A ‘Crafty’ Partnership for Northern Ireland and Cork

Northern Ireland silversmith Claire Mooney and Cork ceramic and glass artist Bernadette Tuite are the first artists to take part in a collaboration between Cork Craft & Design and Craft Northern Ireland (NI).

These selected members from each of the organisations are visiting the other’s region and exhibiting their work there this month. This is part of the craft months currently running in both locations.

Claire produces heirloom objects that reflect natural landscapes and traditions. Her most recent collection, Rocky Hill Collection, is inspired by the dry stone walls of Mournes, Co. Down.

Her work will be on display at Cork Craft & Design’s Showcase Exhibition in Ballydehob this month. With this year’s exhibition focused on sustainability, the theme is a perfect fit for Claire. Her beautiful work will also be sold at Cork Craft & Design’s store in Douglas.

Simultaneously, multi-award-winning artist and Chair of Cork Craft & Design, Bernadette Tuite will be showcasing her work at Craft NI’s Unlocked exhibition. At its gallery on Royal Avenue, Belfast, Unlocked is showcasing pieces of work by makers inspired by the recent lockdown. The theme can relate to work created during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, or any other way that makers may interpret it.

Bernadette’s stunning ceramic pieces, inspired from the ocean, will also be sold at Craft NI’s Gallery in Belfast City.

This collaboration of Cork Craft & Design and Craft Northern Ireland is an incredible celebration of Irish craft. You won’t want to miss it.

CORK CRAFT MONTH RETURNS THIS AUGUST WITH OVER 70 EVENTS

Over 100 Cork makers will celebrate the importance of contemporary Irish craft as part of Cork Craft Month which returns this August. There are over 70 events and workshops planned across the month — 80% of which are online. The festival, run by Ireland’s largest social enterprise for craftspeople, Cork Craft & Design, kicks off this weekend. Full details of all events — 90% are free — are available at corkcraftanddesign.com.

Sustainability in craft and design will be explored at Cork Craft Month’s showcase exhibition in Ballydehob, featuring the work of 19 makers, including mosaic artist Margaret Twomey of Purpose Mosaic and Alison Ospina of Green Wood Chairs. The 2020 Cork Craft & Design Showcase Exhibition, which launches this Friday, is dedicated to sustainability and environmentally conscious thinking.

Maeve Murphy, Operations Manager of Cork Craft Month said: “One of the biggest conversations happening at the moment in the craft world is around sustainability — what makers can do to minimise their impact on the planet. Consumers are more conscious of what they are buying, and they are actively seeking out locally made craft products that celebrate heritage craft making skills which have low impact on the environment.

“Our makers involved in the Cork Craft & Design Showcase Exhibition use everything from locally sourced salvaged wood to recycled clay to repurposed ebony from uilleann pipes. They will create a visual dialogue on the importance of sustainability and environmental consciousness, and those interested in finding out more are encouraged to pop into the Working Artist Studios on Main Street, Ballydehob during the month.”

Among the online events for the 11th annual Cork Craft Month will be a virtual Taste for Craft collaboration between Cork Craft & Design members and English Market traders. The Chocolate Shop and woodturner Tony Farrell will participate in the first collaboration on 1 August, examining the synchronicities between both craft industries.

The annual West Cork Creates will also go online this year with a virtual gallery and shop running from 8 August until 14 September in Skibbereen. Thirty-seven artists and craftspeople have been invited to work to the theme of Harvest, inspired by Theo Dorgan’s poem Harvest Moon. The Cork-born award-winning poet will officially open the exhibition online at 1pm on 8 August.

Further virtual highlights include Barbara Hubert’s free A Day in the Life of a Bookbinder on 10 August; an insight into ceramic processes from Charlie Mahon on 23 August; while Gavin Buckley of Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre will interview textile artist Anne Harrington Rees on the qualities of material and form in her work on 10 August. This is one of four interviews with makers that Gavin will conduct during the month of August.

