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Ireland’s biggest celebration of craft makers has launched August Craft Month returns with packed all-island programme of over 400 events

Posted 31.07.2023
Press Releases

31 July 2023: The highly anticipated month-long celebration of Irish craft has officially launched. This year’s August Craft Month brings together an array of talented makers hosting over 400 events with representation in all 32 counties across the island of Ireland.

Festivities last week at Marina Market, Cork, kicked off a series of unique events that will take place throughout the month of August.

Featuring live demonstrations, craft markets, great music and food, the launch truly shone a spotlight on local makers and showcased the variety of talented craft-makers involved in August Craft Month across the country.

An excited atmosphere was in the air, as the public got a taster of the month of craft celebrations ahead.

August Craft Month celebrates a rich craft heritage, the artisans keeping ancient traditions alive and new talented makers bringing real vibrancy to the scene.

With events taking place across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, August Craft Month provides unique opportunities for people to get involved as well as supporting makers by buying products and learning more about their work.

Supported by the Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Craft NI and Cork Craft & Design, the annual celebration is once again part of an island-wide summer programme.

There is a packed itinerary of over 400 eclectic events in all corners of the island, with an almost equal split on both sides of the border.

Widely acknowledged as among the finest in the world, Ireland’s linen heritage will take centre stage during August Craft Month.

The Linen Biennale Northern Ireland, an initiative of R-Space Gallery, returns for a second year in 2023 with events across Northern Ireland running across August, September and October.

The Biennale will showcase Ireland’s linen heritage and examine the future of linen and flax on the island.

Rosemary Steen, CEO, Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI), said, “We at Design & Crafts Council Ireland are thrilled to once again work with Craft NI and Cork Craft & Design to extend the August Craft Month programme of events across the whole island of Ireland.

“Now in our second year of celebrating the all-island August Craft Month, a real momentum has been generated. There is an incredible 57% increase in the number of events being held this year, with over 400 listed in the programme. Many well-known names are taking part as well as emerging makers.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for people to take the plunge into the crafts world, see and experience the amazing work that is going on all around us. People are looking ahead, going onto the website to browse, select and book the events they want to go to and building their plans around them.

“It all combines to create a real energy around the Irish craft scene, and I know people are excited to find out more during August Craft Month.”

Katherine McDonald, Director of Craft NI, said, “August Craft Month is a fantastic platform to honour and acknowledge the skilled makers we have right across the island of Ireland.

“This year’s programme has shaped up to be one of our best, with a really diverse range of craft disciplines including ceramists, textile makers, glassblowers, designer-makers and many more. It’s a great opportunity to try a craft for yourself.

“Handmade pieces are often one-of-a-kind and make the most thoughtful and considered gift or an excellent way to show some self-care.”

Ava Hayes, Cork Craft Month Director at Cork Craft & Design, said, “We are delighted to be working in collaboration with August Craft Month again to truly bring the island of Ireland to life with locally curated art and design throughout the month of August.

“As Ireland’s largest social enterprise for craft-makers, we look forward to seeing all communities immerse themselves in the nationwide campaign, and to celebrate their local crafters by visiting exhibitions and supporting in any way they can.”

At the official August Craft Month launch in Cork, Rosemary Steen, CEO of DCCI announced the launch of the David Shaw-Smith Legacy Award. The award, which holds a prize of €5,000, is available for master crafts people over the age of 50 to apply for.

It was inspired in large part by Joe Hogan, traditional basket maker and fine artist, when he said in his keynote speech at the DCCI AGM last year, that a bursary for established makers in craft would be “a public way of showing we value things; it also gives a message to craftspeople that what we’re doing is important”.

The award recognises these incredibly important craft skills and the imperative of passing them down to get the future generation of crafters involved.

For the full island-wide programme, visit Share your own craft adventures by tagging @augustcraftmonth23 and use the hashtags #augustcraftmonth2023, #makeseebuy

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact:

Grace White/Courteney McGuigan, Jago

Tel: 028 9091 8420, Email: [email protected]

Note to Editors: Craft NI is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.