Beyond

“I had been working over the last two years, without success, to develop a new textural surface on my glass but with a different approach, a new way of thinking and the “space” to do it, this was achieved. Eureka!”

Leonardo Craft Skills Work Placement Programme

As a mature client of the Crafts Council of Ireland I very much enjoy reading each new issue of Stopress which keeps me up-to-date with events, exhibitions, gallery deadlines etc. Earlier this year it was confirmed that I would deliver a Master Class at GlassForum in May 2010, a centre of excellence for glass on the island of Averoy in Norway so it was with that feeling of “being in the right place at the right time” that I found myself reading an opportunity through the Leonardo Craft Skills Work Placement Programme - to gain specialised skills based knowledge in relation to specific craft discipline, design practice and cultural aesthetics, increased awareness of EU heritage, culture and craft traditions - and yes, wait for it… in Norway!

My remaining three days of the programme were spent living on a ship moored in the harbour with a spectacular view of the new Opera House. I attended fashion shows at the Oslo Crafts Gallery, visited the majestic Town Hall, museums and galleries, dined in beautiful restaurants and had amazing conversations and wonderful company. I met with Mette Michelsen, First Secretary Department of Foreign Affairs, Elaine Hallowed, Second Secretary Embassy of Ireland and Elisabeth Sorheim, Director of Programmes Kunsthandvereke, who was my host and to whom I extend my heart-felt thanks for the hospitality and professional courtesy I was shown. We had a brilliant discussion over very strong coffee and highlighted the progress of the Leonardo Work Placement Programme to date.

So with expression of interest completed and sent off, a short-listed, interview date confirmed and PowerPoint presentation in hand, I drove to Kilkenny. I felt strongly that I could display an identified need in relation to the placement and explain the benefit to my personal and professional development. As you can imagine I was both elated and honoured on hearing that my interview had been successful.

Another train journey to Magnor Glassverks, a production factory who were experimenting on exactly what I had been doing the week before. Needless to say the production manager, Egil Bentengen and I spent the following afternoon in the furnace room ‘talking shop’. Absolute heaven!

The first ten days were spent on the island of Averoy in a world renowned glass facility, with 24/7 access to materials and professional equipment. Yes, the studio was isolated, I was working alone, it was -17 degrees celsius with a metre of snow outside but this all came together to let me focus on product development without the daily pressures of running a professional studio. During this time my already high expectations of the programme were exceeded. I had been working over the last two years, without success, to develop a new textural surface on my glass but with a different approach, a new way of thinking and the ‘space’ to do it, this was achieved. Eureka! After the glorious isolation I was sad to leave Averoy but I was to embark on a magical, life changing six hour overland journey by train through the mountains and fijords from Oppdal to Oslo.

On the last day and I was fortunate to visit Kjersti Elvevold – a studio glass artist who also designs for Magnor Glassverk Factory - at her studio ‘Vinkelen Galleri og Verksted’ near Fetsund. More traditional home-cooking, a very welcome bed for the night and a 5.00am start the next morning. The programme has had a massive influence on my work, both technically and aesthetically, through being given the opportunity to concentrate on research and development within my craft. I feel I have gained a greater, cultural understanding of international practice and markets from the experience which will ultimately benefit my business by forging new contacts and opening up new opportunities and horizons. At this point I would encourage other makers, who feel as passionate as I do about their own discipline and personal development to apply for the programme in the future. By Karl Haron (Glass Artist)

“The programme has had a massive influence on my work both technically and aesthetically.” ‘Dolmen Cairn #0309’

‘Tomb Vessel #0309’

om www.theglasstudioireland.c

If interested in applying for the 2010 Leonardo Mobility Placement Programme in Norway see page 32.


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Irish Craft Portfolio 2010

'Two Vases' (small and large) by Marcus O'Mahony (Ceramist)

The Irish Craft Portfolio book was recently unveiled and presents the work of 38 selected makers across a wide range of disciplines. Irish Craft Portfolio exists to encourage, identify and reward excellence in the making of fine craft by Irish makers. It is primarily concerned with fostering the development of work that can comfortably sit on the international stage either through exhibition in galleries abroad or at events such as Collect in the UK and at SOFA in the United States. 'Portal' by Killian Schurmann (Glass Artist)

The market for craftwork in this end of the market is relatively stable with international galleries continuing to look for new and innovative works to present to their audiences. Irish Craft Portfolio aims to become established as a recognised ‘talent stream’ for presenting high quality Irish contemporary fine craft to international galleries and collectors.

‘Untitled Brooch' by Sabrina Meyns (Jeweller)

The 2010 selection panel was comprised of commercial international gallerists, curators and specialists in the fine craft field. The panel looked to reward excellence in making, technical ability, and the existence of a professional track record that would be of interest to potential international galleries. A selection of work from Irish Craft Portfolio makers is currently on show in the National Craft Gallery until May 22nd (see page 44). Some of the craftwork from the show can also be seen at the Kenny Gallery Galway in August and the Farmleigh Gallery Dublin in December. For further information please contact: Des Doyle Collector & Craft Tourism Development Manager T 056 77 96137 E W

Copies of the publication are available to purchase for €10. Contact Des Doyle, see details above. 'Pair of Double-Hipped Vessels' by Sara Flynn (Ceramist)


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Buy Irish Craft

campaign 2009

A Review The ‘Buy Irish Craft’ Campaign was rolled-out to 31 retail shops around Ireland in the first week of December. The campaign featured images of the work of 28 makers, and provided strong brand communication support to over 300 makers leading up to Christmas. CCoI’s strategy was to make the most of the large sales opportunity that Christmas purchasing offers, by creating a consumer campaign that would support CCoI makers compete with larger brands. Our new message of ‘Imagined. Designed. Made. With Passion in Ireland.’ was created to communicate the unique selling proposition that Irish Craft offers. The campaign worked as follows: • • • • • •

2, 717 pieces of Point of Sale (POS) were distributed to 31 retailers nationally. A further 786 pieces were distributed to 26 maker’s studios and 766 pieces were distributed to makers at the National Crafts & Design Fair. Special window posters were placed in several retailers. 3 postcards styles were distributed in 6 tourist offices and 100 four and five star hotels in Dublin. 130,000, 4 page brochures were stitched into the Gloss on the 3rd of December 09, with a further 5,000 handed out at the National Crafts & Design Fair. A 30 second radio advert ran from the 7th of December until the 17th of December, with 56 slots and a listenership of 326,000.

Following the post campaign evaluation with participating retailers, below are some key statistics on the campaigns performance:

Finally retailers were asked for additional comment and suggestions as to how CCoI might assist them in their business. Here are a few of the suggestions/comments received:

Use of the campaign in store. All of the participating retailers created extra space in their store for Irish Craft for the festive period with 92% using the CCoI POS in their Windows.

“ The most effective POS piece was the tent card which we placed beside each Irish maker. It clearly identified the Irish work for customers who wanted to support Irish makers. Even since Christmas it has been very effective.”

What POS pieces worked well in the store? There was particular mention of the red generic campaign strut cards and tent cards. In addition 60% advised that the slogan of ‘Imagine, Designed. Made with Passion in Ireland.’ was very effective with many customers commenting on the importance of Irish goods.

“I believe that this is a very good campaign, why not expand it to other seasons eg. Spring and Autumn. The designs could remain the same but change in Retailer, Co. Cork colour with the season.”

Was the campaign message effective? 96% advised ‘yes’ that the campaign message was very effective especially in making consumers aware that they were purchasing Irish products.

Retailer, Dublin

“Overall a good campaign – more of the same.”

Retailer, Co. Wexford

“Make consumers aware how good Irish craft is, that it is affordable, that it is unique, and that the quality is excellent.” Retailer, Dublin

The following is an outline of the 2009 campaign performance: Did Retailers believe that CCoI’s campaign had an impact on their sales this Christmas? 2009 was a very difficult Christmas season for all Irish retailers, especially in the ‘home’, ‘fashion’ and ‘jewellery’ segments where craft is sold. Against this challenging backdrop, 84% of retailers participating in this campaign believe that this campaign had a positive impact on their sales in 2009. Furthermore, over 60% of stores said that Irish craft performed the same or better than other brands in the same categories. This is a very positive point. had 76,750 hits between its launch and Christmas day. On the 3rd of December 2009, the day the Gloss was published, the website had its highest number of hits in one day at 6,263 . Subsequently, over the 9 days that the radio advert was played the average hit per day was 3,066. 21 articles appeared in various national, regional and glossy publications with a circulation of 944, 282.

Conclusion The Crafts Council of Ireland Christmas Campaign 2009 was very well received by craft makers, retailers and consumers. From 2008 to 2009 the campaign has had a growth of 210% in the stores that it has been utilised in. Retailers are eager to participate and those who did not partake in the 2009 campaign are anxious to be included in the Crafts Council of Ireland’s 2010 plans. The Crafts Council of Ireland’s Market development team will continue to strengthen the ‘Buy Irish Craft’ Campaign in 2010 with; the expansion of the website, continued support to Irish Craft Retailers, point of sale material and a new consumer campaign for Christmas 2010. See the opportunities section, page 35 for the ‘Call Out’ to apply for the 2011 Christmas Craft Campaign. 17

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Anne Mette O'Connor (Jeweller)

Sinéad Lough (Ceramist)

Elaine Sarah Comerford, Button & Co. (Jeweller)

Making it in Business What the Participating Students Are Doing Now

Heather Finn (Knitwear Designer)

CCoI’s ‘Making it in Business’ programme – the class of 2009 Participation on a tailor–made training programme, designed specifically for craft enterprises, is a great way of fast-tracking your new craft business start up, or further enhancing and developing your existing enterprise. The ‘Making it in Business’ programme (2008 - 09) was a custom designed craft enterprise development programme that comprised of a series of workshops supplemented by intensive mentoring delivered by a range of business and craft experts. The programme ran over an 18 month period and feedback from contributors and participants was extremely positive. CCoI’s ‘Making it in Business’ programme was designed to: • • • • • • •

Develop a number of early stage craft businesses on a commercial basis Provide basic business skills to emerging craft enterprises Develop craft businesses with strong growth potential from incubation stage to stand alone commercially viable businesses Optimize opportunities in the mainstream and collector market for new craft enterprises Provide specific individual expertise to participants through an intensive mentor support structure Develop the craft products in participant craft businesses Develop opportunities for peer networking among the participants to further develop their businesses.

The participating businesses were selected on the basis of ‘High standard of Design and Production' that had product close to market ready. Eight of the craft enterprises selected, are now successfully running their own workshops with others also running retail outlets from their studios. In addition a number of recent participants have successfully advanced their products, with some winning further awards and scholarships.

