make|shape: collaborations in clay opens at The Ark

Posted 01.09.14

The practices of 8 ceramic artists and their collaborative ways of working with children are presented in an exhibition of clay, making and sharing.

An exhibition celebrating the work of eight ceramic artists who have been involved in the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s CRAFTed programme opens at The Ark this September.  Entitled make|shape: collaborations in clay, the exhibition will be officially opened by internationally renowned ceramicist and educator Judith Schwartz on Monday, 8th September 2014 and will run from Tuesday 9th September until Saturday 18th October.

Presented by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in partnership with The Ark – A Cultural Centre for Children, make|shape leads visitors playfully through techniques, processes and explorations of clay.  The exhibition features work by selected craftspeople who have participated in the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s CRAFTed – learning skills for life primary schools programme. This innovative programme is delivered in partnership with the Association of Teachers’ Education Centres in Ireland. 

Central to the CRAFTed programme is recognising the capacity for craft practice to make space for shared learning and collaboration through multi-disciplinary and cross–curricular explorations. Through this exhibition, the eight makers - Adele Stanley, 
Aidan Power, 
Jane Seymour, 
Jodi Coyne, 
Julie Forrester, 
Kathleen Moroney
, Maeve Sookram
 and Orla Kaminska - show the shared areas of their research, processes and making with the class, while the children’s voices tell of their excitement, experimentation and discoveries.

Journeying through processes - from research, design and material to experimentation, techniques and firings - visitors can conduct their own investigation of clay. The exhibition invites visitors to share in the collaborative exploration of clay as material through interactive response activities at each stage of the journey, when visitors can roll up their sleeves and get making.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland says the CRAFTed programme gives primary school children and teachers an exciting opportunity to learn the skills of various craft disciplines by working with professional craftspeople and the experience can be of enormous benefit to the craftsperson in developing their practice. “Collaborative projects with children and teachers through the CRAFTed programme can greatly influence a professional maker’s way of thinking and creating, often leading to the development of exciting work.  This exhibition illustrates the mutual benefits of this important primary schools initiative by showcasing a selection of new work that resulted from the 2014 programme.   We are delighted to be partnering with The Ark once again and would like to thank them for working with us in the presentation of this exhibition,' said Ms. Hennessy.

Commenting on the exhibition, Eina McHugh, Director of The Ark said: “I have a great regard for the work of CRAFTed. I admire the way CRAFTed is encouraging craftspeople of talent to explore their own practice in collaboration with children. It seems to me that the imaginations of everyone involved are fired in this mutually respectful, creative process.”

make|shape has been curated by Susan Holland, Education & Outreach Officer with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. In addition to attracting children to the programme of workshops for schools and families throughout the exhibition’s run, make|shape will particularly appeal to other craftspeople or artists involved in visual arts and craft education or primary school teachers and principals interested in engaging in craft activities in the classroom and learning about the CRAFTed programme. 

make|shape is one of a series of exhibitions included in a Dublin Craft Trail, which has been specially produced by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) to coincide with IAC2014, the 46th General Assembly of the International Academy of Ceramics which takes place at Dublin Castle, 8th - 12th September 2014. The aim of the Dublin Craft Trail is to highlight the strength and diversity of ceramic practice in Ireland and abroad, together with all disciplines of contemporary craft and design.  The trail will run throughout September and is a free cultural offering to the general public. 

