Basket weaving, textile arts and jewellery making are just some of the fun experiences that people can enjoy during this year’s Craft Month and Tourism Northern Ireland is encouraging everyone to try out some of the wide range of activities that are available all over Northern Ireland.
Craft Month is now in its ninth year and is an annual celebration of contemporary craft in Northern Ireland, delivered by a partnership of craft-related organisations. The celebration will see over 130 innovative events including exhibitions, workshops, talks and much more take place all over Northern Ireland.
Tourism Northern Ireland’s Destination PR Officer Pauline Gormley explains why everyone should unleash their creativity and try out some of the events in their area:
“Craft Month is a fantastic way to try out something new with friends or family and to really discover your inner creative side. There will be lots of opportunities to chat with some of Northern Ireland’s most talented crafters and artisans as well as enjoy fun exhibitions, workshops, talks and seminars.
“Why not learn to make something new like a beautiful piece of jewellery or pottery and treat a loved one to something handmade or enjoy a fun day out with loved ones at an interesting exhibition. During Craft Month there are lots of opportunities to create fun memories enjoying a new experience. You could even turn your day out into a short break and book an overnight stay at a local hotel or B&B,” added Pauline.
Tourism NI has highlighted some of the exhibitions occurring throughout Northern Ireland during Craft Month.
Exhibition and Talks at the Steensons, The Steensons, Belfast, August 1 – August 31.
Enjoy a guided talk which will last around twenty minutes and will take in the displays of beautifully crafted jewellers. The talk will be led by an experienced goldsmith and everyone who visits the store during August will have the chance to win a bespoke piece of handcrafted Steensons jewellery.
Diddley Bows at the Dirty Onion, Dirty Onion Bar, Belfast, August 13 – September 18.
Music lovers should browse the unusual and quirky exhibition created by Andrew Cooke which will showcase his new range of Diddley Bow slide guitars.
Laser Crafts, Fablab, Belfast, August 14.
Pop along and discover how a laser cutter can be used to augment traditional processes. Participants will be guided through the computer design process and translate this to the laser cutter for manufacture.
Textile Art Exhibition, Exhibition Port na Gree House, Ballycastle, August 4 – August 31.
Textile artist Eibhlin McCarry makes contemporary works in batik, hand embroidery, machine stitch, mixed media and felt, both landscape and abstract, including large works.
Basket Weaving by the Sea, Magherabouy House Hotel, Portrush, August 3 – August 4.
To learn a new skill go along to this basket weaving class where under the guidance of tutor Louise McLean of Atlantic Craft NI over a two day event, you will learn and develop various techniques to produce artisan baskets.
Throwing Porcelain, Flowerfields Arts Centre, Portwtewart, August 4 – August 7.
This four day event will see participants make their own pots using porcelain clay on a wheel under the watch of talented potter Adam Frew. This is the perfect opportunity to make something for a loved one or friend.
Forming Words, Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre, Limavady, June 12 – August 22.
This touring exhibition from Flow Gallery in London, showcases the work of nineteen leading international artists exploring how text can inspire form and structure.
Celebrate Craft Exhibition, The Social Gallery, Derry, August 7 – August 14.
This is the perfect exhibition for keen knitters who will experience an exhibition which will showcase the work of The Craft Circle and Keep her Knit which is a mix of knitted homeware products and framed textile prints.
Jewellery Making, Thomas School of Jewellery, Derry~Londonderry, August 22.
A taster session in designing and creating your own jewellery at the distinguished Thomas School of Jewellery run by master goldsmith David Thomas.
Tailored, Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh, August 21- September 19.
Maria Cardenas is a third generation tailor originally from Colombia who has exhibited her designs across the world. Her designs have a subtle, wearable, crafted look and are based on well-defined shapes.
Linen Futures, R-Space Gallery, Lisburn, July 18 – August 15.
This fascinating exhibition celebrates the collaborative craft and design practice based on the past, current and future landscapes of Irish linen.
Mini Creative Peninsula Exhibition, North Down Museum, Bangor, August 4- September 6.
The Lone Gallery at North Down museum will play host to a small selection of works by some of the finest visual artists and makers from the Ards and North Down Borough.
Introduction to Quilting, Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick, August 15.
Naomi Whan will guide participants through a multitude of quilting techniques, great for those with an interest in quilting but aren’t sure where to start.
In the Making, Higher Bridges Gallery, Enniskillen, August 6 – September 5.
Fermanagh County Museum presents a fresh look at traditional art forms and their influence on contemporary makers. Works from the collection highlight century old skills together with contemporary responses.
The Buttermarket Craft & Design Centre, Enniskillen, Monday – Saturday throughout August.
Take a leisurely stroll around the studios, galleries, shops and café at the Buttermarket Courtyard, one of Ireland’s premier craft centres.
Omagh Craft Collective Exhibition, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, August 1 – 29.
Treat your family to a fun day out at Omagh Craft Collective which will showcase a wide range of interesting, beautifully crafted pieces.
Other craft festivals to try:
The Creative Peninsula 2015, Newtownards, July 31 – August 9.
The Creative Peninsula is now in its 14th year and is an annual festival of crafts offers a variety of open studios, tours, exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations.
The Celebration of Art and Craft around Ards and North Down offers a wide range of events including Alfresco Art at Mount Stewart on August 2, Introduction to Dry Felting on August 3 and many more.
ROGHA (Ring of Gullion Handcrafters and Artists) Festival of Art and Craft Exhibition, The Hawthorn Suite, Slieve Gullion Courtyard, Killeavy, July 31 – August 17.
This festival will host a range of events and activities including a bus tour of local studios on August 8, a children’s workshop onAugust 3-7 and August 10 – 14, adult workshops and much more.
Craft Fest 2015, Castle Ward, Strangford, Co Down, August 14 – 16.
Now in its twelfth year, Craft Fest is the Craft & Design Collective’s annual celebration of craft, applied art and design at Castle Ward. Keen crafters can get involved in a huge range of activities including demonstrations, workshops and various collections. A Tea Room is also available for those who have worked up an appetite.
Benraw Creative Convivium, Turnip House, Dromara, Co.Down, August 29 -31.
Turnip House will host a wonderful weekend of art, craft, therapy and enjoyment. This is the third annual creative weekend and visitors will experience a wide range of craft demonstrations and activities. As well as knitwear and felt making demonstrations there will be demos from local craftspeople showcasing pole lathe turning, jewellery making and reed sculpture.
For more information on things to see and do all over Northern Ireland go to www.discovernorthernireland.com.