DCCoI announces 23 Winners and Recipients of Future Makers Awards & Supports 2019

Posted 13.06.19


Images l to r: work by Future Makers 2019 recipients Alison Rodgers, Róisín Pierce and Mark Newman

Future Makers fund of €25,000 recognises and supports students and emerging Irish designers and makers

This year marks the 10th anniversary of DCCoI’s Future Makers programme and received the highest number of applications to date

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) today announced the 23 students and emerging designers and craftspeople who have received awards and supports totalling €25,000 through the organisation’s Future Makers programme. The announcement took place at an awards ceremony in The Westbury, Dublin which was officially opened by fashion designer, educator and former Future Makers winner, Natalie B. Coleman. The certificates were presented to the recipients on the night by DCCoI Chair Breege O’Donoghue.

Divided into student/recent graduate and emerging maker categories, the Future Makers Awards & Supports programme recognises and rewards vision, innovation and excellence in both making and the creative process. Future Makers is one of several DCCoI initiatives supporting and investing in a new generation of talent in the design and craft sector and is one of Europe’s largest prize-funded award programmes for students and emerging makers. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2019, this year’s prize fund was increased to €25,000 reflecting DCCoI’s ongoing commitment to supporting the potential of talented makers that are in the crucial early stages of their career journeys.

Future Makers 2019 received the highest number of entries to date with 214 applications submitted and assessed through a formal judging process. Entries for 2019 were evaluated by a panel of national and international judges over two stages. The first round was judged by Frances McDonald, Contemporary Design and Craft Consultant and Paula McCoy, Homeware Buyer at Arnotts who selected a longlist from the initial applications. At the second round, a final group of 23 designers and makers were chosen to receive awards and supports by independent curator Brian Kennedy and fashion designer Alison Conneely. Demonstrating innovation and creativity as well as traditional and modern techniques, the 23 successful applicants come from a broad range of disciplines, from textile design to jewellery, ceramics to metal making, and from throughout the island of Ireland.


Emerging Maker category (comments by judges Brian Kennedy and Alison Conneely in italics):

  • Overall Emerging Maker Winner 2019 (€4,500) was presented to Dublin-based fashion designer Róisín Pierce. Commenting on her work, the judges said it was: ‘Traditional, technically impressive broderie anglaise made contemporary and desirable. Extraordinary craftsmanship which is breaking new ground.’
  • Textile maker Helen O’Shea, from Cork, received Studio Support of €1,500 with the judges commenting that ‘This work draws attention to the importance of sustainability within modern craft and design practice. Helen uses throw away elements to create something new. The work is very well resolved.’
  • Fashion designer Edel Traynor received Studio Support of €1,500 for her contemporary, wearable and versatile pieces. The judges also highlighted her technique, saying that ‘Her pattern cutting is commendable and her technical skills are apparent in the clothing.’ Originally from Moylagh, Co. Meath, Edel is now based in Dublin.
  • Ceramicist Alison Rodgers, from Newry, Co. Down, received Studio Support (€1,500). The judges felt that her work is a ‘Worthwhile and important concept. A coming together of craft and community work, illustrating ways that making can bring us together.
  • London-based fashion designer Sinead O’Dwyer was awarded Exhibition Support (€1,500). ‘Sinead’s work is tackling the contentious subject of body image. There is a bravery to her practice. Hers is an important message told through a combination of body sculpture, performance and fashion.' Sinead is originally from Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
  • Ceramicist Chloë Dowds, who is Dublin based, received Travel & Training Support (€1,000) to take part in a residency to coincide with the 49th Congress of the International Academy of Ceramics in Finland. The judges commented that it’s ‘wonderful to be able to support someone with a strong professional and creative practice going to an important international event.
  • Limerick metal worker Hugo Byrne was awarded Studio Support of €1,000. The judges were excited to see something out of the ordinary: ‘The attention to detail in these pieces was commendable. Functional items designed to be used but made with detail and precision.
  • Sinead Curran, a fashion designer based in Rathmines, Dublin, was awarded Studio Support (€1,000). The judges commented: ‘A fusion of fashion and technology, using 3D drawing programmes and animation to bring a new level of interest to the work. Her work is a meeting point for tradition and technology.
  • Acknowledging the importance of awarding traditional craft talent, bookbinder Éilís Murphy was awarded Studio Support (€1,000) for her work which is ‘highly skilled and beautifully finished.’ Éilís is from Mayo and now based in Boston, Co. Clare.
  • Elaine Harrington was awarded Studio Support (€1,000) for her ceramics work and the judges also wanted to support Elaine’s important research into materials, commenting: ‘There are cross overs here between craft and science.’ Elaine is based in Rathmines, Dublin.

Student/recent graduate category (comments by judges Brian Kennedy and Alison Conneely in italics):

  • Fashion design student Izzy O’Reilly was awarded Overall Student/Recent Graduate Winner (€3,500) for her ‘Conceptually brilliant, technically competent and astute’ pieces. The judges continued: ‘The work is humorous and well researched with a contemporary energy about it.’ Izzy is studying fashion design at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and is from Lucan in Dublin.