A series of trails will take place across Cork Craft Month including Clonakilty Makers Trail, a self-guided walk of artists’ studios, chocolate makers, upholsterers and craft studios throughout Clonakilty. Cork Flower Studio on Douglas Street will also have a Pure Local Like window exhibition throughout the month, displaying the work of local makers.

Physical workshops and demos will run in adherence to public health guidelines and these include silk painting by textile designer Sharon Rose McKeever at West Cork Crafts in Skibbereen on 4 August; and a free wood turning demonstration by John O’Shea at the Blackwater Valley Makers Arts Centre on 1 August.

Speaking on the exhibitions for Cork Craft Month, Maeve Murphy added: “We are particularly delighted to have the Emerge exhibition running from 6 August at No. 46 Grand Parade. This will celebrate and showcase the work of graduating makers of Crawford College of Art & Design, Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa and St. Johns Central College and embrace them as part of the community of Irish craft and design.

“The Society of Cork Potters will also celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, and the Lavit Gallery is hosting an exhibition showcasing the variety of work made by this group from 7 August to 22 September. The Society will be presenting their anniversary book, published to mark this momentous occasion, and will be available during the run of the exhibition.”

The programme for Cork Craft Month is available at corkcraftanddesign.com. Follow Cork Craft on Facebook at @corkcraftmonth and Instagram at @corkcraftmonth. #corkcraftmonth20

Cork Craft Month is supported by Local Enterprise Office, Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Fáilte Ireland, the Creative Ireland programme /Clár Éire Ildánach, Cork Education and Training Board, Crawford College of Art & Design and The Gallery at No. 46 Grand Paradewith media partner, RedFM.

7 NEW MAKERS COMING TO OUR DOUGLAS STORE

New makers are bringing their wonderful work to the Cork Craft & Design store in Douglas from August.

From lino prints to sculptural ceramics, this will be a showcase of the craft heritage we have in Cork. The new names come onboard as the Design & Crafts Council Ireland launches its Made Local campaign, a nationwide initiative to drive revenue for both makers and retailers.

For those looking to purchase and celebrate Irish design and the craft sector as a result, here are seven new makers making their way to our store at 27a St Patrick’s Woollen Mills in Douglas.

BERNADETTE TUITE

Bernadette Tuite is the incredible talent behind Rock & Water Ceramics. Having spent many years as a boat captain in California, Bernadette draws inspiration for her beautiful ceramic pieces from the ocean. Her sculptural ceramics mimic Cork’s seascapes and are amazing.

CHARLIE MAHON CERAMICS

Charlie Mahon has been practicing production pottery since 2004. Some of the most well-known Charlie Mahon Ceramics designs are the Mackerel and the Sheep — inspired by a family fishing trip to Glengariff.

JULIAN SMITH CERAMICS

Julian Smith established his ceramics workshop in 1996 with a focus on Raku firing — a technique originating from 16th century Japan where work is rapidly fired and removed from the kiln. The charm of Raku lies in its use of primitive materials which nevertheless can provide highly sophisticated results, as can be seen in Julian’s creations.

MARTHA CASHMAN CERAMICS

Martha Cashman’s beautiful, bold and bright ceramic designs and pieces are inspired by the nature around her. We love her stunning ceramic pieces such as her amazing eye catching bird feeders.

JOHN BASTOW LINO PRINT

John Bastow is the incredible talent behind Solas Agus Scáth – Light And Shade Lino Print. These stunning pieces are created from photographs that are then carved into a lino surface. The ‘negative’ uncarved areas are inked with a roller and printed onto handmade paper. Due to the colour, and amount of ink used, each print is completely unique.

CARMEL SMYTH TEXTILES

Carmel Smyth is a batik textile artist who uses 100% recycled cotton, along with a mix of paraffin and beeswax. Her work is mainly nature-inspired with the ever-changing land and seascapes being a constant source of inspiration.

RONAN POWER CABINET MAKERS

While a traditional Irish style cabinet maker, Ronan Power embraces the contemporary. His pieces are made from the finest wood to ensure a beautiful, unique and durable product is created every time. From bookcases to dressers to home accessories like chopping boards and bread bins, there are amazing items available.