Jeweller Helena Malone tells us what the course has meant to her and her business… “When I was accepted on to the ‘Making it in Business’ programme, it could not have come at a better time. I had just started my own business and needed support and information by the lorry load! The main area in which I gained was in support from the group as a whole. We all learned from each other as everyone was at different stages of setting up in their business. I particularly loved the brainstorming marketing sessions and it was fantastic to see individuals develop and grow in confidence. Setting up your own business is both terrifying and exciting at the same time, so to have a like-minded group to experience it with was essential. Since then it has been a bit of a whirlwind. In 2009 I set up my studio, gaining funding from my local enterprise board for machinery and launched my website. I am very lucky to have amazing customers who support me, especially since it has been a tough year for everyone in all areas of business. Jeweller, Helena Malone

Upcoming Development Programme Autumn 2010 The CCoI is building on the foundations of the ‘Making it in Business’ programme (2008 - 09) and will be launching a new programme in Autumn 2010. Details of the upcoming programme and the application process will be detailed in the Summer issue of Stopress. For enquiries contact: Emer Ferran Enterprise Development Manager T 056 7796144 E

Cornelian Rhapsody


Cornelian Rhapsody (detail)

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Kilkenny City in Silver ‘Buildings of Kilkenny’ in celebration of Kilkenny 400 The twelve trainees on the current CCoI Jewellery & Goldsmithing Skills and Design Course recently undertook a project involving the construction of a collaborative silver piece in recognition of Kilkenny’s 400th Anniversary of its city status. Hand-fabricated in solid silver, the display comprises of 12 prominent, historic buildings in Kilkenny City. Each building has been recreated by one of the trainees in precious metal. Techniques such as piercing, electro-etching, engraving and oxidising have been used to highlight their fine details and unique characteristics. These miniature replica buildings are housed in a display case made from wood, glass and Kilkenny Marble. Master Engraver Don O’Mahony from Cork engraved the front glass panel. On March 12th, a private viewing to showcase this stunning piece of cultural significance was held in the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny. The piece is currently on view in the reception area of the CCoI headquarters in Kilkenny.

Students of the CCoI’s Jewellery & Goldsmithing Skills and Design Course at the launch of their silver miniatures, pictured with invited guests including City Mayor, Malcolm Noonan in the National Craft Gallery in the Castle Yard.


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Craftsperson in Context This is a series of articles where the work of a craftperson registered with the Crafts Council of Ireland will be featured along with a Guild that supports them and/or a retail outlet that carries their work. If you would like to be considered for selection in a future issue of Stopress, please email:


Celtic Roots Studio. Besides their own collections and jewellery, the craft shop stocks some stunning craft pieces and gifts including Jerpoint glass and some great ceramics by Irish makers.

Helen Conneely outside the Celtic Roots Studio retail outlet in Ballinahown village, Co. Westmeath

Helen Conneely of

Celtic Roots Helen Conneely’s life is that of an adventuring pioneer. Her Wild West is the midland bog, her frontier town is the village of Ballinahown and her gold is the black oak of ancient Irish forests retrieved from the boglands where it has been buried for over 5,000 years. by Cornelia McCarthy, a Project Manager who works with creative businesses

Helen’s entrepreneurial roots and environmental spirit have wound their way firmly into many business ideas and community projects around the bog. She is the woman who has just launched, ‘Meso’ (from meso-lithic) a very well received range of jewellery designed by her from materials that include bog oak. She is the brains behind the now classic Celtic Roots bog-oak giftware and retail outlet. The Ballinahown Craft Village, a community project, of which Helen is Chairperson continues to attract new food and artisan businesses to the area serving to really put this small village on the tourist trail. And then there is ‘CORE’ the craft retail and training facility for Offaly and Westmeath makers where Helen works voluntarity for a day a week, not to mention her occasional freelance work as a business advisor and mentor. Somewhere, Helen still finds room for the ‘family business’ - holiday rentals of lakeshore eco cottages. Imagine, a young engineering graduate in the mid-eighties, employed by Bord na Móna to examine and report on the numerous bridges on the bogs. Helen was given the keys to a motorbike to help her get around. On her trusty steed, she careered around the peatlands. Thoroughly enjoying her work, the huge expanse of her surroundings and the comradeship of her workmates, she felt completely at home in this place. She was drawn to people running sustainable businesses in the area including a rare Irish tree nursery, heritage site and tourism providers, those developing the Lough Boora Parklands and sculpture trail and the artisans that base themselves in the area, in particular Michael Casey a bogwood sculptor. Fast forward to St Patrick’s Day 2010 in Charleston, South Carolina. Helen was invited to the ‘Forty Shades of Green Gallery’ to deliver a series of talks on the boglands of Ireland. She told her story of uncovering the treasures from the peat and gave demonstrations on making bogwood into a classic ‘Celtic Roots Studio’ sculpture. She also shared with her audience ‘Bling from the Bog’ - the making of a piece of the stunning new ‘Meso’ jewellery collection she has just launched. 20

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The Meso Jewellery collection is designed and made by Helen Conneely, styled by Eddie Shanahan and photographed by Patrick McHugh. Meso fuses new with old, ancient bog wood over 5,600 year's old with freshwater pearls, leather, sterling silver, oxidised sterling silver and onyx beads, to create a unique modern look which captures the essence of Irish culture in a contemporary way. Celtic Roots ‘Bogoak Sculptural Forms’: The wood for each piece is dried very slowly and then each piece is selected by Helen and painstakingly worked on by a team of 3 woodcarvers to release highly polished sculptural forms. One-off commissions, awards, collections and corporate gifts are laser engraved in house for special occasions.

Bogwood craft as a cottage industry for centuries In the early nineteenth century bogwood pieces were made as a cottage pastime. Giftware produced included bog oak jewellery with Irish emblems, small pieces of furniture and souvenirs. The unique appearance of bogwood is that it has an ebony colour brought about by the chemical reaction from properties in the oak with the black acidic water of the bog. This also preserves the wood from decay and dry rot – the wood used by Celtic Roots is 5,600 years old. The story of the wood, the fine colour and the high polish that can be gained from the carved work, made it very popular and the Irish bogwood industry flourished in Victorian times becoming fashionable and widely available through a number of manufacturers as well as more humble cottage industries. Whilst the boglands can be perceived as bleak, this is not the case for Helen or for those who care to take a closer look. Helen is fascinated with the boglands, finding it a place that provides her with the means to live off the land and close to this unspoiled environment filled with rich heritage. Bogland property prices have rarely made the news, so the possibilities of setting up and running a business are more favourable than in urban areas. Celtic Roots Studio - An artistic business Helen set up the Celtic Roots Studio in 1991, making bogwood art pieces and giftware with a small team, from a workshop in Ferbane Co Offaly. Bord na Móna supported this development, managed by Helen. They were looking for innovative ways to develop bog enterprises. Her motorbike had been abandoned years before as her role with Bord na Móna had changed from engineer to technical to mainstream marketing to heading a small team to investigate setting up innovative opportunities. She quickly became hooked on this artistic business, on the core principles of building a sustainable business in the area and on making her life in the area. In 1997 a deal was struck and she took over Celtic Roots Studio, and established a co-operative ethos to running the business.

Treasures from the past With her marketing experience Helen knew that to succeed and make this business a sustainable one, she was going to have to promote the work confidently and very professionally. With no doubt in her mind about the quality of the work being produced by her carving team and her designs, she took a very brave decision and invested heavily in the marketing material. In her first year she spent as much on purchasing equipment as she did on marketing. A stunning catalogue with duotone printing was produced and accompanied each piece of work sold in the early years, which told the story of the bogwood with the beauty of the bog conveyed thorough romantic and glorious photography. An identity for the company was developed and sturdy boxes to protect the artwork within. Her first order for corporate work was from Michael Smurfit. Companies like this were used to the professionalism of the big Irish crystal companies and their attractive and well branded story. The presentation of the Celtic Roots Studio through its confident promotional material made it an order that was often repeated. It was the beginning of a very successful rise in orders from a client base of businesses keen to support quality Irish work. Her continued commitment to professional promotion can be seen in the ‘Meso’ bog oak jewellery promotion. The whole undertaking is a serious investment for the studio and represents years of product development. Successfully test marketed on Helen’s loyal Christmas local market, the range was also very well received at this year’s Showcase (Ireland’s Creative Expo) and the wholesale orders are now being dispatched. Retail with a capital R The Old Schoolhouse in Ballinahown was the first studio outlet of the business and was Helen’s first introduction to retail. Footfall was not high in Ballinahown in 1997 when it opened, but property prices were nothing like the nearest town of Athlone, 7 miles from the village. The transformation of the studio retail outlet developed at a pace with the village itself. When Helen moved to Ballinahown there was an air of neglect and quite a few derelict buildings. The old Schoolhouse became her first project. She purchased it and did it up and used it as Celtic Roots shop window. In the relaxed surroundings of a carefully planned setting, the sculptures were shown and commissions taken. As the studio expanded to the second floor she could house the large exhibition style pieces upstairs and downstairs to a dedicated giftware range. Keeping it all local, Helen lived across the road in the old school masters

Celtic Roots Studio’s market The Celtic Roots Studio’s market from the very start has been the corporate gift market, awards market and the wholesale market. In Ireland Helen rapidly secured lucrative and repeat business in all these sectors. Brown Thomas, Dublin was the most significant and with such a well-known outlet obtained, many more orders from other shops were secured. Studio sales direct to the customer where not a priority in the early years as growing the wholesale business was the primary goal. 21

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them lots of choice and lots of reasons to come back – many customers ring Helen in advance to make sure that she is there when they visit so that they get her personal attention and hospitality. Every person who walks through her door is a potential customer. As Fergal Quinn said in his Retail Therapy show, even the delivery people could buy from you. Helen says ”never make assumptions about people who walk into your shop” and sited an example of a delivery woman who just purchased a €400 piece from her – a very special occasion that needed a very special gift.

house, another building she sensitively renovated, equally as charming as the schoolhouse. Two years ago, her involvement with the local craft networks in Offaly and Westmeath led these groups securing support to develop a retail outlet called CORE - to promote locally-made work, and to act as a craft training centre. CORE took over the Old Schoolhouse and Celtic Roots and the new Meso jewellery studio moved to a new premises accross the road. The studio sales that started as a trickle now account for a significant piece of business. With the decrease in US sales on account of the drop in the dollar/euro, and with so much caution in the Irish wholesale market, Helen has dedicated time to building a strong online sales presence (with 30% of her business being generated from on-line sales) in addition to the retail outlet in the village. Her continuous business and tourism networking over the years means that nothing happens in Offaly or Westmeath without Ballinahown being part of the offering. Recent promotions of Celtic Roots and CORE include craft demonstrations for Fáilte Ireland at the Volvo ocean race in Galway last year, and being included on a Discover Athlone trail (by shuttle bus).

From empty village to eco village Helen’s interest in refurbishment of these two delightful and historic buildings caught on. The Celtic Roots Studio with the Meso collection and the CORE retail and craft training are part of the growing ‘Ballinahown Irish Designer Craft Village’. The tiny village community have put their shoulders to the wheel and boast a community hall (used by CORE for large craft classes), a fine public square with pond and fountain, a nature trail, a well-equipped playground and the only underground recycling unit in Ireland. The village has won numerous awards including a bronze medal for the 2009 tidy towns. Their next big project is to develop an eco village with artisan and food studios and they are well on the way to achieving this.

Helen was delighted with the footfall through her shop last Christmas. Of the people that visited, she knew 80% of them by name. The recession has certainly shown Helen that people are shopping Irish and shopping locally. Celtic Roots Studio gives

Celtic Roots Studio Ballinahown Athlone Co. Westmeath

CORE Crafted Design The Old Schoolhouse, Ballinahown, Athlone, Co.Westmeath


top tips: Build a team around you.

Special commissions are handled

professionally & speedily. If a customer wishes to have a dedication or engraving, this can be handled on the spot with Helen’s own laser cutting equipment.

Always look for advice from the best in the business. Helen’s advisors include past CEO of Bord na Móna, the creative duo from the 1990’s Identity business’ Jim Dunne & Peter Kruseman, Geraldine O’Brien merchandising, London based Designer Peter Ting, curator Brian Kennedy, garden designer Anne Kennedy, fashion & styling guru Eddie Shanahan, Tourism heads & the local Garda.

Research your price points. Have something for the big gifting occasions such as wedding (€150) & retirement (€300). Don’t forget to have something for ‘self-gifting’. Helen’s Meso jewellery range was developed for this customer. When you retail, make it personal – how do you like to be treated as a shopper? Create a living environment to show off your work to its best and in a relevant way. Accessorize it with items that show it off. Be just as attentive to detail when selling online. Helen has had online sales since 1998. She updates her own site and cannot see any other way for small businesses to manage unless they learn to do as much as possible in-house.

