Becoming a registered client or membership organisation of the Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) gives you the opportunity to avail of the many support and development programmes below that DCCI has to offer.

Registration also allows designers/craftspeople to avail of DCCI’s group insurance schemes and to receive the monthly CRAFTlink industry ezine with news, opportunities and industry updates. Applications for DCCI registration are assessed by the Registration Review Panel every three months. See our 'Registration' page for more details.  

Innovation & Development Programmes 

DCCI has partnered with Business to Arts to offer expertise to our GANS in devising strategic plans to assist in their ongoing development and professionalisation. This programme includes workshops, advice sessions, site visits and business plan content review, analysis and delivery.

FUSE Clinics offer access to a range of design and business mentors over a one- or two-day period. Mentors assess and provide advice relating to different aspects of craft and design products, including merchandising, branding, production, design and the use of innovative materials and technology. FUSE Clinics enable clients to network with one another and with mentors who identify the necessary next steps for developing and growing a craft and design enterprise. See our Opportunities section for relevant call-outs.

Financial support is available to member organisations of DCCI. Funding is offered on an annual basis and those applying must be in a position to provide match-funding. To access DCCI’s Network Support Scheme, individuals can submit an application form on behalf of their network or association. It should be noted that the minimum number of craftspeople required to form a network or association is six. See our Opportunities section for relevant call-outs.

Design4Growth aims to incentivise microbusinesses to engage with designers and assist participating companies in applying the effective use of design in developing their businesses. The programme is delivered on behalf of the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation, the Design & Crafts Council Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. See our Opportunities section for relevant call-outs.

The World Crafts Council Europe (WCC-Europe) aims to strengthen the status of craft as a vital part of cultural, social and economic life through its global network of members and affiliates. Its membership is open to national, regional and professional bodies that have a mandate to advocate for and develop craft. Louise Allen, DCCI Head of Innovation & Development Programmes, is President of the WCC-Europe until 2020.

The National Design & Craft Gallery is Ireland’s leading centre for contemporary craft and design, inspiring appreciation, creativity and innovation through exhibitions, events and education programmes. The National Design & Craft Gallery plays a critical role in building an understanding of craft, design and material culture in Ireland. Programmes feature leading Irish and international designers, artists and makers across a variety of disciplines through in-house and touring exhibitions.

Further information available from Contact:


Market Development Programmes 

Design Ireland is a brand dedicated to promoting the breadth and quality of Irish design and craft to global and Irish audiences. The Design Ireland identity is featured on DCCI exhibitions at trade shows, in-store point-of-sale material and promotional campaigns. The accompanying website discovers and shares ideas, inspiration and information on talented Irish designers and where to buy their work either online or in listed shops.

DCCI supports and promotes selected design/craft enterprises at direct-selling events. These include key shows that are open to the public such as Bloom and Gifted – The Contemporary Craft & Design Fair. See our Opportunities section for relevant call-outs.

Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo® has established itself as the foremost trade event for retailers from around the world to discover unique, design-led products across fashion, jewellery and home & giftware. At the heart of the show is Design Ireland, a space dedicated to promoting leading contemporary Irish brands selected by an independent jury for their creativity, innovation and craftsmanship, with all products in this area designed and made in Ireland. Showcase is a partnership between DCCI and Showcase Ireland Events Ltd with support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the show internationally.

PORTFOLIO actively works to grow the reputations and potential of contemporary craft makers and designers who are seeking to develop their presence in the gallery and collector market. The jury for this prestigious programme is made up of Irish and international experts and it selects work based on high standards of design quality and technical skill. PORTFOLIO currently showcases contemporary work by over 120 of Ireland’s most renowned designer makers.

The External Exhibitions Fund has been established to assist in the development of high-quality, independent exhibitions run by individuals, organisations or groups. This annual fund supports a small number of professionally produced exhibitions featuring Irish craft and design in Ireland or abroad. See our Opportunities section for relevant call-outs.

The International Fair Fund has been established to financially assist designers and craftspeople in reaching key export markets. The fund provides limited match-funding for wholesale trade fairs abroad. See our Opportunities section for relevant call-outs.

The Maker Direct Fair Fund provides financial support on a match-funding basis to makers in the PORTFOLIO programme who wish to participate in direct-selling fairs outside Ireland. See our Opportunities section for relevant call-outs.

The DCCI mentoring programme provides craft and design businesses with tailored support from a range of experts in design, production, business, marketing, branding and craft-specific technical expertise. Mentoring is delivered one to one or in group settings. Registered client enterprises can apply for mentoring throughout the year.

Enterprise Development Workshops cover topics that have been identified by DCCI as relevant to the ongoing development of craft and design enterprises. These workshops are organised by DCCI, often in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and advertised on specific dates and times in various locations in Ireland. See our Opportunities section for relevant call-outs.

The Building Craft and Design Enterprise Programme, in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices, is a premium package of support tailored for designer-makers to boost their product in the marketplace through a series of design-led workshops. During the programme, participants undertake market research, engage in design-focused workshops and learn about branding, costing, promotion and strategies to expand existing market channels. See our Opportunities section for relevant call-outs.

The Irish Craft Studio Experience features some of Ireland’s best studio experiences. Featured sites are either craft studios open to visitors on a full-time basis or craft galleries and retail spaces offering visitors the opportunity to meet or interact with the maker. For a complete listing of approved locations and for information on applying to be assessed for the scheme, visit:

A DCCI/LEO partnership programme on export development to ensure export readiness and explore different routes to overseas markets. See our Opportunities section for relevant call-outs.

Further information available from Contact:


Education Training & Development Programmes 

The education and outreach programmes aim to develop public awareness of craft mediums, techniques and design processes through workshops with professional makers, craft installations, making demonstrations, talks, discussion forums and object-handling opportunities. Outreach programmes often form part of DCCI’s presence at national platforms or are devised as projects to connect with specific groups.

DCCI’s CRAFTed programme gives primary school children and teachers an exciting opportunity to explore their creativity and learn new skills by working with professional designers and craftspeople. It provides collaborative training, access to highly skilled craftspeople and gives both teachers and students the opportunity to explore new materials such as clay, print, fabric and fibre, as well as metal, wood and willow construction.

DesignSKILLS is an art-and-craft-room action-research initiative for post-primary art students and their teachers across Ireland. designSKILLS encourages collaborative skills and problem solving. It complements curricular learning in the visual arts by enhancing imaginative composition, design and craftwork, and is an enjoyable hands-on approach to making. designSKILLS provides funding bursaries to enable post-primary schools to engage in creative projects with professional craftspeople and designer-makers in the classroom setting.

DCCI’s Future Makers Awards & Supports programme rewards the next generation of creative makers, providing support for the development of an exciting career in the craft and design industry. The programme funds research, training, residencies, exhibitions, studio development and more.

The Ceramics Skills & Design Course is located at Island Mill, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny and is a two-year intensive skills-based programme. This course has established an excellent reputation in the industry both nationally and internationally.

The Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course specialises in the tradition of working with precious metals and gemstones, equipping graduates with the practical skills needed to develop careers in the jewellery industry in Ireland and internationally. This intensive two-year programme is located at the Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s headquarters in Kilkenny.

DCCI has been extending the skills and design courses to becoming Centres of Excellence in Ceramics and Jewellery.

Further information available from Contact:

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