The above makers’ work will be available to purchase in the Cork Craft & Design store at 27a St Patrick’s Woollen Mill, Douglas, Cork from August. Be sure to pop in and visit us to see all the amazing craft work we have to offer.

Eight not-to-be-missed events at Cork Craft Month

Cork Craft Month 2020 runs this August with over 50 masterclasses and demonstrations, as well as virtual behind-the-scenes exhibitions and family-friendly activities. Celebrating contemporary Irish craft, here are the top 8 festival highlights that are not to be missed.

IT’S A SHOWCASE

This year the Cork Craft and Design exhibition is dedicated to sustainability and environmentally conscious thinking. It will be held for the first time in Ballydehob at the Working Artist Studios on Main Street. Running from 31 July to the end of August, there are 19 makers’ pieces — all available for sale — that create a visual dialogue between craftspeople, makers and designers to celebrate and encourage environmentally sustainable practices in the Irish craft sector.

This year Cork Craft and Design exhibition is dedicated to sustainability thinking. It’ll be held in Ballydehob for the first time at the Working Artist Studios on Main Street. Running from 31 July to the end of August, there are 19 makers’ pieces — all available for sale — that create a visual dialogue between craftspeople, makers and designers. The aim? To celebrate and encourage environmentally sustainable practices in the Irish craft sector.

EMERGING TALENT

Cork Craft Month continues its commitment to promoting the work of up and coming makers in 2020. Graduating students of CIT Crawford College, Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa and St Johns Central College will debut their work at an exhibition in The Gallery @ No.46 from 6 – 28 August. Emerge will celebrate the work of these graduating makers and embrace them as part of the Irish craft community. No booking required.

CRAFT ON A PLATTER

Fancy an afternoon learning how to make willow ‘tension trays’ or platters at Cork Craft Month 2020? The Woven Willow Platters class on 21 August in Ballydehob is a great introduction to willow basketry. Play around with the natural colours of the willow and learn some basic traditional techniques in the Catalonia style. Children 15 and older welcome and more information is HERE.

MASK IT

The Sanctuary Masks initiative is to empower skilled seamstresses to sew hygiene masks for people living in Direct Provision Centres. During this virtual demonstration for Cork Craft Month 2020, one of those skilled seamstresses will give a tutorial on how to sew a face mask. The online free event runs from 7 August to 31 August. Not to be missed.

40 YEARS CELEBRATION

The Society of Cork Potters celebrates its 40th anniversary this year! Yay them! The Lavit Gallery is to host an exhibition showcasing the variety of work made by this group. The Society will also be presenting their anniversary book, published to mark this momentous occasion. It runs from 7 August to 22 September.

INTO THE WEST

Poet, editor and essayist, Theo Dorgan will launch the annual West Cork Creates exhibition virtually on 8 August at 1pm. Inspired by Dorgan’s poignant poem Harvest Moon — which he wrote and dedicated to Seamus Heaney on the second anniversary of his death — the work by 37 local artists and craftspeople has been created in response to the theme ‘Harvest’. The exhibition, a first for West Cork Creates virtually, runs until 14 September on westcorkcreates.com with all works available for sale.

Poet, editor and essayist, Theo Dorgan launches the annual West Cork Creates exhibition virtually on 8 August at 1pm. Inspired by Dorgan’s Harvest Moon — which he dedicated to Seamus Heaney on the second anniversary of his death — the work by 37 artists and craftspeople has been created in response to the theme ‘Harvest’. The exhibition, a first for West Cork Creates virtually, runs until 14 September on westcorkcreates.com with all works available for sale.

MAKING CONNECTIONS

The Connections Project by Benchspace Creative Hub seeks to engage a community of makers embracing new methods of making. Members have come together to design and build a structure around themes of loss, achievement, and future connections. The project culminates with the assembly of the structure in the courtyard of Backwater Studio’s Courtyard on August 27. More details HERE.