Travel and Training Support (€500) was awarded to each of the following:

  • Jewellery student Annemarie Reinhold, who is originally from Germany and now living in Kilkenny and attending DCCoI’s Centre of Excellence in Jewellery and Goldsmithing. The judges felt that ‘the craftsmanship and finish of this work is extraordinary.’ They also admired the ambition of her travel plans and felt making international connections would be a positive strategic activity to support.
  • Cathal Hogan, who is studying ceramics at Limerick School of Art & Design (LSAD). The judges commented: ‘Cathal is a novel story teller. It is interesting to see an illustrator working in clay, and he shows an inventiveness of drawing and freshness in his approach.’ Cathal is from Mountmellick, Co. Laois.
  • Fashion design student at LSAD, Chloe Joyce. The judges commented: ‘Japanese avant-garde in style, these pieces are playful with an innovative use of materials. Kitsch and presenting an interesting merger of theatre, costume and fashion.’ Chloe is from Swords, Dublin.
  • Anna Grogan, from Thurles and studying ceramics at LSAD. The judges were excited about the idea of her ‘wild pottery’ and her research of local clay, commenting that ‘Linking materials with the local landscape and physical geography has echoes with the slow food movement.’
  • Roscommon native Lydia Clayton who is studying at DCCoI’s Centre of Excellence in Jewellery and Goldsmithing in Kilkenny. The judges commented that: ‘A clear passion for her craft is evident in this piece. Her skills with metal shows a commitment to craftsmanship and tradition.

Professional Development Support (€500) was awarded to each of the following:

  • Originally from Dalkey in Dublin, Mark Newman is a student at DCCoI’s Centre of Excellence in Jewellery and Goldsmithing in Kilkenny. The judges commented on his pieces that ‘The finish of this work is extraordinary. Mark demonstrated a considered and skilled use of materials; gold and stone. The judges were especially taken with his Hierarchy ring.
  • A recent ceramics graduate from CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, Bernadette Tuite was awarded for her work that ‘demonstrated an interesting use of layering clay to reflect the layered landscape. The pieces speak of the connection between land and sea, the surfaces emulating the processes of erosion on the coast line.’ Originally from Navan in Co. Meath, Bernadette is now based Ballyphehane, Cork.
  • Lucy Cushley, graduated in leather working from Capel Manor College in 2018 and the judges were happy to award her a support to help her create a new piece under the instruction of a mentor, saying: ‘Heritage, vernacular crafts are part of our identity and Lucy is reviving a skill that is endangered.’ Lucy is originally from Newtownards, Co. Down.

Material Support (€500) was awarded to each the following:

  • Ceramicist Lorna Murphy for her ‘elegantly poised pieces of sculpture.’ Lorna graduated from the Centre of Creative Arts and Media at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) in 2018 and was seeking funding towards a showcase of her work in Korea. The judges felt that ‘her ambition to showcase Irish craft abroad is admirable.
  • The judges were impressed by furniture making student Conall Casey and with ‘the ingenuity of someone at such an early stage of their creative journey.’ They wanted to support Conall to develop his design skills for the future, saying ‘this work shows great potential.’ Conall is studying at NCAD and is from Glasnevin, Dublin.
  • Hong Zhang, a fashion design student at LSAD. The judges commented: ‘Interesting pattern cutting combined with brave use of materials incorporating cork, wool crepe, and embroidery into the garments. The finished product is modernist and minimal.’
  • Naomi Black, who is studying 3D design, modelmaking and digital art at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT). The judges felt it was important to support the use of craft skills in the wider creative sector, commenting that ‘Naomi’s model making is craft applied to the film industry and shows the relevance of craft skills even in industries that are highly dependent on technology.’ Naomi comes from Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: ‘Supporting and nurturing a pipeline of talented Irish designers and makers with the requisite knowledge and skills to meet future needs is a key strategic aim of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Future Makers and over those ten years €285,000 has been invested in awards and supports to 252 Irish designers and craftspeople, including this year’s programme. We are delighted that so many Irish designers and craftspeople have benefitted from this initiative during this time. Through the support of Future Makers, our aim is to encourage the next generation to grow their skills and expertise and to give them the confidence to take the next step in their development. We congratulate the recipients of Future Makers 2019 and look forward to collaborating with them in future programmes as their careers progress.

Future Makers judge Alison Conneely is a past winner having received the overall Future Makers Award in 2013. She is among many previous winners and recipients who have established and developed careers across a wide range of design specialities in the creative sector. These include fashion designers Pearl Reddington, Natalie B. Coleman, and Sorcha O’Raghallaigh; jewellers Genevieve Howard and Pierce Healy; leather artist Úna Burke; ceramicist Ann McBride; design studios Elements of Action and Superfolk; and furniture designers Cillian Ó Súilleabháin and Alan Meredith.

The RDS Craft Awards 2020 will be open to winners of DCCoI Future Makers Awards & Supports 2019. Five bursaries of €10,000 each will be awarded for the development of business and craft skills to those pursuing a professional career in the sector. The award can be spent on further education and training, research, development of new work, mentoring, purchase of equipment, studio improvements, website and residencies. See rds.ie/craft for information.

The Future Makers Awards & Supports 2019 presentation ceremony was kindly supported by The Westbury, Dublin.


For further press information, please contact Lily Killeen at FleishmanHillard Dublin at: lilykilleen@fleishmaneurope.com or 01 618 8444


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 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 over 60 member organisations and more than 3,000 registered clients. dccoi.ie

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