DCCoI announces 22 winners and recipients of Future Makers Awards & Supports 2018

Posted 11.07.18


Future Makers fund of €23,500 recognises and supports students and emerging Irish designers and makers

 Images by Future Makers 2018 winners (left to right)  Aoife May Soden; Bonnie Kavanagh

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) today announced the 22 students and emerging designers and craftspeople who have received awards and supports totalling €23,500 through the organisation’s Future Makers programme. The announcement took place at an awards ceremony in The Westbury, Dublin where certificates were presented by DCCoI Chair Breege O’Donoghue.

One of the largest prize-funded award programmes in Europe for students and emerging makers, the Future Makers Awards & Supports programme was established by DCCoI in 2009 to assist and invest in the next generation of Irish designers and makers at a key stage in their professional development. It reflects DCCoI’s ongoing commitment to support and nurture emerging Irish creatives. Divided into student and emerging maker categories and covering a wide range of disciplines, Future Makers recognises and rewards vision, innovation and excellence in both making and the creative process.

Following a call-out for entries in April, a record 191 online applications were received and assessed by judges Claudia Casali, Director of International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, Italy and Philip Hamilton, Creative Director of Perch, Dublin. Of those applicants, 41 were short-listed and invited to submit pieces of work for final assessment in all categories.

Demonstrating traditional and contemporary techniques as well as imagination, innovation and skilful execution, the 22 successful applicants come from a broad range of disciplines, from glass making to fashion, ceramics to jewellery making, and from across the island of Ireland.


Emerging Maker category (comments by the judges in italics):

  • Future Maker of the Year Award 2018 (€3,500) was presented to glass artist Aoife May Soden who is originally from Cavan and now lives in Denmark. The judges appreciated the use of traditional glass skills and of colour: “The ability of the maker to present objects of both one-off art and production design showed a high level of accomplishment”.
  • Dublin-based Genevieve Howard received the Innovation Award (€1,500) for her jewellery made with innovative creativity and modern technology. “The mixture of craft, design and music to create forms was very exciting.”
  • The Design Award (€1,500) was presented to Edward Coveney and Esther Gerrard of Dublin-based design practice Elements of Action for their “clean, finished, refined designs.”
  • The Craft Skills Award (€1,500) was presented to Donegal textile artist Raychel Murphy who presented “a mix of technical processes and a new take on traditional craft skills. Subject matter was a humorous take on modern Irish culture, with a refreshing style.”
  • Exhibition Support (€1,000 each) was awarded to Laois fashion designer Alison McEvoy for her baby clothes range which the judges felt showed: “innovation within the design of the product combined with a tactile and sensitive approach to baby clothes” and Cork-based Sarah Roseingrave (glass/ceramics/printmaking) whose work demonstrated an “interesting use of glass panels and craft of screen printing assembled in a 3D perspective forming a great platform for storytelling.”
  • Studio Support (€1,000 each) was presented to Dublin fashion designer Pearl Reddington for her “youthful and fresh design for knitting”; Wexford jeweller Sandra Hartwieg whose work was “executed with high level of craftsmanship” and Wexford glass artist Sinead Brennan whose unique pieces contain “hidden meaning and messages from everyday life.
  • Ceramicist Ann McBride, from Clare, was presented with Travel and Training support (€1,000). The judges commented, “Working between ceramics and textile, she has skilfully adapted her illustrative artwork to both. The design and research is executed perfectly.

Student category (comments by the judges in italics):

  • Bonnie Kavanagh, studying for a BA Fine Art in Glass and Ceramics at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), was presented with the Future Makers Student of the Year Award 2018 (€2,500). The judges said of her ceramic work: “A powerful story. From a great tragedy comes a very poetic expression of grief, with a very respectful presentation.
  • Maureen Laverty from Co. Antrim, a MEng Product Design Engineering student at Glasgow School of Art, won the Innovation Award (€1,000). “Exciting to see what is possible with new technologies, opening a world of endless possibilities of creation.
  • The Design Award of €1,000 was presented to jewellery student Lily Read whose “geometric forms produced with power, balance and precision. A fresh approach.” Lily is training at the DCCoI Centre of Excellence in Jewellery & Goldsmithing.
  • Fiona Hurson, who is studying for a Joint Hons Degree in Fine Art and Education at NCAD, was presented the Craft Skills Award (€1,000) for her ceramic pieces. The judges commented, “Sensitive reflection upon an emotive theme. Beautiful representation of difficult the subject matter of a painful and degenerative disease.”
  • Professional Development Support (€500 each) was presented to Aislynn Porscha Bagnall (PGCE Art and Design, University of Ulster) and Nicola Hutchinson (BA Hons Textile Surface Design, NCAD).
  • Materials support (€500 each) was awarded to Ala Sinkevich (Fashion Design, NCAD); Egle Banyte (BA Hons Ceramics, Jewellery and Goldsmithing, University of Ulster); Kieran McNeely (Furniture Design and Manufacture, GMIT Letterfrack); and Orlaith de Paor (textiles apprenticeship at Wallace Sewell).
  • Travel & Training support (€500 each) was also presented to Helen Costello who is studying for a BA Hons Design (Ceramics) at Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) and Niamh Flynn, studying for a BA Fashion Design at NCAD.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland said: “The Future Makers Awards & Supports programme is one of many initiatives that the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland has established to provide practical supports to emerging creatives in developing their skills, evolving their practice, promoting their work and building careers both in Ireland and abroad. Investing in the development of the next generation of Ireland’s designers and craftspeople through our Future Makers programme  is crucial in order to create a pipeline of talent and pave the way for a strong, dynamic and innovative design and craft sector into the future. We hope to work with these up and coming designers and makers as DCCoI-registered client enterprises in the years to come, supporting their potential to grow and generate employment opportunities. We wish them every success as they establish their careers.”

In a new development for the craft sector, the 2018 winners of DCCoI Future Makers Awards & Supports will be eligible to apply for the recently restructured RDS Craft Awards in 2019. Five bursaries of €10,000 each for emerging makers will be awarded for the development of business and craft skills to those pursuing a professional career in the sector. See www.rds.ie/craft for further information.

The Future Makers Awards & Supports 2018 presentation ceremony was kindly supported by The Westbury, Dublin.

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Tara Walsh - tara@elevate.ie/Emer Igbokwe - emer@elevate.ie



About Future Makers
The Future Makers Awards & Supports programme was launched by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) in 2009. The programme aims to assist students and recent graduates of full-time craft- and design-based studies or training to pursue an exciting and rewarding career in the craft and design industry. DCCoI takes a leading role in recognising and rewarding excellence in craftsmanship and design innovation. It aims to provide practical support and professional encouragement to students and practitioners at critical points in their training and careers. For further information, please visit www.futuremakers.ie.

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has 64 member organisations and over 2,500 registered clients. www.dccoi.ie

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