Celebrate Northern Ireland’s Local Creative Talent with August Craft Month 2019
By Mark Hayhurst 18 Jul 2019
Northern Ireland is set for another incredible celebration of Craft as August Craft Month begins once again.
Showcasing the growing number of exceptional creative talent on its doorstep, August Craft Month will shine a spotlight on our renowned regional craft known across the globe and the new hidden gems making waves in the local craft world.
With internationally-recognised makers, craft start-ups and increasingly popular hands-on craft activities, the vibrant craft sector is continually thriving in NI. August Craft Month is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the local talented artists, designers and makers across NI, each with their own personal story behind their unique craft.
There will be over 100 hands-on and intimate events this August including workshops, exhibitions featuring world-class Craft makers, fun festivals and insightful talks. The August Craft Month event listings guide and online calendar are the perfect way for people to find out what’s on, plan their travel and embark upon their own creative adventures.
The eclectic collection of ceramists, textile makers, glassblowers, jewellery makers and more includes a mix of August Craft Month favourites and new creative faces. Each have been selling their bespoke wares online, from home and in stores, and are now bringing their products to life for the people of NI to experience. With the fantastic opportunity to interact with, and become immersed in, local craft talent, August Craft Month can be found across all pockets of NI.
This year, there will also be a strong focus on mental health and wellbeing, demonstrating how craft can be a positive impact and open up meaningful conversations.
Katherine McDonald, Director, CRAFT NI said: “We are delighted to be coordinating August Craft Month for another year. Celebrating its 13th year, the events are always an incredible opportunity to highlight the remarkable quality of craft across Northern Ireland. We would encourage visitors to engage with our makers, to enjoy the experiences and to learn more from some of our top talent, immersing yourself in the world of craft.”
August Craft Month is coordinated by CRAFT NI on behalf of the Craft Sector and is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through the National Lottery.
Patricia Lavery, Arts Development Officer, Visual Arts, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “August Craft Month is back with another impressive programme across Northern Ireland. It is the ideal time for people to explore the world of craft as never before, with something new for everyone. The Arts Council is delighted to support this wonderful celebration of craft, which offers an important platform to showcase the talent of our local craft makers, bringing great art and craft to all.”
August Craft Month provides a platform for makers and the public to create, share and meet, and the immersive nature of a wide range of events ensures that it offers such variety to suit a multitude of interests, from children to craft fans alike.
Each event showcases the excellence and diversity of craft in NI. The month-long programme provides a fantastic opportunity for everyone to make, see, learn about and buy craft. Highlights of August Craft Month 2019 include:
- Yarnfolk Festival of Wool returns to Whitehead for its third year, with artisan textiles, craft, workshops, demos and food market features in the village. Bring the whole family aboard a heritage steam train ride and enjoy a fantastic yarn and fibre-filled day.
- Adam Frew will be opening his ceramics studio to visitors, including a four-day pottery course. Participants will work entirely in porcelain, throwing and turning pots. They will also benefit from Adam’s unique and expressive approach to decoration through insightful demos.
- Field is the annual group exhibition of contemporary craft and fine art curated by Sharon Adams and inspired by the local landscape. Works include glass, textiles, painting, sculpture and prints sitting among the old byre’s original agricultural features.
- Benefield Spencer Glass is performing glassblowing demonstrations at its studio, with the opportunity to purchase beautiful, unique handblown glass.
- Collectives of Craft makers are springing up and thriving across the land. North Down Craft Collective present a special August Craft Month Market and pop-up café. Members have been working in pairs over the last few months designing and making collaborative pieces. South Down Craft Collective is celebrating its first birthday during August Craft Month. Browse through the unique, handmade products from a great line up of Craft makers and food producers at the Craft Market. There will be live food and craft demonstrations and you can also enjoy a delicious snack and a cuppa in the pop-up café.
- Ceramicist Anna Smyth’s The Dinner Party installation focuses on aspects of contemporary living, exploring issues through hand thrown, porcelain plates as metaphors for the diners. Contributions by photographer Nathanael Smyth and silversmith Joel Smyth add to the setting.
For more information on the events across Northern Ireland, visit www.craftni.org/augustcraftmonth and share your own craft stories with #augcraft #craftni
To find out more about craft all year round visit www.craftni.org where you can subscribe for news, browse the Directory, an online listing of local Craft makers, or click on the interactive Craft Map that includes details of shops, galleries, venues and makers’ studios across Northern Ireland that are open to the public.