DCCI is delighted to launch an Open Call for membership  of Portfolio 2021–2022.

Now in its 15th year, DCCI’s Portfolio programme is a select group of Ireland’s most talented designers and craftspeople. Inclusion is recognition that you are among a group of practitioners creating work of a standard to be considered worthy by museums, renowned galleries, and discerning collectors.

In recent years, the Portfolio programme has been used by a wide variety of curators and bodies including:

  • The curators from the Michelangelo Foundation for selecting makers for the ‘Best in Europe’ exhibition at Homo Faber, Venice. Eight makers were selected from the programme for the 2018 edition. More makers are being considered for the next edition in 2021.
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade for commissioning and acquiring works for Irish embassies worldwide
  • The National Museum of Ireland for acquiring work for the permanent collection in the Decorative Arts Division in Collins Barracks, Dublin

A distinguished selection panel adds to the quality of Portfolio.

DCCI’s Portfolio programme has been instrumental in building the international reputations and commercial potential of Ireland's best designer‐makers of contemporary craft. Every two years, the judging panel is made up of renowned curators and gallerists and this year is no exception. We are honoured to welcome our 2021 Jury members, as follows:

Jean Blanchaert
Belgian‐Italian gallerist, antiquarian,
glass sculptor and illustrator.

Juliana Cavaliero & Debra Finn
Directors of Cavaliero Finn, UK.
Alice Stori Liechtenstein
Writer, design critic and curator.
galleriablanchaert.it cavalierofinn.com storialab.com

For the past 30 years, Jean has run his
family’s gallery in Milan, which specialises
in glass, ceramics, enamel and
contemporary materials. He is a member
of the curatorial committee of Venice Glass Week. In 2018, he curated the Best in Europe pavilion at Home Faber 2018 in Venice.

Cavaliero Finn, a London-based gallery,
has placed works in museum collections including the V&A, The Fitzwilliam Museum and Manchester Art Gallery.

Alice is the founder of Schloss Hollenegg
for Design, an international project based
in Austria which supports design culture by offering an exhibition platform and residency programme to young emerging designers.

Juliana Cavaliero and Debra Finn: We are very excited about being part of the judging process for Portfolio and the RDS Irish Craft Bursary. The imagination and creativity of Irish craft and the dialogue that it creates with rest of the world is hugely benefitted by programmes such as these. We are really looking forward to seeing the wealth of entries on offer.”

Portfolio raises the digital profile of Irish Makers.
A new focus and energy is being brought to the programme, it is now more important than ever to have a strong online presence. From 2021 onwards, our ambition is to raise the online profile of Portfolio and ensure that we reach a relevant global audience. The presence of Portfolio on the DCCI website will be highlighted. Content will be supported by a targeted digital marketing campaign driving traffic to the site.

Portfolio membership provides access to best in class mentoring.
Assistance to participants with developing their own marketing and business initiatives will be significantly increased. From 2021 onwards we will be implementing a more focused and targeted individual mentoring programme to help develop individuals' practices and also learn to better generate selling opportunities. More on mentoring here >>

Recognising the quality of Portfolio creators.
We will provide participants with specially designed printed and digital content. This material will enable members to build the profile and desirability of their work by including it in their packaging and communications.

Portfolio members are automatically eligible for consideration for the prestigious Critical Selection.
Your application will automatically ensure that you are also included for assessment to become part of the Critical Selection 2021–2022. The benchmark for this elite group is achievement of excellence in contemporary craftsmanship and design by comparative international standards. Successful applicants will feature in a printed and online volume which has a proven track record in raising awareness at the highest level. Doors are opened to international awards, representation by renowned commercial galleries and work being purchased by prestigious collections and museums worldwide. In 2021, the Critical Selection exhibition will tour to prestigious venues in Ireland and Europe. Download the Portfolio 2019–2020 publication here >>

The annual RDS Irish Craft Bursary, valued at €10,000, is open to all makers in the Portfolio programme.
The RDS Irish Craft Bursary may be used for a wide range of career and professional development activities such as: further education and training; research; development of new work; mentoring; purchase of equipment; studio improvements; technology; websites and residencies. Each year the judges look for well thought out proposals demonstrating how the award could help develop a makers’ practice and career as well as being of benefit to Irish craft. The planned activity for the bursary must be taking place in 2021. Further information on the RDS Irish Craft Bursary and application form here >>

Portfolio Membership 2021–2022: Application is essential.
In order to ensure that work featured is current, it is no longer a given that if you were previously selected you will remain in the programme. It is therefore essential that you apply and include examples of work that are no more than 2 years old. Apply here >>

Ciarán McGill, Marquetry / Furniture / Designer-maker
"I really enjoyed being part of the Portfolio programme as I am in the early stages of my career. It was great to be part of a  programme with other more experienced makers from different disciplines. It really helped me develop the more artistic side of my work.  The exhibitions acted as a great platform to showcase my work in prime locations, especially the “Surface Matters” exhibition at Dublin Castle which was the highlight for me.

I learned a lot and enjoyed making new connections with other makers. Sometimes it can be difficult to meet other makers, especially ones from other disciplines. The Portfolio programme helped bring everyone together."

Ciarán joined the Portfolio progamme in 2017 and was selected for the 2019–2020 edition of Critical Selection.

Information Webinar
PORTFOLIO & RDS Irish Craft Bursary Application process :: Information webinar Friday 5th March at 11am. Sign up here.