You should always focus on 3 market segments. In Helen’s case this is retail, wholesale & corporate. Don’t spread yourself too thinly over many more markets nor place all your eggs in one market segment basket.

Know your core values & build on these values, develop your brand from this & tell your own unique story. In Helen’s case this means starting in the bog where the raw material comes from & building on the local environment & with the local people. Stay connected to your work & look for events & opportunities that can give you positive exposure – in Helen’s case sustainability, buying Irish, environmental awareness. Give something back – build on the community that supports your business – your ideas, your planning skills, your positivity, your dreams for the future, your love of the area. Always have a

new product under development. The Meso jewellery collection was in gestation for years and fully developed in 2009 for launch at Showcase 2010 (when we were all catching our breadth & wondering how to get through the recession & how bad would it be). Helen, along with Aileen from CORE both participated in a product development course with Leitrim Design House facilitated by Eddie Shanahan & run by the Leitrim Design House with the Leitrim CEB. The makers develop new product & the other members of the class give feedback. “Its a great course and I would encourage people to part take if they get the opportunity” says Helen.

Packaging & excellent marketing materials. Think the whole thing through & have your style or your logo integrated on the presentation. Present your work as a fully packaged gift in an appropriate box or bag, care card & relevant studio information & website.

Get involved in your local community.

Get to know everyone – business, tourism, creative & artistic networks.

sm trail, make coffee.

Diversify. Teach, run classes, be part of the touri

For more business advice see Helen’s web blog.


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A Tribute to

John ffrench

John ffrench

John ffrench, the potter, who has died at his home in America aged 81, was the last-surviving of the pioneering Irish studio potters of the 1950s. He was best known for his lively colours and sculptural shapes; and was the subject of the first ever ‘life-time achievement exhibition’ held by the Crafts Council of Ireland. The show, held in Kilkenny in 2007, was so popular that its run was extended by several weeks. In 2008, RTE broadcast an hour-long television documentary on his life and work.

ffrench, who was half-Irish and half-Italian, was born in Dublin on 5th October 1928, to Jack and Sofia (Brambilla) ffrench. He grew up in his family’s ancestral home, Castleffrench, Co Galway and trained as a potter in Florence. His painted earthenware pots were hand built, using a coiled-ribbon technique which he developed himself, and could be up to three feet in height. He also made tiled wall-pieces and jewellery.


(1928 - 2010)

In 1957 he went to India for three years to teach and work as a potter in Calcutta. He also travelled widely to collect folk art for the Design Centre of West Bengal. This experience influenced his later work, especially at the Arklow Studio Pottery (1962-9), which he set up on his return to Ireland. There he made an art–production alongside the industrial output of the Pottery. In 1969 he moved his family to America where he continued to pot and work as a ceramics teacher

until his retirement in 1993. That year he set up a new studio at his holiday home near Kinvara, Co Galway, since when, a constant stream of vessels, dishes and wall-pieces, poured forth every summer. He died at his home in Stockbridge, Massachusetts on 22 January 2010. John ffrench loved poetry, travel, all kinds of music and books and was a gregarious companion. His dress was colourful and his flower gardens were a delight. A generous man, thoughtful and supportive of young people. He will be missed by his many friends in Ireland and America, and is survived by his wife Primm and three daughters.


Bottle form vase

by Peter Lamb Curator of 'A Life of Colour', John ffrench, Irish Ceramic Artist: A Restrospective Exhibition, 1951 - 2007 National Craft Gallery 2007


The Board and staff of CCoI extend their sympathies to John’s wife and family. John ffrench was one of Ireland’s most recognised and distinguished ceramists. The CCoI’s retrospective lifetime achievement exhibition in 2007 was a memorable event and a fantastic celebration of John’s lifetime of work. He will be sadly missed by all.


'A Life of Colour' exhibition by John ffrench, NCG 2007

John ffrench at the opening of 'A Life of Colour'

Group of bottle form vases and dishes

As above


GANS news

Guilds, Associations, Networks and Societies (GANS) This section of Stopress features a different member of our GANS in each issue as well as an upcoming diary of GANS events. The GANS represent the backbone of CCoI clients and craft in Ireland. CCoI currently has 60 GANS members across a variety of craft disciplines. CCoI welcomes its latest new GANS members, they are; South Wexford Craft Network, Irish Network of Papermakers & Paper Artists, Westmeath Craft & Design Guild, The Ros Tapestry Project (New Ross, Co. Wexford), Bridge Street Studios (Dundalk, Co. Louth), The Craft Granary (Cahir, Co Tipperary), Filament (Leinster based textile artists).

The Irish Artist Blacksmiths Association


The Irish Artist Blacksmiths Association (IABA) was set up to encourage, advise and help artist blacksmiths and decorative metal workers working in Ireland and to promote their work to architects, interiors designers and the general public. 2009 was a good year for the association with our customary 2 day Forge-in at Bushy Park Ironworks in May. The Association was asked by the Australian Artist Blacksmiths Association to take part in forging a gum tree in copper and stainless steel as a memorial to those people who had lost their lives in the horrendous fires that swept Australia in 2008. Over forty smiths took part watched by the Australian Ambassador to Ireland in this project and we shipped our contributions to Australia in June. In early July, the association was asked to design and make a sculpture for the Town of Cootehall and in return, they would put up the artist blacksmiths for the weekend including the feeding and watering of them! With the amount of publicity that we could generate for the association with this project, we decided to undertake commission and so over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of October, we forged a 2.5 metre high tree designed by Pawel Guba.

We also decided this year to design and build a website for IABA which went live in March and can be found at: The website contains details and work by the members of the association from large architectural commissions to small house-hold items. 2010 already looks like a busy year for the Association with the launch of our web site, the planning of two forge-ins (dates have still to be confirmed) and hopefully, an exhibition of members work in a gallery in Dublin during the summer. We are also looking at ways of helping to train both beginners to the world of artist blacksmithing as well as introducing master–classes for established smiths. We have started planning a large blacksmithing conference and forge-in for 2011 when we hope to attract some of the best internationally renowned and highly thought of artist blacksmiths to these shores. by Edward Bisgood, Chairman, IABA

Images from IABA’s Forge-in

om cksmiths.c a l b h s ri .i www 24

GANS news

GANS Upcoming Diary Dates Irish Woodturners Guild


Feltmakers Ireland

Annual National Seminar

Uncommon Threads

Date: 24-26 September 14.00 on 24th till 16.00 on 26th Location: Armagh City Hotel Name of Contact: Eugene Grimley Phone: (028/048) 87784034 Email:

"Uncommon Threads" is the title of the current exhibition by Filament fibre artists. This show features work by all eight members of the Filament group. The work is inspired by the natural world & responds to elements such as the figure, rural landscape & plant life, through a variety of media including felt stitch & found objects. Events 1. The AGM of Feltmakers Ireland is being held this year on Sunday 16th May 2010 in Lucan, Co. Dublin. As anyone who has attended our AGMs in the past will testify, it's more than just a meeting, it is an opportunity to meet up with felt makers from all over the country, browse the stalls selling fibre & the highlight of this year’s AGM is a Felt Fashion Show, not to be missed.

Leitrim Design House Workshops 2010 The Leitrim Design House offers a variety of courses & workshops for both adults & children. There are a range of options available including daytime classes & weekend workshops. We also offer tailor-made workshops for corporate groups & private parties or other group gatherings. We invite you to learn a new skill, relax in a fun, friendly atmosphere. This is a unique opportunity to meet our artists & makers; hear their stories & share the process involved in producing each piece of craft. One day workshop inclusive of 2 hotel overnights with breakfast & one dinner €195 pps. Workshops starting April 2010 Photography – Photographic Master Class with Mike Bunn Fashion – Restyle & Revamp your wardrobe Millinery – with Wendy Louise Pottery – Create with Clay Location: Leitrim Design House, The Dock Arts Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon Name of Contact: Geraldine Gray Phone: 00 353 71 96 50550/50533 Email:

Bridge Street Studios Open Studios Date: 10th September 2010, 2 – 7pm Location: The Gateway Gallery, Bridge Street Studios, 97 Bridge Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth Name of Contact: Fiona Thornton Phone: 042 935 1712 (studio) 086 840 5216 Email:

Date: Sat 1st of May to Sun 16th of May Location: The Graffon Gallery at Castle Espie, Co. Down Name of Contact: Tara Ní Nualláin Phone: 087 8411785 Email:

Art & Craft Collective Artist in Residence Programme Under our Educational Development programme two artists will be in working residence in the Gallery space at Sulis Design Centre from March 2010 to May 2010.These artists will link with local schools & community organisations & provide opportunities for the public to view their work in progress & engage directly with the artistic process. April – May Natalie Coleman -Young Designer. (Guest Artist) June Bank Holiday Weekend Art & Craft Collective Stand at The Carrickmacross Festival Market 12pm-2pm Demonstration in Weaving by Liz Christy 2pm-4pm Demonstration in Silk Painting by Louise Loughman May 27th- 9th June Exhibition of local Artists, as part of The Carrickmacross Festival on show at Sulis Gallery Location: Sulis Design Centre and Gallery, Carrickmacross, Monaghan Name of Contact: Elaine Hoey Phone: 087 6720377 Email: Opening Hours: Wed – Sat 11am-6pm

2. Feltmakers Ireland are hosting a two day masterclass with Jeanette Sendler, a Scottish based German textiles artist. Over the two days, June 29/30th 2010, participants will explore how nostalgia & memory can play a part in felt design. Name of Contact: Sheila Ahern Phone: 087 7738282/ 01 8699173 Email:

Ceramics Ireland Ceramics Ireland International Festival 3Day event featuring demonstrations by Richard Notkin(USA), Walter Keeler(UK), Brendan Hesmondhalgh(UK), Etain Hickey(IRE), Sara Flynn(IRE), Sinead Glynn (IRE)& a Lecture Programme for further details check out our website Date: 3 -5th September 2010, 10 - 5 daily Location: Island Mill, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny Name of Contact: Tina Byrne Phone: 085 7190912 Email:

Throughout the year representatives from each of the GANS are invited to attend CCoI network & information sharing events. Upcoming Meeting Dates are: June 26th (Sat) Dublin – 1/2 day (Location TBC) Sept 24th (Fri) Kilkenny (Location TBC) See page 31 in the opportunities section for more details.

To submit a GANS upcoming event contact: Mary Whelan Client Liasion Officer T 056 7796131 E


news & reviews


‘Time spent; Limerick lace series’

Róisín de Buitléar is the recipient of a €15,000 Irish Craft Bursary which enables her to initiate the creation of a historical record of the techniques of former Waterford Crystal master engravers and cutters. De Buitléar, an eminent glass artist, will investigate the craft of Irish brilliant cutting and engraving - whose origins trace to Bohemia - and collaborate with master glass craftspeople in the Waterford area in order to document Irish glass history and develop contemporary pieces for exhibition.