GLASS ACT

The amazing glass artist Suzanne O’Sullivan will give a demonstration of her work on 29 August at the Blackwater Valley Makers Arts Centre. Don’t worry, everything will be in accordance with social distancing with numbers limited. More information is available HERE.

The amazing glass artist Suzanne O’Sullivan gives a demonstration of her work on 29 August at the Blackwater Valley Makers Arts Centre. Social distancing will be observed with numbers limited. More information is available HERE.

Cork Craft Month launches 2020 programme celebrating great Irish craft

We are delighted to launch our exciting 2020 programme for Cork Craft Month this August. Celebrating contemporary Irish craft, over 50 masterclasses, craft trails, demonstrations, conversations and product launches, as well as virtual behind-the-scenes exhibitions, open studio tours and family-friendly activities are planned to date across the month, with an 80% increase in online events. Up to 90% of events will be free with details available on the Cork Craft Month tab on our website.

Highlights include a special 31-day programme of virtual free events, with one Cork Craft & Design member committing to run a virtual demonstration/studio tour each day throughout August. These will range from a Raku firing demonstration from ceramist Brendan Ryan to a furniture making showcase from furniture maker Cian O’Driscoll and will be available to view on the Makers’ social pages.

With a focus on sustainability, the annual Cork Craft & Design Showcase Exhibition is to take place this year for the first time in Ballydehob. Glass artist and poet Michael Ray will open the event — featuring 19 makers’ pieces, all available for sale — at the Working Artist Studios on Main Street on 31 July. The exhibition will create a visual dialogue between craftspeople, makers and designers to celebrate and encourage environmentally sustainable practices in the Irish craft sector.

Speaking on the launch, Maeve Murphy, Operations Manager of Cork Craft Month said: “Every year, Cork Craft Month shines a light on the exceptional craft tradition in Ireland and applauds the amazing work our makers across Cork do. We continue to do this in 2020, and have curated a rich and varied programme featuring the makers — from basket makers to ceramists; book binders to illustrators — who inspire, engage and excite with their work. However, there is still time left for makers to register their events.

“The core programme will be digital, however, there will be a number of physical events that will take place in line with health and safety guidelines. Cork Craft & Design’s shop at 27a St Patrick’s Mills in Douglas will also serve as an exhibition space throughout the festival. This is a year unlike any other, a year where the arts has witnessed profound challenges. We are therefore asking everyone to join us in August as we celebrate the exceptional creativity of the acclaimed Cork craft makers.”

Continuing its commitment to promoting and nurturing the work of up and coming makers, graduating students of CIT Crawford College, Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa and St Johns Central College will debut their work at an exhibition in The Gallery @ No.46. Running from 6 – 28 August, Emerge will celebrate the work of these graduating makers and embrace them as part of the community of Irish craft and design.

In a first for Cork Craft Month, Cork Craft & Design members and English Market food traders are to collaborate on the synchronicities between both craft industries. The initiative led by Diane Keating from The Chocolate Shop will see a Cork Craft & Design maker pair with a stallholder from the acclaimed market — such as Maki Sushi Rolls, the first sushi hand roll shop in Ireland and chef turned designer Martin Horgan with his Wu Tong sticks — for a collaboration activated across their respective social media platforms.

There will also be a collaboration with Craft Northern Ireland and Cork Craft Month for the first time, with a selected member from each organisation set to visit the other’s region and exhibit their work in August there.

Poet, editor and essayist, Theo Dorgan will launch the annual West Cork Creates exhibition virtually on 8 August at 1pm. Inspired by Dorgan’s poignant poem Harvest Moon — which he wrote and dedicated to Seamus Heaney on the second anniversary of his death — the work by 37 local artists and craftspeople has been created in response to the theme ‘Harvest’. The exhibition runs until 14 September on westcorkcreates.com with all works available for sale.

Among the workshops will be three sessions on Basket Making programmed to run during Heritage Week at Levis’ Bar, Ballydehob. These will include Star Making (20 August), Willow Platters (21 August) and Flower Frame (22 August). The Blackwater Valley makers will be hosting a series of events throughout Cork Craft Month — including upcycling by Patti O’Leary; woodturning by Charley McCarthy; and glass working by Suzanne O’Sullivan — along with an exhibition of Narcissus 2019 by visual artist Rosalind Spencer, which featured in the 2019 RDS Visual Art Awards Exhibition.

