RDS National Craft Awards 2014 Announced

Posted 30.07.14

RDS National Craft Awards 2014 Announced

Obliquity Chair by Enda Scott

This year’s launch of the RDS Craft Awards exhibition opened yesterday, Tuesday, 29 July in the RDS Concert Hall. Since its inception in 1968, the RDS National Crafts Competition continues to encourage and promote the practice of craft in Ireland and is now considered to be a major event in the Irish crafts industry calendar. The competition boasts a prize fund in excess of €24,000 over 20 different categories and is one of Europe’s leading independently adjudicated craft competitions. 

Enda Scott, a Dublin based furniture maker was announced as the winner of the 2014 RDS Award of Excellence, worth €7,000 and the California Gold Medal at this year’s event. Enda Scott was awarded the top prize for his Obliquity Chair, a chair sculpted from a single piece of native ash, using perspex as a base to create a floating effect. In this piece, he uses traditional cabinetmaking techniques with contemporary design.  Enda, who trained with Furniture Designer, David Savage after working for some years as a joiner, was also this year awarded a 2014 Design & Crafts Council of Ireland Future Makers Development Award. ‘Enda’s exquisite chair was chosen as outright winner for the way he has successfully explored the organic characteristics of the material and has created an innovative piece of furniture that demonstrates imagination in both form and function’, said Neil Read, Chairman of the judging panel of Irish and international experts. ‘We were delighted that so many of this year’s awards went to young people starting out in their careers, which bodes well for the future of craft design in Ireland,’ he added.

The RDS Award of Excellence is one of five main awards presented in the RDS National Craft Awards, which is the only open competition for Irish craftspeople and which has a total prize fund of €24,000 annually.  The Awards are organised and run by the RDS Foundation with support from the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.

Commenting on the announcement of the competition winners, Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland said: "We are delighted to support the RDS National Craft Awards which recognise and celebrate design and craftsmanship.  In addition to congratulating all of the winners, I would like to commend all those shortlisted for these prestigious awards.  It is wonderful to see both emerging and established designers and craftspeople amongst the award winners, reflecting the vibrancy of the craft and design sector, and I wish them continued success." 

A total of 440 entries were submitted to this year’s RDS National Craft Awards, of which 290 were invited for the final round of judging.  There were 85 craft pieces, across a wide range of disciplines, chosen for display at the 2014 National Craft Awards exhibition. ‘The RDS National Craft Awards has been taking place since 1968 and is long recognised as having a significant role within the craft sector in Ireland ‘, said Matt Dempsey, RDS Chairman.  ‘A key aim for projects within our Foundation programme is to support emerging talent in Ireland across the four areas of Agriculture, Science, Industry and the Arts. The National Craft Awards has an important role is this regard, encouraging people to keep skills alive and to pursue a career in craft’.

The exhibition is open to the public in the RDS Concert Hall, free of charge until 1 August and will remain on display during the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show which runs from 6-10 August (entry fee applies). The exhibition will travel to the Hunt Museum in Limerick from 4 September to 10 October and prize winners will be exhibited in December at the National Craft & Design Fair at the RDS.

See all RDS National Craft Awards Winners 2014 here.

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