Quilt making, pop- up labs, embroidery and shaping molten glass are just some of the crafts on show during Craft Month throughout August and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) is encouraging people to experience some of the wide range of activities organised as part of the month-long initiative.
Craft Month is now in its eighth year and the theme this year focuses on the craft makers themselves and the importance of collaborations across tourism, business and the creative economy. The celebration, which is organised by Craft Northern Ireland, will see over 100 innovative events including exhibitions, workshops, talks and much more, take place all over Northern Ireland.
NITB’s Destination Marketing and PR Manager explained why everyone should unleash their creativity and try out some of the events in their area: “Craft Month is a great way for tourists and locals to learn all about arts and crafts and to discover their own creative sides. There are events happening all over Northern Ireland and there really is something for everyone.
“There will be opportunities for people to speak to some of the Country’s most talented artisans as well as fun exhibitions, workshops, talks and seminars. This is a great way for families to learn more about the creative processes involved in making some unique and stunning objects with opportunities to make something for themselves,” Ruth added.
NITB has highlighted some of the exhibitions occurring throughout Northern Ireland during Craft Month.
St George’s Market
Bursting with crafters and makers every weekend, but the Sunday market is surely the biggest weekly craft space in Northern Ireland, possibly even Ireland! Watch crafters, makers and artists create while you shop and buy their amazing creations. You’ll find jewellers making stunning pieces, sewers making buntings and cushions, carpenters creating wood masterpieces, ironmongers making something with metal and much more. You can also find me there at my Belfast Times stall every weekend with my own designs printed on cards, coasters, prints, mugs and soon T-Shirts! I have a very limited amount of my produce online at www.belfasttimes.etsy.com
Two Day Silver Jewellery Workshop, Belfast School of Art, 21st & 22nd August
This event will be hosted by jeweller Diane Lyness who will guide attendees through a variety of jewellery techniques including soldering, shaping, cutting, texturing and polishing silver in order to create bracelets, necklaces or earrings.
Memory Sticks, Spectrum Centre Resident Artist Studio, 5th – 22nd August
Memory Sticks is an art installation developed by Helen Sanlon to commemorate the centenary of WW1. Visitors can watch and engage with the development of the installation.
Curator Tour with Valerie Wilson, The Braid Museum & Arts Centre, Ballymena, 9th August
Attendees can join Valerie Wilson, Curator of Textiles at National Museums Northern Ireland and Nicola Gates from the Mid Antrim Museum for an insightful tour of the exhibition ‘Log Cabin to Lightening Streak: Patchwork Quilts from Mid Antrim’
The Creative Peninsula Exhibition, Larne Visitor Information Centre, 1st – 23rd August
Larne Visitor Information Centre will play host to an exhibition of work by leading Makers and Artists from the Ards Peninsula.
Reclaim the Streets, North West Regional College, Derry City, 8th – 22nd August
CultureCraft presents a follow up to last year’s highly successful exhibition and project. American craft designer Boris Bally will take up residency in the city for 3 weeks and people will have the chance to join his team in the production of street furniture and learn techniques for working with sheet metal.
Beastly Birds Workshop, Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, Limavady, 14th -15th August
Inspired by Lauren Scott’s amazing exhibition, participants aged 10+ will make their own colourful bird sculptures to take home.
One Day Botanical Embroidery Workshop, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, 2nd August
Belfast based artist Lyndsey McDougall will run a one day intensive embroidery workshop themed around botany.
Festival of Craft, Ti Chulainn Cultural Activity Centre, South Armagh, 1st August
The Festival includes exhibitions, children’s art and craft summer school, craft taster sessions for all the community and a bus tour of local arts and craft studios.
Craft in the Square, Conway Square, Newtownards, 1st August
Craft in the Square is a free open air event featuring a host of artists from the Ards Borough, showcasing and selling their work, giving demonstrations and discussing the inspiration behind their creativity.
Art Trio, The Loft Gallery, Portaferry Visitor Information Centre, Portaferry, 2nd – 31st August
Art Trio is a collective exhibition of sculptures and paintings by 3 Ards-based artists: Deborah Campbell and Chantalle and Andrew Coombes whose work is influenced by the landscape and wildlife.
Meet the Makers Open Studios, The Buttermarket Craft & Design Centre, Enniskillen, 1st – 30th August
Attendees can tour the studios and buy directly from seventeen different art and craft studios in a restored early 19th century dairy market.
Living History – Pottering About, Enniskillen Castle Museums Design Centre, 9th & 30th August
Pots and vessels have been used throughout history for a variety of reasons and this workshop will give people the chance to make their own Neolithic Pots.
Images of Ulster Print Exhibition, Strule Arts Centre, 2nd – 30th August
This is a collaborative print exhibition of which the theme is images of Ulster.
For more information on the activities, events and exhibitions taking place during August Craft Month and for details on great places to take a short break visit www.discovernorthernireland.com or www.craftni.org.