‘Catch a breath’

Through documentation, oral interviews, research and studio visits, de Buitléar will record the first-hand experiences and stories of selected Waterford Crystal master craftsmen. Objects from the Waterford Glass factory will be photo-documented, including the work of craftsmen and a number of significant items from private collections. The completed research will be donated to the National Museum of Ireland where the information will be available to the general public. Documentation from the research will be used to inspire new work in glass production based on traditional Irish brilliant cuttings and engraving. The Crafts Council of Ireland launched the Irish Craft Bursary in 2005 with the objective of providing an opportunity to assist craft makers to develop a body of work that they would otherwise not have had the time or resources to develop. It is open to professional Irish craft workers who are registered with the Crafts Council of Ireland and who live and work in Ireland. This year’s Irish Craft Bursary attracted over 25 entries which were carefully considered by an external panel comprising of Irish and international members who have significant academic, commercial and professional experience in the field of contemporary craft. “We are delighted to be able to provide the means to carry out this research which is of huge national significance”, said Úna Parsons, Chief Executive, Crafts Council of Ireland. “In light of the closure of Waterford Crystal factory at Kilbarry, it is imperative that we document our glass history and Róisín’s unique research will become a vital historical record – of glass production at Waterford Crystal and of Irish brilliant cutting and engraving which is acknowledged and admired around the world”. “In the last year, three of the world’s greatest glass factories have closed permanently. It is important to collaborate with our master glass craftspeople to mark our glass history and create a turning point for a new expression in brilliant cutting in Ireland”, commented Róisín de Buitléar.

About Róisín de Buitléar Born in Dublin, Róisín de Buitléar has been working in the medium of glass as a primary material since 1983. Alongside making her artworks, her career as an educator spans two decades and she has published many articles on contemporary Irish glass. She has completed many site-specific installations of blown and cast work, drawing her inspiration from her cultural heritage. These can be seen in public and private buildings throughout Ireland, including the Blasket Island Centre in Dún Chaoin, Co. Kerry and the National

Botanical Gardens in Dublin. Róisín is an alumna of the National College of Art and Design and studied under the guidance of John Murphy (IRL) Wayne Filan (USA) and Elizabeth Mc Clure (UK). After her studies she travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark working with Darryle Hinz and Anja Kjaer at Glasverkstedt and later with Charlie Meaker in Britain. After a working tour and exhibition in Japan in 1986, she joined the faculty of the National College of Art and Design and taught in the glass department for two decades until her 26

resignation in 2006. She has taught in the UK, Japan, Canada, USA and France. The Museum of Glass, Tacoma Washington has invited her to be artist in residence for June 2010. Her artworks are represented in public and private collections in Ireland, Britain, Japan, and USA. Róisín is the current chairperson of the Golden Fleece advisory committee and co-founder of the Glass Society of Ireland Contemporary Makers.

craft community news

Irish Design Shop

“…we feel that Ireland is currently lacking in independent design shops, stocking hand-made products.” In November 2008 we launched an online business on: www. - stocking the best of Irish design including ceramics, woodwork, textiles, jewellery and furniture, we provide a selection of the best quality, design-led products. Being makers ourselves, we saw a need for a fresh approach to selling Irish craft which promoted handmade techniques and the makers behind the products. In addition to the shop section of our site, we run features on makers around the country through articles and videos. In December 2008, we opened a pop up shop in Dublin city centre. Seeing the advantages of having a physical presence, gave us the initiative to look for a premises from where we could operate our business on a long-term basis. In February 2009, we moved into an ideal location on Bow Lane East, Dublin 2. Initially comprising of 1000 feet over two floors, we converted the 200 year old building into artist studios (which we sub–let) on the first floor and shop space on the ground floor. There is no division between the retail space and our studio. This provides a relaxed and interesting shopping environment for the customers who come in. At the beginning of July, we took over the premises next door to ours, which again comprises of 1000 feet over two floors. Since then we have re-jigged the space to suit our needs, making the shop space bigger and making it all function better. Our business comprises of a few elements- trying to cover all angles and make money any way we can! So, aside from the on-line store, the actual shop and running the sub-let artist's studios, we also run evening classes in jewellery making. Our latest venture is a ‘make your own wedding rings’ weekend workshop, that is proving quite popular!

Irish Design Shop Bow Lane East, Dublin 2 Interesting Websites:

.com com n. lle ee www.luci .com dy ra og le er www.m .com ep he cs www.electroni m co e. in ev www.tattyd om i.c m fu ry le al www.g

If you are interested in attending a trade event which you consider of interest to your business or would like to explore further research opportunities then apply now for the CCoI’s Continued Professional Development Fund. See the Opportunities section on page 33.

We try to participate in as many cultural events in the city as possible, including Culture Night and Design Week. We have also organised our own one–off events in an attempt to attract new customers to the shop. Our customer base is quite varied, and so doesn’t fit in to any particular age group. People who appreciate the hand made quality of the work we sell are the people that shop in our store, that covers all age groups. Our London Trip Our initial reason for going to London was to experience London Fashion Week and the way things are presented there. We then decided to take the opportunity to look at designers and makers in London and the different places that they sell, and the type of work that is being made. We did most of our research on-line, looking up interesting markets and shops selling handmade products, and planned our visit from there. We spent one day going to various markets around east London, including Spittlefields and Up-Market. The next day we went to see the Design Museum and a few designer shops, including Mc Caul Goldsmiths (run by Dublin brothers Dave and Barry), Gallery Fumi, and the various independent shops in and around Brick Lane. London Fashion week: Somerset House plays host to the entire Fashion Week event. It was split up into different sections such as; Digital Space, LFW Presentations, New Generation, Designer Show Rooms and the British Fashion Council Catwalk Show Space. The British Fashion Council who organise the event, do excellent work in promoting up and coming British Design in the form of grants for shows and collections. Showcasing contemporary fashion design in a neo-classical building was a real success. The varied layout of an eighteenth century building keeps visitors engaged, providing dramatic backdrops and spaces for the work on view. Among the exhibitors were Irish designers Electronic Sheep (knitwear designers) and Merle O’Grady (jewellery designer). Both companies seemed happy with the response they were getting and were hopeful in securing further British and international stockists. Overall the trip was a great success. London is teeming with all sorts of interesting designer/makers, and there seems to be a lot of opportunity for them to show their work, between markets and craft/design shops and galleries. On our return we feel that Ireland is currently lacking in independent design shops, stocking hand-made products. By Clare Grennan & Laura Caffrey Irish Design Shop

www. 27

craft community news


Cyril Cullen to celebrate 50 years in business


Kilkenny Group Opens New Outlet in East Cork Leading Irish craft and design retailers, the Kilkenny Group, under owner Marian O’ Gorman, has opened the Shanagarry Design Centre (formerly the Stephen Pearce Gallery and Emporium), transformind the 1,100 metre square retail outlet and café. The well known Cork based craft company, Jack O’ Patsy Pottery, has also taken over from the former Stephen Pearce Pottery located down the road. A new line of pottery produced will be called the Shanagarry Pottery as well as the well known Jack O’Patsy, Cool Mountain and Badger Hill lines. Work by other designers includes, Alan Ardiff, Louis Mulcahy and Orla Kiely. The artist studios downstairs from the café will continue to run. The design centre will employ up to 20 local people and will be managed by Mary Martin, former manager of this emporium.

New Waterford Crystal Centre and Factory

Described by Adele Astaire as ‘a second Balenciaga’, Tipperary based Cyril Cullen has designed for some of the world’s best-dressed women. Cyril Cullen knitwear designs have become iconic in the international fashion world and a book about his life and work was published by Blackwater Press in 2005: Knot Sure – The Life and work of Irish Fashion Designer, Cyril Cullen, (ISBN 1-84131-702-0) John Rocha describes Cyril’s creations as “sophisticated, sometimes whimsical, and yet inherently Irish in tradition and execution.” Designer, Helen McAlinden says, “Cyril has always been stylish and innovative with a rare ability to redefine what is Irish in a new and exciting way, while not losing sight of our Celtic origins.” Cyril’s retro designs include gowns of Linen/Cotton in a natural palette, flamboyant pure wool dresses from the 60s and voluminous, undyed, jacob wool outerwear. Cyril’s signature invention, the handknit frill features in both the linens and the pure wool garments. Cyril’s Current Collection features extremely lightweight womenswear knitted in a palette of colours inspired by the flora and fauna of his home at Farney Castle. Using luxury yarns- cashmere, silk and merino - this Collection exemplifies Cyril’s innovative and quirky approach to design. Highlights include the Isadora 2 dress, featuring a sinuous oversized scarf, the provocative ‘NAMA’ dress and the ‘Everready’ dress. To celebrate 50 years in Business Cyril Cullen Knitwear will mark the occasion by hosting a private preview of his 2010 Collection in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin this May. This will be a historic occasion, in that Cyril held his first debut fashion show in The Shelbourne in 1968 and now his daughter fashion designer Margot Cullen will also show her first Collection there also!

In January, WWRD Group Holdings Limited, the leading luxury goods group which owns and operates the Waterford Crystal, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton brands, announced that it had signed an agreement with Waterford City Council to open a brand new Waterford Crystal manufacturing facility, retail outlet and visitor centre in the very heart of Waterford. The site is expected to employ approximately 80-90 full-time staff, a number of whom will be highly skilled local craftsmen. The new Waterford Crystal Prestige Manufacturing Facility will exclusively produce approximately 40,000 hand crafted high-end pieces using traditional methods. The facility will be based in the former ESB regional office and its surrounding buildings on The Mall in Waterford. The Council will retain full ownership of the site, with WWRD overseeing all operational aspects of the venture. The planned opening date is June 1st 2010.

New Cultural Café Opens in the Heart of Kilkenny City Kilkenny Art Café, on Kieran St., opened its doors on April 11th. Amidst the café’s gastronomic delights are beautiful crafts by local makers including Moth to a Flame, Mark Camden and Jerpoint Glass Studio on the ground floor and paintings by Roisín Leadbetter and photography by Krisztina Dragoman in the gallery space upstairs. Kilkenny Art Café is the brainchild of Mark and Niki Heaton, following the success of the MADE in Kilkenny Christmas Pop-up Shop that was located in the same building. Kilkenny Art Café is set to have a busy year of art classes starting on April 28th with an 8 week art class for children aged 7 to 10 years. (Limited places are still available, for information contact 087 2126635). Other events on the Art Café calendar include live music, poetry reading and art exhibitions throughout the year.

Closure of Two Craft Galleries, Dublin Craftspeople and consumers alike were sad to hear that the highly regarded Eblana Gallery in Dublin recently closed its doors. PORTFOLIO on Francis Street, has also closed its gallery, but continues to trade via its online gallery at : Both gallery spaces will be greatly missed.

CCoI congratulates Cyril as he celebrates 50 years in business and wishes him continued success in the future.


craft community news

Golden Fleece Awards 2010 It was great to see some of the following CCoI craft clients shortlisted for this year’s Golden Fleece Awards. Included were; Michael Budd, Blacksmithing and sculpture in forged iron, Úna Burke, Fashion artefacts as explorations of personal trauma and Nuala O'Donovan, Porcelain sculptural forms. Also included was writer /researcher Eleanor Flegg for her research work on ‘The studio craft movement in Ireland 1970-1995’. Overall winner of the Golden Fleece Award was researcher Hilary O' Kelly for her work on the ‘History of the hand-knitting and weaving boutique - Cleo’. The Golden Fleece Award is an artistic fund established in 2001 as a charitable bequest by the late Helen Lillias Mitchell, who died in January 2000. The Award aims to support and promote a wide range of artistic creativity, recognising excellence in painting, textiles and sculpture, glasswork, and all the traditional crafts. This award is highly regarded and is now widely recognised as a distinctive stamp of creative support in the realm of Irish art.

New Craft Trail for South Wexford South Wexford Craft Network (a CCoI member organisation) held the official launch of their craft trail in Kelly’s Hotel, Rosslare on Wednesday 14th April. Members of the craft trail include: Terry the Weaver, Patricia Howard, Ceadogan Rugs, Mad 4 Hats, The Basketry Studio, Bevel Furniture, Paul Maloney Pottery, Martin Doyle Goldsmith, Tir na nÓg Creations and The Pure Soap Company.