There will be a self-guided walking trail of Makers and Creatives in Clonakilty from Green Dot – Irish Design Makers; while Gavin Buckley of Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen will interview four makers from west Cork — Jim Turner, Michael Ray and Katherine Standen, who all use clay in their work; and fibre textile designer Anne Harrington Rees — on the qualities of material and form in their work.

The programme for Cork Craft Month will be updated with new events over the coming weeks. Follow Cork Craft on Facebook at @corkcraftmonth and Instagram at @corkcraftmonth. #corkcraftmonth20

Cork Craft Month is supported by Local Enterprise Office, Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Fáilte Ireland, the Creative Ireland programme /Clár Éire Ildánach, Cork Education and Training Board, Crawford College of Art & Design and The Gallery at No. 46 Grand Parade with media partner, RedFM.

Showcase is a Virtual Celebration of Irish Craft

Cork Craft & Design, Ireland’s largest social enterprise for craftspeople, has launched a virtual celebration of Irish craft. Ahead of Cork Craft Month in August, Cork Craft & Design is releasing a series of videos — the Cork Craft Showcase — across its social media channels over the coming weeks to celebrate contemporary Irish craft.

The videos involve many of Cork’s acclaimed makers — woodturner, John McCarthy; glass artist Maura Whelan; basket maker Rosemary Kavanagh; jeweller Mairead McCorley of Silverstone Dimensions; ceramic artist Jim Turner; architectural illustrator Jill Cotter; award-winning textile artist Mary Palmer; and ceramicist Charlie Mahon — showcasing the work they love of another Irish craft person. The Cork Craft Showcase also features free family friendly activities for children such as flower crowns from Sonia Caldwell of Kilcoe Studio; book binding from Barbara Hubert; and a step-by-step guide to making a rainbow pom pom crown from yarn master Helen O’Leary.

The videos will be released on Cork Craft Month’s social media channels on Facebook at @corkcraftmonth and Instagram at @corkcraftmonth and on the Cork Craft & Design YouTube channel.

It comes ahead of the July launch of the 2020 programme for Cork Craft Month, an inspirational annual event showcasing exceptional and innovative Irish craftsmanship.

Speaking on the virtual Cork Craft Showcase, Maeve Murphy, Operations Manager of Cork Craft Month said: “The recent months has spurred, for many of us, a renewed appreciation in the pieces of craft and art that reside in our homes. Those innovative pieces that we love and look at every day are the focal point of the Cork Craft Showcase and we are delighted to have acclaimed makers talk on what pieces of Irish craftwork inspire them — from woodturner John McCarthy speaking on his large decorated bowl by Thomas Wollen to ceramicist Charlie Mahon applauding Martin Horgan’s problem solving wu tong sticks. During this difficult time for the arts world, we want to shine a spotlight on the creative craft heroes of Ireland and their tradition.

“Also, as the children’s programme is such a big part of Cork Craft Month every year, we wanted to ensure young budding craft makers could participate, so are releasing fun free activities and craft for children to take part in. We would encourage everyone to get online, get inspired and get involved by letting us know what your favourite piece of Irish craft is or sending us an image of your DIY craft by using the hashtag #corkcraftmonth20. We hope this will whet the appetite ahead of Cork Craft Month this August, a 31-day celebration of craft and the wealth of unrivalled talent we have in Cork city and county.”

The full programme for Cork Craft Month will be launched in early July, and available at www.corkcraftanddesign.com. To shop local, Cork Craft & Design’s exhibition space and shop is open at 27a St Patrick’s Mills in Douglas.

Cork Craft Month is supported by Local Enterprise Office, Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Fáilte Ireland, the Creative Ireland programme /Clár Éire Ildánach, Cork Education and Training Board, Crawford College of Art & Design and The Gallery at No. 46 Grand Parade.

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