Public Workshops:

Hands On – Early Years Workshop
Explore mixing, rolling, shaping and mark making with clay. Thu 11, Thu 25 Sep & Sat 18 Oct (Ages 2–3) €11 / €8

Imagined Places Clay Workshop
Learn how to roll clay slabs and then use clay tools to create a place from your imagination on your slab. Sat 20 Sep (Ages 4+) €11 / €8

Touch and Tactility Clay Workshop
Explore texture and pattern on clay using natural everyday objects and tools. Sat 11 Oct (Ages 4–6) €11 / €8

Schools Session:
make | shape for Schools: Exhibition Tour & Workshop.
Introduce your class to ceramics and 3D construction by visiting this interactive and engaging exhibition that reveals a range of important skills for creating with clay. Tue 14 - Fri 17 Oct (1st - 6th Class)

Opening hours at The Ark:
Tue 9 –Fri 12 Sep: 10am – 5pm, (Week of General Assembly of the International Academy of Ceramics)
Every Sat from 13th Sep–18th Oct: 10am –5pm
Sun 28th Sep: 12–5pm
(Ages 4+) Free Entry

For further press information please contact: Aoife Smith or Sorcha Furlong at Elevate PR on 01-6625652 or email /

Notes to Editor:

About the CRAFTed projects in which the exhibiting artists participated:

Education Centre:  Waterford Education Centre
School: Ballyduff NS
Class: 5th and 6th Class
Teacher: John Carey and Fionnuala Power
Craftsperson: Adele Stanley

Education Centre:  Waterford Education Centre
School: St Joseph’s Primary School
Class: 3rd Class
Teacher: Maria Ryan
Craftsperson: Julie Forrester

Education Centre:  Tralee Education Centre
School: Scoil Chorp Chriost
Class: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Class
Teacher: Eloina McDermott
Craftsperson: Aidan Power

Education Centre:  Clare Education Centre
School: Scoil Chriost Ri
Class: 3rd Class
Teacher: Ailish Collins
Craftsperson: Kathleen Moroney

Education Centre: Clare Education Centre
School: St. Finnachta's NS
Class: 5th Class
Teacher: Rose Clancy
Craftsperson: Jane Seymour

Education Centre:  Blackrock Education Centre
School: St. Matthews NS
Class: 2nd Class
Teacher: Hazel Buckley
Craftsperson: Orla Kaminska

Education Centre:  Laois Education Centre
School: Offaly School of Special Education
Class: Mixed Classes / Whole School
Teacher: Agnes Seale
Craftsperson: Maeve Sookram

Education Centre:  Mayo Education Centre
School: Craggagh NS
Class: Junior to 6th Class
Teacher: Geraldine Durka
Craftsperson: Jodi Coyne

About CRAFTed:
The CRAFTed Learning Skills for Life primary schools programme is a Design & Crafts Council of Ireland initiative in partnership with the Education Centres of Ireland. CRAFTed connects creativity and innovation at an early stage of children’s development, giving children and teachers opportunities to explore their creativity and learn new skills by working with professional craftspeople. The programme is designed to build skills, develop competencies and provide resources that support creative learning for teachers, their students and craftspeople. CRAFTed supports the delivery of the Visual Arts curriculum and investigates how craft processes can contribute to learning in other subject areas such as the SESE curriculum.  Schools interested in learning more about participating in the programme are encouraged to contact their local education centre. For further information, visit:

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland:
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the main champion of the craft and design industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. DCCoI’s activities are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has over 70 member organisations and over 2,850 registered clients. For further information, visit:

About The Ark:
The Ark creates original cultural programmes for children in a purpose built venue in the heart of Dublin. We seek to achieve the highest standards of arts practice for children aged 2-12 through performances, exhibitions and workshops with leading Irish and international artists. Our work evolves through partnerships, touring and research as well as professional development workshops for teachers and artists. The Ark aims to facilitate access to its work for all children. For further information, visit:

About the Dublin Craft Trail:
The Dublin Craft Trail has been specially produced by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) to coincide with IAC2014, the 46th General Assembly of the International Academy of Ceramics which takes place at Dublin Castle.  This is the first time that this prestigious biennial event will take place in Ireland.  The aim of the Dublin Craft Trail is to highlight the strength and diversity of ceramic practice in Ireland and abroad, presenting extensive exhibitions of Irish and international ceramics as well as a wide range of other contemporary crafts.  The trail will run throughout September and is a free cultural offering to the general public.  For further information, visit: or you can also download the Dublin Craft Trail Map here.

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