Dragon’s Den, RTÉ Award Winning Ceramist and CCoI Ceramics Design & Skills Course graduate Karen Morgan featured on Dragon’s Den on 25th March 2010 and Sharon McKeever of Nosey Rosey & Friends (textiles) also featured on 15th April 2010. To see how they got on, check out the RTÉ’s playback at:

Nationwide CCoI craftspeople who have featured on Nationwide recently include: Anne Behan (Áine), (Textiles – Knitwear) and Suzie Mahony, (Fashion, Millinery) on the 12th April. Terence Mc Sweeney (of Kerry Crafted Glass) on the 26th March 2010. Stephen Quinn (Blacksmith) and member of the IABA on the 7th April. Dew (Donegal elemental women) comprising of Liz Doyle (abstract landscape artist), Jaquette Fleury (encaustic artist), Emily Bazeley (natural collage), Kim Sharkey (ceramist) on the10th February. To view some of the above clips, go to the RTÉ’s player and search for Nationwide.

Ireland AM, TV3 Anna Faye (fashion – leather bag maker), Anna Nielsen (print–maker) and Edyta Szymanska (ceramist) all featured on Ireland AM on 31st March 2010 in conjunction with Marian O’ Gorman from The Kilkenny Shop. To search for the clip go to:

Ray Power (ceramist) of Castle Arch Pottery, Kilkenny, has recently launched his new website. In addition to re-branding the look and feel of the site, Ray has incorporated an online shopping facility to help him further increase his online sales. Check it out at:

The Afternoon Show, RTÉ One Elaine–Sarah Comerford (jewellery), of Button & Co. with her Dragon’s Den mentor Niall O Farrell on 24th February 2010.

RTÉ website

New Work

Úna Burke (fashion designer – leather), featured on the RTÉ website on 22nd March 2010. Go to: and search for Úna Burke.

Inga Reed (jeweller) has brought out a new collection of jewellery called the ‘Orchid Range’. Visit:

Noel Forde (of Noel Furniture Design) has developed a new range of jewellery boxes in; Maple, Koa, Yew and Bog Oak. For more information E


Capital D, RTÉ 1 Cormac Cuffe (jeweller) featured on Capital D on RTÉ 1 on 25th March 2010. Go to:

contacts & supports at CCoI CCoI GENERAL ENQUIRIES MEMBERSHIP SERVICES & OPERATIONS Karen Hennessy Head of Operations For Membership Services & Operations T 056 7796143 E

Breda English Receptionist (Part-time) For Customer Service & General Enquiries T 056 7761804 or 056 7796130 E National Craft Gallery (See Brian Byrne below)


Mary Whelan Client Liaison Officer For Business Enquiries T 056 7796131 E

Susan Brindley Head of Public Affairs & Communications For Public Relations & Press Enquiries T 056 7796152 E

Mary Rhatigan Customer Service Administrator (Part-time) For Registration & Membership Enquiries T 056 7796140 E Mary Blanchfield Finance Manager For Financial & Accounts Enquiries T 056 7796138 E

Caroline O’Riordan Communications & Marketing Manager For Communication Enquiries including: Stopress editorial, Images & Press T 056 7796141 E Emma Briscoe Communications Assistant (Part-time) For Stopress Adverts and CRAFTlink ezine T 056 7796136 E

Julie Jackman Finance Assistant For General Accounts Enquiries T 056 7796135 E

MARKET DEVELOPMENT Brian McGee Head of Market Development For Market Development Enquiries T 056 7796145 E

Nuala McGrath HR & Corporate Services Manager For HR & Corporate Services T 056 7796133 E

Gillian O’Callaghan Retail Programme Manager For Retail Access Programmes T 056 7796153 E

EDUCATION, TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT Head of Education, Training & Development Position pending

Emma McGrath Retail Executive For Retail Enquiries T 056 7796150 E

Emer Ferran Enterprise Development Manager For Enterprise Training Programmes T 056 7796144 E

Des Doyle

Louise Allen Education & Awareness Manager For Education Development Programmes T 056 7796142 E

Collector & Craft Tourism Development Manager For Collector & Tourism Programmes T 056 7796137 E

CCoI’S NATIONAL CRAFT GALLERY Ann Mulrooney Exhibitions Manager & Curator For Exhibition Development Enquiries T 056 7796132 E

Leslie Ryan Education & Outreach Officer For Education Outreach Programmes T 056 7796151 E

Brian Byrne Gallery Assistant For Gallery & Exhibition Enquiries T 056 7796147 E

Amanda Walsh Education & Training Administrator For Education/Training Enquiries T 056 7796134 E


Úna Parsons: Chief Executive Officer Contact Executive Assistant

Eimear Conyard Jewellery Skills Course Manager T 056 7796149 E Gus Mabelson Ceramics Skills Course Manager T 056 7724777 E


Mary Dunphy CEO’s Executive Assistant T 056 7796148 E


Events at the

National Craft Gallery

CCoI/GANS Meeting Dates 2010 GANS (Guilds, Associations, Networks and Societies) Calling all GANS, please note the dates for the next CCoI/GANS meetings are scheduled for:

Late Date at the NCG (for our online readers) National Craft Gallery curator Ann Mulrooney will be leading a tour of the Irish Craft Portfolio exhibition continuing our informal evening openings on the last Friday of the month, so pop in for a glass of wine and some invigorating chat. Friday April 30th, 6.30 - 8.30 pm

• •

June 26th (Sat) Dublin – 1/2 day (Location TBC) Sept 24th (Fri) Kilkenny (Location TBC)

For further information contact: CCoI's Client Liaison Officer, Mary Whelan T: 056 7796131 E:

Crafternoon Tea

The last GANS meeting was held in March in Kilkenny (see image above), with representatives from 28 CCoI GANS member organisations attending. Key agenda items discussed included CCoI’s Strategic Plan update, Year of Craft 2011, RDS National Crafts Competition and CCoI Network Funding opportunities.

Participate in an afternoon of craft workshops based on the Irish Craft Portfolio exhibition as part of the Bealtaine Festival celebrating creativity in older age. Thursday May 13th, 2 – 4 pm

National Drawing Day Weaving Wonders Explore drawing using recycled and reused materials at the National Craft Gallery in our weave drawing workshop for children and families. Facilitated by artist Tunde Toth. Saturday May 22nd, 11 am – 1 pm

Scams & Swindlers ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!’

A Stitch in Time Create a mini master piece in our stitch drawing worshop for teenagers. Facilitated by artist Tunde Toth. Saturday May 22nd, 2 pm – 4 pm

buyer BEWARE

Exhibitors Directory in the Expo Guide It has come to our knowledge that some of our clients have recently been contacted regards submitting their contact details to a publication entitled the ‘Exhibitors Directory in the Expo Guide’ under the ‘Showcase Ireland’, Dublin entry.


Please be aware that this is not a ‘Showcase Ireland’ publication but is an independent guide. This guide has mislead some of our clients in the past who signed up to this publication understanding that the entry was free, but were later charged with a fee for over €1000 as was stated in the small print of the agreement.

Join a guided tour of the Microcosmos exhibition with ceramic artist Frances Lambe. Saturday May 29th, 11am

Online Promotion of Your Business A client of CCoI contacted us recently to advise us of the following scam. In early Spring 2010 our client received a phone call from a woman who said she got her details from the CCoI’s website and would like to offer her the opportunity to promote her website via the front page of Google as they were doing a special offer. After informing them she did not have a live website, she was then offered a two page web presence for €90.00. At the time, the offer sounded very legitimate and convincing to our client and included a suggestion of some key words that could help market her site. The client agreed to the offer and paid by MBNA credit card, but never heard from them again. Our client therefore believes these people to be swindlers who have stolen €196.04 from her credit card.

Processes & Practicalities Enjoy sketchbook talk on her studio practice with ceramic artist Frances Lambe. Thursday June 17th, 2.00 – 3.30 pm To book a place contact: Leslie Ryan – Education & Outreach Officer E T 056 7796151 for further inforamtion visit the opportunities section of our website:

Again, we urge all our clients to be extra vigilant when asked to sign up to any such agreements. Please read all documentation before signing up to anything, in particular please read the small print and contact us if you have any queries.



Ceramics Design & Skills Course (2010-2012) Applications Sought Closing Date: 28th May 2010

This course aims to develop a range of skills in ceramics and design to enable participants to follow careers in the industry according to their talents, strengths and aspirations. CCoI Ceramics Design & Skills Course enables its trainees to: - Manufacture ceramics to an internationally acknowledged quality standard - Appraise what they make objectively in technical, aesthetic and market terms - Contribute, act independently and take responsibility in the context of a professional production team - Generate innovative technical solutions to defined design problems - Develop innovative work from their own creative research - Support the industry in responding creatively to changing market conditions - Pursue further specialist study/experience in their preferred fields following graduation.

To apply The application form is available to download form the CCoI website or contact Amanda Walsh, CCoI’s Education & Training Administrator on: T 056 7796134 E The course brochure is also available to download from the Training & Education section of the CCoI website.

This CCoI course, based in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, will run for two years (44 weeks per year) starting in September 2010. Following application, acceptance for the 12 available places on this course is by an interview process in June. At interview, candidates are expected to show some evidence of visual and manual skills through three-dimensional work, and those shortlisted are given a day-long aptitude test.

Leonard Mobility Placements in Norway 2010 Call for Craftspeople interested in participating in a work placement programme in Norway In June of 2009 the Crafts Council of Ireland was awarded Leonardo Mobility funding through Léargas. The funding enables CCoI clients to avail of fully funded work placements in Norway. Two placements were awarded in Autumn 2009: Glass artist Karl Harron has just completed his placement at Glassforum in Averoy (see article on page 15), and Gearóid Muldowney who recently completed his placement with StokkeAusted, Oslo.

If you are interested in applying Please email a copy of your current c.v., 4 x digital images of your work (not exceeding 500kb) along with a statement of interest outlining the following: – Why you would like to participate in a work placement in Norway – How you feel it would benefit your professional practice – What type of skills you would like to acquire – What type of Norwegian crafts people or companies you would like to be placed with

The Crafts Council of Ireland in partnership with Norske Kunsthandvereke are seeking expressions of interest from craftspeople to participate in a 2 week work placement in Norway during the summer of 2010. The work placement will provide the opportunity to work with a craftsperson or enterprise in Norway to acquire knowledge and skills of European work practices.

If you have any website addresses or contact information for people or companies in Norway please include them.

Last Call Application closing date extended to Monday 10th May 2010 Send to: Louise Allen CCoI Education & Awareness Manager E



DEVELOPING CRAFT ENTERPRISES 2010 CCoI's Education, Training & Development Team is delighted to invite CCoI clients to apply for this year’s newly designed Enterprise and Training Programme ‘Developing Craft Enterprises 2010’ which includes a broad range of new initiatives to help support, develop and grow craft enterprises. We strongly encourage our clients to consider dedicating a portion of their time in 2010 to professional development and training. Highlights of some of the new initiatives include the following; CCoI Professional Development Fund 2010, CCoI Mentoring Service 2010 and CCoI Professional Development Programme 2010. Full details on how to apply and closing dates are below. NOTE: These programmes were also announced in the April issue of the CCoI’s ezine CRAFTlink.

CCoI Professional Development Programme 2010 CCoI has developed a series of regional workshops designed specifically for craft enterprises which are available to CCoI clients throughout 2010. The workshops address key themes such as Selling and Marketing your Craft Product, Managing your Business Finances and Innovating your Craft Business. Workshops will be delivered in three locations nationwide: Dublin, Cork and Galway and participants who successfully complete four workshops and a work related assignment will be awarded a Crafts Council of Ireland Certificate in Craft Enterprise Development.




Branding & Packaging your Craft Products May 18

Pricing & Costing your Craft Products May 11

Developing New Revenue Streams for your Craft Business May 25

Marketing Tools & Supports for your Craft Enterprise June 15

Selling your Craft Product through different Channels June 8

Marketing Tools & Supports for your Craft Business June 22

Managing your Business Finances September 21

Accessing Business Supports for your Craft Business September 14

Funding & Awards – how to best present your enterprise when completing applications September 28

Innovating Your Craft Business October 19

Digital Photography Skills for Craft Business October 12

Accessing Business Supports for Craft Business November 2

To Apply: Application forms are available to download from the Opportunities section of the CCoI website Costs: Costs to CCoI registered clients are €40 per participant. This cost includes tuition, materials, lunch and refreshments. Workshops are subject to a minimum number of participants and CCoI reserves the right to cancel or defer workshops.

To Book Contact: Amanda Walsh Education & Training Administrator E T 056 7796134

We encourage all CCoI clients to apply early for these workshops as places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis.

CCoI Continued Professional Development Fund 2010 CCoI is launching a new fund available to all CCoI clients who want to pursue further training or research into their craft discipline. A new fund called the CPD fund is open to all makers who are interested in furthering their own development with workshops, master–classes or research into their discipline. A maximum amount of €500 is available for each individual application and funding is allocated on a matched funding basis.

CCoI Mentoring Service 2010 CCoI is delighted to launch its new Mentoring service where CCoI clients can apply for a craft business mentor or a craft peer mentor to assist in the development of their craft enterprise. The mentoring service available to CCoI clients is a series of one on one mentoring sessions with a business or craft expert. CCoI clients can avail of up to a maximum of 5 individual sessions based on specific business requirements. In order to be considered for mentoring, applicants must: – Be a registered client with CCoI – Identify a specific commercial need that can be supported by mentoring – Demonstrate a desire to grow and develop your craft business

To apply: Application forms can be downloaded from the Opportunities section of the CCoI website:

Closing date for applications extended to Friday 21st May

Closing date for applications extended to Friday 21st May

To apply: Application forms can be downloaded from the Opportunities section of the CCoI website: Contact: Amanda Walsh (see details above)

Contact: Mary Whelan, Client Liason Officer E T 056-7796131

Please note, there will also be further mentoring opportunities througout the year. Details will be announced in our online newsletter CRAFTlink, our website and in Stopress.







RDS National Crafts Competition CALL FOR ENTRIES ENTRY DEADLINE: MAY 17, 2010 AT 5PM The RDS National Crafts Competition in partnership with the Crafts Council of Ireland is one of Europe’s leading independently adjudicated Crafts Competitions. The RDS National Crafts Competition aims to promote the practice of craft in Ireland and to encourage the highest standards of design and technique in both traditional and contemporary craft disciplines. With a prize fund in excess of €28,000 spread over 20 categories, this major annual Competition is open to craft makers resident in Ireland and Irish makers abroad. Submissions of high quality craftsmanship and design are encouraged. Entries are accepted by way of an online application form accompanied by a digital photo submission and entry fee. Prize - winning and commended works of excellence are exhibited during the Fáilte Ireland RDS Dublin Horse Show from August 4 – 12*, 2010. Prize-winning works will then travel to two other venues around Ireland. Each year the competition opens up exciting new opportunities for furthering creative careers. Many of today’s top Irish designers and craftspeople have entered this distinguished competition in the early stages of establishing their careers. The closing date for the first round of entries is May 17, 2010 at 5pm The closing date for the second round of entries is June 21-22, 2010.

In association with:

*Entry fee applies during the Fáilte Ireland Dublin Horse Show, August 4-8.

For further information, contact: Sarah Ross, Arts Development Executive RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 Phone: 353 1 240 7255 Email: Blog: Apply Online:

2009 Winners Include: 01 02 03 04


Jewellery (Precious Metals) - 1st prize - Eily O'Connell: ‘Fountain of Wisdom’ Felting (Alternative Materials) - 1st prize - Justyna Truchanowska: Neckpiece Printed Textiles (Hand Techniques) - 1st prize - Anne Kiely: Elemental Calligraphy (Other Media) - 1st prize - Denis Brown: Three Works from the 1000 Wishes Series


Craft Demonstrations at Tourism Trade Events Abroad The Crafts Council of Ireland is currently working with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland to create exposure for Irish Craft tourism abroad.

Closing date for submissions is: 24th of May 2010

During the latter part of 2010 there are a number of tourism trade events taking place internationally which will provide an opportunity for makers to demonstrate their craft to tourism operators.

Following the success of our 2009 campaign, the Crafts Council of Ireland will run another retail campaign in 2010 throughout the Christmas shopping season.

If you are an accomplished maker who can demonstrate your craft and comfortably communicate with audiences then these events may be for you.

We would like to hear from craft enterprises that have products that are suitable for gifting and are available to buy in an Irish retail outlet.

Ideally craft makers taking part will:

Christmas Retail Campaign 2010

Be a full time, recognised, professional accomplished maker Work in a craft that requires little specialist equipment for transport – basket making, felting etc.

To apply: Please forward name and company details along with product information, retail and wholesale price, stockists and images by e-mail with the subject titled ‘CCoI Campaign 2010’ by the closing date (above) to:

Be willing to use the opportunity to publicise both their own work and the work of other makers in their region Have a workshop or studio that is possible for visitors to see when in Ireland

Emma McGrath CCoI Retail Executive E

Be part of a local group, cluster, network or trail of makers Ideally have some knowledge of a foreign language

There will be funding available to cover basic costs of attending.

Please note, high resolution images are not necessary.

To register your interest in participating in these Tourism Trade events, please contact: Des Doyle Collector Programme & Craft Tourism Manager T 056 77 96137 E

Creative Island Creative Island will again take centre stage at Showcase 2011. The application process will take place in Summer 2010. Details of Creative Island 2011 and how to apply will be available online at from Friday the 21st of May. In the meantime for expressions of interest please contact: Emma McGrath CCoI Retail Executive E

See also article ‘A Review of Showcase 2010’ on pages 8-12.



WORKSHOPS & COURSES Weird & Wonderful Wooly Workshops At Craftspun Yarns, The Mill, Johnstown, Naas, Co. Kildare For bookings call Liadain: M: 087 7507506 For further information on 2010 course schedule see:

Derryaun Crafts Westport, Co. Mayo Upcoming Workshop Programme 30th April Rags to Riches rag rug making 2nd May Art Dolls 9th May Bead Weaving 6th June Jewellery Making with semi precious stones 15th/16th July Basket Weaving with Joe Hogan 7th/8th Aug Bronze Casting with Helle Helnser. 18th July Found Object Sculpture with Tom Meskell 13th & 14th Nov Environmental Sculpture

Textile Workshop Dublin This Spring we are offering a sewing machine course for those who wish to embrace the “make do & mend” ethos to create stylish & contemporary items to decorate your home or give as gifts. We are delighted to offer: Breezy Bunting (Beginners) Sat 8th May, 10am-4pm Price €85 For any further information please contact: W: M: 086 0869178

Furniture Making Courses In SW France from Spring 2010, Nest will be running courses from their workshop in France. With a maximum of 5 on each week-long course, there’s the opportunity to hone new skills in the relaxed & beautiful setting of the Midi-Pyrenees. For more information, on courses by Nest Design please see W: E: T: +33 5 62 67 79 03

We stock a large range of craft equipment & materials For further information: W: T: 098 21888 E:

J&B Art Glass Studio, Knocktopher, Co. Kilkenny with Jacqueline and Bruno TOSI, professionnal artists. Only 6 places availables for each course, July 2010. Also in France this summer in the lovely Jura mountains. For further information contact: E: W: T: 056 77 68245 / 0033 672 68 79 95 M: 087 7472025

Woodworking Courses Silk Paper Making Workshop Gatehouse Gallery, Millmount Craft Centre, Drogheda, Co. Louth. Learn to make silk paper using silk fibres, found objects & threads. Participants will make plain & textured "fabric-like" papers. These papers can be used in textile art, collage art, painting & 3-dimensional forms. €75 (including a material pack). The workshops are facilitated by Mel Bradley & Rachel Tinniswood, both of whom are professional artist-designers & teachers. The courses follow an exploratory approach to learning & are tailored to suit those attending. A full programme of workshops can be downloaded from the web site. Contact: Mel Bradley, W: E: M: 086 3712927

Ben Russell's 3-day Woodcarving Workshops

Intensive summer workshops in the following subjects: Glass Fusing: 30 Aug - 3 Sept Painting on glass: 6/10 & 13/17 Sept The workshops will take place in our studio in the very centre of Siena (Tuscany) & will be conducted in English. For details please visit: E: Address: VETRATE ARTISTICHE TOSCANE, Via della Galluzza, 5 53100 Siena (Italy)

West Cork May 1-3 (Sat-Mon b/holiday) For more information or booking: T: 021 66133 E: W:

Bone Carving Classes The Bone Carving Studio & Gallery in Galway city centre offers the only bone carving classes in Ireland. At a one-day class you’ll create your own bone carving from start to finish. For further information: T: 086 6658100 E: W:

Leitrim Sculpture Centre Stained Glass & Fusing

Other courses (no dates arranged) Precious Metal Clay with Maura Dickerson Copper, Beads & Wire Wire Framed Art Dolls

Workshops in Tuscany 2010 VETRATE ARTISTICHE TOSCANE

Glenn Lucas’ Woodturning Study Centre, Co. Carlow For more information: T: 059 9727070 E: W:

Manorhamilton Spring Workshop Programme including: Digital Design & Graphics; Film Making; Raku Firing; Stone Lettercutting; Bronze Casting; Glass Blowing for Beginners; Mouldmaking; & Digital Printmaking. All are open to the general public & whilst some are for experienced practitioners, others are for total beginners. For further information: W: T: 071 985 5098 E:

Pangur Glass Craft Co. Cavan 3 day workshop with US artist Jayne Persico Friday – Sunday April 30th - May 2nd 10.30 am – 5.30 pm For workshop description & fee details visit: W: T: 049 8545118 E:

2010 Pottery/Ceramic Courses & Workshops Castleknock, Dublin. All levels welcome from complete beginners to more advanced students. For further details contact: Michelle Maher T: 01 6405614 M: 087 2047695 E: W:

Hands-On Arts & Craft Workshops Workshops are suitable for complete beginners or experienced practitioners, & include: drawing, painting, raku ceramics, throwing, kiln building, woodcarving, stained glass & glass fusing, green wood chairmaking, sculpture, photography, jewellery making, children’s art, printmaking, mosaics & book-binding. Visit our website for full details: W: E: T: 027 66133

The Constant Knitter workshops in knitting, crochet, lace and sock knitting. For further information contact: Rosemary Murphy T: 01 454 7597 M: 087 996 7197 W: E:


Basket Making Course CraftSpun Mill, Johnstown, Naas. Public bus stops outside door #126. Teacher Kathleen McCormick. Beginner/Improver standard. Cost €80 which includes material, €20 secures a place. 5th June 10am to 5/6 pm. For further information contact: M: 086 8807208 T: 046 9551282 E:

Digital Photography Workshops East/West Cork Basic & advanced courses available €85 (refreshments provided) For more information or booking Call Ben on: T: 021 66133 E: W:

Centre for Creative Practices 15 Pembroke St. Lower, Dublin 2 Developing Your Illustration Skills: 6-week introductory course to illustration that builds skill through storyboard design, illustration for books, magazines & websites. Course starts 13 April from 6.30pm 8.30pm. Tickets are now €120. Linocut Workshop Series: One Saturday a month Marta Wakula-Mac will instruct students on linocut techniques including printmaking, texture and line work, negative/positive images & more. Tickets are €50 per session & includes all materials. For further details: E: T: 01 700 5416 W:

FOR RENT Artists Studio For Rent D-Light Studios is Dublins largest studios, with a 'New York Loft' look, this warehouse is the ideal space for any artist to feel inspired. D-Light is currently offering a mezzanine space which overlooks one of our two large studios. Rental of the space is €300 per month. For further information contact the studio manager Aoife T: 01 8196730 E:


Space Available at Bridge Street Studios (Louth) Bridge Street Studios, 97 Bridge Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Reasonable rent includes access to a 12cubic ft. kiln, computer with broadband. The studio has an excellent reputation, a loyal customer base & is a solid network. For further information contact: Fiona Thornton E: W:

An Clachán Gallery & Working Studios Gweedore Co. Donegal is currently taking applications from Artists, Makers & Designers for one of its studio spaces. This spacious studio would be suitable for 1 or 2 people sharing, has 24 hour access & broadband. The Gallery presents excellent sales opportunities in a supportive environment. To apply for this space please send an artistic CV along with images of recent work to: An Clachán, An Chúirt, Gweedore, Co.Donegal or E: eolas@anclachan Before Friday the 21st May For further information contact Anna on: T: 074 9560091 W:

Beautiful Studio Spaces Available suitable for all craft disciplines or art studios. A selection of different size studios, suitable for retail. Situated in Castlecomer Estate Yard, Castlecomer, Co.Kilkenny a well established Art & Craft Centre. Please contact M: 087 2626488 W:

450 sq ft Office to Share with Registered Craftsperson (illustrator & stationer) Warm, bright, with lots of cupboard space. Available immediately. Long or short-term. €345 per month inc heat, electricity & broadband. Off-street parking space. Extra storage facilities available. Ballymount, Dublin. For further information please contact: E:

Gallery Space for Hire Centre for Creative Practices, conveniently located in Dublin 2. At €300 per week, includes 74m2 exhibition /gallery space, invitation to a range of events & seminars, & more. We can also offer professional support in producing promotional materials & exhibition catalogues. For more information, please see options at our website: W: M: 086 608 4020 E:


Studios for Lease The Shanagarry Design Centre, East Cork has recently re-opened with a focus on promoting the very best that Irish craftspeople & designers have to offer. The centre is anchored by the well known Kilkenny shop ( who have supported Irish design through the years. There is also a café located in the Centre known as 'Kafe Artisan' & six design studios which artists & designers can use to work in, display their products from & of course, retail to the public. They also have the option of teaching classes in the studios during the evenings and weekends.

Country Markets Ltd is a co–operative organisation which has over 60 markets around Ireland. We supply good quality fresh local produce direct from the producer to the consumer. Branch markets provide an ideal format to support local initiative & enterprise, while keeping local money in local areas. We are proud to be members of the Crafts Council of Ireland & sponsor a medal each year for excellence in this field. If you would like more information on opening or joining a market please contact us: T: 01 7994533 E:

The Shanagarry Design Centre has two studios available for lease and is actively looking for designers who are interested in becoming part of the centre. The Centre has had a great reaction from locals & visitors since opening recently & sales have been strong. This is a fantastic opportunity for a new or established artist or designer to be part of this exciting new venture If you are interested or would like more information, please email: E:

Castleconnell Craft Fair Castle Oaks House Hotel Castleconnell Co. Limerick. October 24th & 25th 2010. One of Ireland’s largest & most successful craft events now invites applications from potential exhibitors for stands at Craft Fair 2010. The 2-day fair attracts craft workers from all four provinces. Closing date: 30th June 2010. For further details & an application form contact Mary O’Connor, Coolbawn, Castleconnell, Co. Limerick. T: 061 377810 E:

Studio Space Beautiful loft space (22.5.5m) to let/lease in Grennan Mill, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny overlooking River Nore. Fully equipped for commercial business, including heating. Please contact: M: 087 9238102

Westport Food & Craft Market If you are looking for a new outlet for your produce we warmly welcome you to contact us, annual market rates are extremely reasonable. Please contact Brenda Maloney, Secretary T: 098 64014

BUSINESS SERVICES Tax Free Sopping for Tourists

New Arts & Crafts Market Starting in Bandon from May on a weekly basis, all types of craftspeople are welcome. Great way to sell handmade product in a stylish environment from as little as €15/stall. The market is also open to street entertainers. (MUST BE PRE BOOKED) For further information contact: Laszlo M: 083 385 6650

How to Increase your Revenue. Having the best tax free solution is critical to ensure you make the best of your tourist business. With Ireland Tax Free our Solution is 100% free to all retailers in Ireland. Additional earning potential from the scheme for businesses. A better, faster & easier tourist refund solution. Achieve significant time saving for front line staff. Enable your sales team to focus more on sales & spend less time form filling. Achieve better Customer Satisfaction. For further information call: Brian Becker T: 01 644 9001 M: 086 083 2396 E: W:

SUPPLIERS The Constant Knitter Supplier of beautiful high quality yarns including wool, cotton, linen, kid-silk, sockwool, alpaca etc at astonishingly low prices. Lace weight yarns will also be available soon. We supply Garnstudio, Manos del Uruguay, Artesano & are constantly looking for new suppliers. For further information contact: Rosemary Murphy T: 01 454 7597 M: 087 996 7197 W: E:


Photographic Studio Based in Dublin's city centre (Temple Bar). Portable studio also available. Reasonable rates. Product shots a speciality. For further information see W: T: 085 1417563

Connor Tilson Commercial Photographer I’m passionate, dedicated & energetic about taking great pictures for my clients…it’s what I do… Bring your products to life using Connor Tilson Commercial Photography. For further information: T: +44(0)28 90 3000 75 M: +44(0) 777 97 25 066 E: W:

Professional Jewellery Product Shots With A Twist Dublin’s most sought after fashion photographer Agata Stoinska is offering to photograph your jewellery in it's best possible light. This special package includes model, hair, make-up & photographs of your jewellery. For further details contact Agata M: 087 643 99 55

Moving Image Looking for a short video clip to promote your craftwork, craft studio or retail outlet? Moving Image produce high quality video & DVD productions. Videos can be used for various marketing purposes. Competivitive individual & group rates. Sample of previous work includes the Crafts Council of Ireland, Stories in the Making craft video series, 2009. Contact Martin Connolly T: 056 1728978 W:

EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS Visual Artists Ireland & our partner organisations are pleased to announce a series of Professional Development Training Workshops that will take place in Northern Ireland as part of VAI's Spring 2010 Education Programme. For full details on all our workshops please visit: W:

advertisements CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS New Boutique If you are interested in selling your work in a new shop opening in Cashel, Co. Tipperary. "Haboutique" a new concept. Please submit images to: E:

National Heritage Week 2010 During National Heritage Week the Heritage Council wishes to promote Traditional Irish Crafts & encourage events where visitors can actively learn a new skill. If you would like to be part of the week & organise an event then register on-line from the 1st of April. For further information please contact: Rebecca Reynolds E: W:

South East Heritage & Cultural Awards Sponsored by The Munster Express / Dooley’s Hotel Waterford. A new Award scheme seeking to recognise & reward groups & individuals across the South East who promote the Regions Heritage Craft & Culture. There are 4 Awards annually comprising of 4 catagories complete with an overall award. Nominations are put forward by the public. For further information or an application form contact Dooley’s Hotel, Waterford. T: 051 873531

Waterford Homecrafts Co-op Call for New Prospective Members We are trying to improve & update our range of crafts. All prospective new members will have to submit examples of their craft to the committee for comment. For further information contact: Mary Birney T: 051 382242 M: 086 8554051 E:

RUA RED South Dublin Arts Centre, is planning a winter craft fair from the 8th–11th Dec 2010. The craft fair will play a significant role in a Winter Festival planned for the area. If you would like to know more please contact E: T: 01 451 5860 W:

Fine Irish Design at Skyline Gallery Skyline Gallery wish to invite Irish Designers to show their work in the busy Kenmare Gallery for the summer season from 01st May until 31st Oct. We are looking for a handful of designers whose work would be classed as contemporary/modern. If you are interested, please send details & images of your work to E:


Craft Fair 10 A Weekend of Inspired Craft in the Glucksman CALL FOR APPLICATIONS BEFORE TUESDAY 15 JUNE 2010 The Lewis Glucksman Gallery will host its annual craft fair in November 2010 and the gallery is delighted to announce that Craft Fair 10 will be extended to a full three-day event.Craft Fair 2010 will be officially opened on Thursday 04 November and will open to the public from Friday 05 November to Sunday 06 November. The Glucksman invites all interested craft makers to submit an application to participate in the event.

Used Ballmill/Jarmill Jars with Capacity 1-2 gal Will collect if necessary. For further information contact: M: 087 6430037

Test Kiln or a Small Electric Kiln Please contact Orla M: 086 2440511 Workshop Space Wanted To rent for week ends in greater Dublin area to suit art/craft/design workshops. Contact: Lina Stein T: 098 28449 E: W:

The application form & details is available to download from the industry opportunities section of the CCoI website. The final selection will be made in June and all those selected will be notified by post in July. Applications can be made by post marked for the attention of: Eileen Kearney, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, UCC, Cork E:

Machine Knitter Seeking Work Lots of experience with all types of yarns. Standard & chunky knitting. E: T: 01 8327660 M: 087 6903756

Internship Irish company wanted to host French student in International Trade for 6 months as an Intern in order to increase her professional experience. Contact: E:


JOB OPPORTUNITIES Sales Supervisor Jewellery & Corporate Gifts (Maternity Cover - Initially 8 Month Contract) DESIGNYARD, Ireland’s leading contemporary jewellery & corporate gifts company, is seeking an enthusiastic, very organised & self-motivated person, with good communication & analytical skills & at least two years sales experience, preferably in the jewellery & giftware sector. You’ll have the freedom to work on your own initiative, as well as working as part of a team. You will be assisting people in making choices about the most exquisite Jewellery & Corporate Gifts and liaising with artists to meet requirements. If you have the skills & experience required please e-mail your CV to: Gerry Crosbie E:

for Latest Opportunities log on to

Electronic Knitting Machine Little-used Brother KH970 standard guage electronic knitting machine with garment shaping & calculation system, KR850 ribbing attachment, KL116 knit-leader to determine knitting guage & garment shape with extra design sheets and unused transfer carriage. Complete instruction manuals with all. Available as a complete package or as individual items. For further information contact: Yvonne M: 086 8818921 E:

Advertising in Stopress is currently free & is welcomed Please e-mail mark it for Stopress Ads

5yr Old Felt Roofed Portacabin Measuring 16ft x 10ft Plated glass window as one of the 10ft walls. 3 other smaller hinged windows. Fitted with solid work benches but these can be removed. Suitable as workshop or garden office €2800. West Cork area, transport can be organised. To arrange for viewing or photos: M: 087 7606117

copy deadline 1st of July 2010

E ADVERTIS You can also advertise general notices (ie. Craft ON ie Courses, Craft Events, Stands, Fairs etc.) on www.ccoi. the opportunities section of the CCoI website:

Shop Counter & Shelving A shop counter with pedestal, a selection of wall display shelving units & a number of four drawer filing cabinets for sale. Suitable for retail start up business or artist studio. Interested parties should contact Gerry on: M: 086 8297276 E:

To do so please e-mail details and a short description to and mark it for Web Opportunities.

All advertisements are published in Stopress for general information purposes only, at the risk of the advertiser & at the discretion of the Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI). CCoI make no representations or warranties about any of the information contained in any notice or advertisement & accept no responsibility for the accuracy of any information contained in an advertisement. Advertisements in Stopress do not indicate endorsement by CCoI. It is the responsibility of the reader to check that goods & services are described fully and accurately. CCoI expressly excludes liability for direct or indirect consequential loss or damage, which may arise in respect of Stopress or purchase of the goods & services.


national craft gallery NCG UPDATE

Dear Readers, The beautiful On the Edge exhibition of contemporary glass left the gallery this March to continue its Irish tour, to the Botanic Gardens in Dublin, followed by Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford and the Linenhall in Mayo. Our current exhibition is Irish Craft Portfolio. This features some of Ireland’s finest makers producing work at an international exhibition standard. It the first time since the programme’s inception in 2005 that it has manifested as an exhibition, and it is a wonderful opportunity to see the common themes that run through much of the work.

‘Tall Green Striped Form’ by Alison Kay (Ceramist)

The work can be loosely divided into two categories - one where the visible preoccupations are to do with texture and form, and one where they are more evidently related to colour and line. Material processes are clearly pre-eminent in a very high standard of making, often almost obsessive in the level of attention to detail and finish (see also pages 16 and 44).

‘Perforated Form #2’ by Frances Lambe (Ceramist)

As Irish Craft Portfolio is such a valuable platform for promoting Irish craft internationally, the National Craft Gallery’s selection at Collect 2010 will feature eight makers from the programme. This is an exciting opportunity to give a very focused presentation of work, and to build on our contacts from our very successful 2009 debut. We will be in the Saatchi Galleries in London from 14 - 17 May. If you are there checking out the best of international galleries, please call by our stand and say hello - we will be sharing a room with Galerie SO and Barrett Marsden, so I’m looking forward to seeing some very interesting work! The makers at Collect 2010 presented by the National Craft Gallery will be:

‘Pink Lace Open-Ended Neckpiece’ by Rachel McKnight (Jeweller)

Joe Hogan, basketmaker Sara Flynn, ceramist John Lee, furniture maker Nest Furniture, furniture maker Frances Lambe, ceramist Mandy Parslow, ceramist Nuala O’Donovan, ceramist Cóilín Ó Dubhghaill, metalsmith

‘Red Writing Desk ‘ by Nest Furniture (Furniture Maker)

We also have a small contingent of Irish makers representing Ireland at the 2010 Shanghai Expo which runs from May 2010 - Cormac Boydell, Angela O’Kelly, Alison Kay, Mandy Parslow and Rachel McKnight will all have work showcased in the Irish Pavilion in Shanghai.

For a list of 2010 NCG exhibitions see page 4. For upcoming events at the NCG see page 31. For new gallery opening times see page 44.

Ann Mulrooney Curator and Exhibitions Manager National Craft Gallery ‘Softstack & Closed segment’ by Cóilín Ó'Dubhghaill, (Metalsmith)


national craft gallery

Snapshots from ‘On The Edge’ Opening

Sean Campbell and his work ‘At the End of the Line’ & ‘And Then He Stepped Out of the Circle’

'Parallel Verve' by Fiaz Elson

Killian Schurmann and his glass panel ‘Portal’

Debbie Dawson and her work 'Like a Door Opening'

‘Leaden Sleep; Crystal Clear Visions, 2007' by Keith Seybert

Chinks Grylls and her work 'Skylight Red'


'A Children's Party' by Donna Coogan

national craft gallery

'Us Two (your letters)' by Louise Rice

Suzannah Vaughan and her work 'Towers'

Caroline Madden with her work 'Birds Conversing at Lough Boora'

Roisín de Buitléar and her work 'Time Spent; Limerick Lace Series'

Colin Reid and his work 'Cello, 2006'

Joseph Harrington ‘Thaw Stop’


national craft gallery

“The Irish Craft Portfolio constitutes an invaluable forum that collectors can be guided by.”

Collectable Craft Speech delivered by Jane Beattie at the opening of the Irish Craft Portfolio exhibition in the National Craft Gallery in March.

The definition of craft as an art form usually involves an association with traditional materials and skills passed through generations. Craft is often influenced by communities and finds its roots in their need for useful objects such as clothes, baskets, and vessels for cooking, eating and drinking. The contemporary craft exhibited here however transcends the utilitarian because it is governed by an aesthetic characterized by high quality in terms of both materials and workmanship, combined with originality and innovation in design. When thinking of contemporary craft in terms of collectability and its place within the art market it may be useful to examine it in the context of other decorative art forms that share craft aesthetics and production principles and have well established collecting precedent. For example, the Ancient Greeks understood the human desire for beauty and how the contemplation of beautiful objects could elevate our daily experience of the world, this extended beyond the familiar media of sculpture and painting to ceramics and glassware. The Greeks bequeathed this understanding to the Romans. We need only look at the example of the Portland Vase, that iconic piece of exquisitely hand crafted cameo glass, which held 18th Century connoisseurs in rapture when it was first brought to England and displayed in the British Museum. The fact that ancient cultures were so sophisticated in their ability to handcraft pieces of such elegant design and finesse held the public imagination in awe and fuelled a craze for collecting antique pots, sarcophagae and ornament which lasted well into the 19th Century. Incidentally, yet interestingly from our perspective it took Josiah Wedgwood, the first of the great industrial potters, many laborious attempts, which spanned years, to perfect a copy in ceramic form. The Ancient Chinese developed the craft of making porcelain and ceramics to such marvelous heights that they positively infected 18th Century Europe with a mania to discover their secrets and techniques. These ancient potters spent thousands of years perfecting various processes to produce the most exquisite of objects. They regarded their craft as sacred and kept its secrets so closely guarded that it took centuries for Europeans to discover them fully. Objects of Imperial quality command enormous prices in today’s market but even those objects that the ancient Chinese would have produced for their household needs are sought after by contemporary collectors because of their wonderful quality, durability and their spontaneous and innovative decoration. Once they had discovered how to make porcelain, Europeans began collecting their own contemporary pieces in order to emulate their Oriental counterparts. They wanted to support the industry at home, and of course rivaled one another. It was 42

considered a measure of ones intellectual prowess not to mention a measure of ones wealth to collect objects of quality, rarity, beauty, and of cultural interest. Although tastes and trends have oscillated since then, the passion for collecting has lasted until the present day. The great collections of the 18th and 19th centuries however were not, in the main, amassed for financial gain or for investment purposes, although collectors were willing to spend vast amounts of money even by modern standards. Particularly in the 19th Century when industrialization and social developments allowed a broader section of society to enjoy the benefits of art, great patrons and philanthropists endeavored to share their collections by placing them in museums, where they could not only give pleasure to the wider public but could provide a vital source of inspiration and education. Isn’t this then what collecting should be all about, isn’t one of the principal purposes of art to reflect contemporary approaches to design, to provoke thought and criticism, and perhaps even to some extent act as a source of relief in an ever more complex world of technological and scientific progress? The 2010 Irish Craft Portfolio provides precisely this, a platform for artists to share their ideas and techniques with the wider public, to demonstrate their talent and capabilities, to inspire collectors and by extension encourage a stronger footing in the art market for the best of Irish craft. During the course of the last 150 years Craft in all its varied forms has become decidedly postmodern, having leapt far beyond the Victorian Arts and Crafts objective of improving the material and aesthetic quality of daily objects, it is no longer bound by constrictions related to materials or methods. Tradition now embraces innovation and the benefits afforded by technology; the importance of function is often outweighed by the importance of form; but emphasis is still placed on the hand made and on painstaking attention to detail and quality. We need only look at the wonderful baskets produced by Joe Hogan, the basket no longer just a useful object but one transformed from the everyday, as if from a caterpillar into a

‘Erosion’ by Joseph Walsh (Furniture Maker)

‘Folding Vases’ by Karen Morgan (Ceramist)

butterfly. The ceramics of Francis Lambe are as delicate organic forms that belie the medium in which they are produced. Those of Karen Morgan designed with such ingenuity that the clay does something which our instincts tell us it almost shouldn’t. The furniture of Joseph Walsh and John Lee sings of a modern aesthetic combined with a level of craftsmanship that an 18th Century Parisian Furniture Guild Member could be proud of. I cannot mention all the contributors to the portfolio in person, nor am I equipped as an art critic to speak of them with the intelligence they deserve but I can appreciate as I think all of us here can, the meticulous background to their production and the quality and beauty inherent in the various objects, that are the direct results of that effort. Perhaps I should conclude by saying that our experience as auctioneers and valuers in these difficult times of economic crisis, is that the collectors market for quality remains strong, even buoyant, whilst speculators and those who haphazardly approached the art market with a view to purely commercial gain, have disappeared into the ether. Collectors that have been present in the market since before and throughout the boom years, who remained discerning whilst all around them speculators lost their heads, are still the people who remain faithful to their passion for art and beauty for art and beauty’s sake. They are the people who are looking towards new avenues of expansion for their collections and who have consistently looked for quality and integrity in the best of contemporary Irish art, craft and design. The Irish Craft Portfolio constitutes an invaluable forum that collectors can be guided by. The curation of exhibitions such as this encourages critical and academic analysis which inevitably leads to the expansion of the collectors’ market.

‘Up from the Deep’ by Joe Hogan (Basketmaker)

All that remains is for me to congratulate the exhibitors within Irish Craft Portfolio and thank the Crafts Council of Ireland for allowing me the privilege of opening this exhibition. by Jane Beattie, Associate Director, Adam’s Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers

‘Farraige’ by John Lee, (Furniture Maker)


‘Sea Bean #3’ by Frances Lambe (Ceramist)

national craft gallery CURRENT EXHIBITION

‘Bracelet’ by Angela O’Kelly (Jeweller)

Irish Craft Portfolio 2010

‘Walnut Chair’ by Stephen O’Briain (Furniture Maker)

An exhibition featuring the innovative and unique work of makers selected for the Irish Craft Portfolio publication opened at the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny on 26th March. Irish Craft Portfolio presents the work of 38 leading Irish makers chosen by an international selection panel for 2010. Irish Craft Portfolio was established by the Crafts Council of Ireland in 2005 to provide a platform for promoting the work of some of Ireland’s finest craftworkers producing work to an international exhibition standard.

‘1000 Wishes Series’ by Denis Brown (Calligrapher)

Some of the highlights from the exhibition include the richly decorated ceramic platters made by Cormac Boydell in West Cork, each edged in shimmering metallic lustres; elegant furniture executed in solid walnut by Carlow based furniture maker Stephen O’Briain; layered calligraphic works by Denis Brown and delicate, nature-inspired porcelain forms by Cork based ceramicist Nuala O’Donovan. Commenting on the exhibition, Úna Parsons, CEO, Crafts Council of Ireland said: “Irish Craft Portfolio celebrates the diversity and rich talent of a select group of Irish makers. The craftwork included in this exhibition and in the Irish Craft Portfolio publication will serve to further enhance Ireland’s reputation as a world-class source of contemporary craft. I would encourage anyone with a passion for craft to visit the exhibition and enjoy the work of these exceptionally talented craftspeople.”

‘Eye Candy, Green and Red’ by Catherine Keenan (Ceramist)

National Craft Gallery New Opening Times Tue - Sat: 10am - 5.30pm Sunday: 11am - 5.30pm (Closed Monday’s except bank holidays, Sunday times apply)

Curated by Ann Mulrooney, Irish Craft Portfolio runs until 22nd May at the National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard, Kilkenny. A selection of works from the show will travel to the Kenny Gallery in Galway in August and Farmleigh Gallery in Dublin in December. For details on the Iirsh Craft 2010 publication see page 16.

Admission is Free Email: Tel: 056 7796147


Stopress Issue No. 28 Spring 2010  

A newsletter for craftspeople