Learn and make at Cork Craft Month 2021

Cork Craft & Design, Ireland’s largest social enterprise for craftspeople, has launched its 2021 programme for Cork Craft Month this August. Showcasing the best of contemporary Irish craft, a stellar line-up of over 70 exceptional workshops, masterclasses, artist talks, trails and demonstrations is taking place throughout the month. Featuring both physical and online events, along with free family-friendly activities, the packed calendar will present endless opportunities for people to explore the best of local artisan crafts. The full programme is available at corkcraftanddesign.com. 

From left : Eleanor Cahalane, Christine Byrne and Bernadette Tuite, Board Members of Cork Craft and Design at the Showcase Exhibition launch in Ballydehob. Pic Anna Groniecka

Reflecting on the past year, Cork Craft Month’s 2021 showcase exhibition will share craftwork inspired by the lockdown, with Baile/Home running in Working Artist Studios in Ballydehob until September 1. 

 Throughout August, Cork Craft & Design’s shop at St Patrick’s Mills in Douglas will host two Made in Cork craft and food markets (8 August and 29 August) while Douglas Village Shopping Centre will be the setting for the collaborative exhibition of furniture makers, ceramicists and potters, From The Earth.  

The Gallery @ No.46 on Grand Parade will host Emerge, a showcase for up-and-coming Cork crafters. This exhibition will include graduating students from CIT Crawford College, Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, St John’s Central College, Kinsale College and Skibbereen College of Commerce.  

 Speaking on the 2021 Cork Craft Month programme launch, Carol Walsh, Operations Manager at Cork Craft & Design, said: “The pandemic has been a challenging time for crafters, but the lockdowns of the last year have also created opportunities that we never could have imagined before. Being at home allowed space to focus, to be creative, and to try new things. Finding the positives of the past 16 months, our 110-strong membership have built online communities through social media, took the time to hone their skills, and responded to a changing world through their art.  

 “The energy and vision of our members was so instrumental to the success of last year’s festival as we pivoted online with them, and we are eager to build on that this year through our online exhibition and digital workshops. We are also excited about our physical events. Following Government guidelines, we welcome the public to our workshops, exhibitions, artist talks and demonstrations where they can connect directly with local crafters, see the fruits of the creativity of the last year, and even learn some new skills themselves.” 

 To coincide with Heritage Week, three workshops will be held in the Chapel Hill School of Art, Macroom on August 21 to spotlight traditional heritage crafts and their importance to Irish culture. Rosemary Kavanagh of Wild Rose Basketry will deliver a basket weaving workshop, Helle Helsner will demonstrate Bronze Age casting and mould making, and stone sculptor James Horan will deliver a Sketching in Stone workshop. 

 Kilcoe Studios in West Cork will also run a series of heritage events to celebrate traditional straw craft, An Tionscadl Túí (The Straw Project), a family-friendly, multigenerational straw craft workshop, suitable for children over the age of nine, along with a unique online straw plaiting workshop. 

 Greywood Arts, based in a historic Georgian house in the centre of Killeagh, East Cork, will host a series of weekly workshops on Fridays during Cork Craft Month.  

Cork Craft Month will be running through the Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s inaugural National Craft Month. 

 Carol Walsh added “We are delighted to see our local success replicated at a national level with the first ever National Craft Month. We are immensely proud that the craft community in Cork were able to provide a model for this nationwide programme of events and look forward to seeing the whole of the country embrace their local crafts just like the people of Cork do every August.” 

  See corkcraftanddesign.com and follow Cork Craft Month on Facebook and Instagram for more. #corkcraftmonth21.

Cork Craft Month is supported by the Local Enterprise Office, Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Cork Education and Training Board, Cork County Council’s Cobh Municipal District, Creative Ireland, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Media partner for Cork Craft Month is RedFM. 

West Cork events for Cork Craft Month  Book essential at www.corkcraftanddesign.com/events

‘Baile’ Annual Showcase Exhibition

August 1 – September 1, 11am – 4pm

Working Artist Studios, Main St, Ballydehob

Cork Craft Month’s annual showcase exhibition in Ballydehob. This year’s theme is Baile (Home) and will set out to highlight the relationship with our homes, both as a living and working space over the past circa 16 months.

Coiled Baskets from local Plant Materials

August 10, 3pm – 5pm

Kilcoe Studio, Ballydehob (opposite Camiers garage) 

This workshop by Sonia Caldwell will use locally collected rushes and grasses to make a small basket using coiling techniques . All materials will be already be  prepared for the workshop but we will also learn about sourcing and preparing materials found locally. Tickets €20.

An Tionscadal Tuí Harvest Event
(Fómhar) with Kilcoe Studios & Brown Envelope Seeds

August 21, 10am – 4pm

Brown Envelope Seeds, Turk Head, Skibbereen,
Ardagh North, P81 HP71

Brown Envelope seeds and Kilcoe Studios will host an event where they will give a talk about heritage straw craft as well as demonstrations on straw craft with some hands out activity. They will also be doing some of the threshing and harvesting of the grain that has been grown at Brown Envelope seeds and celebrate the folklore and traditions of harvest time.

The event will take place in the open shed and with social distancing in place or outdoors if weather allows. Please bring suitable footwear and clothes for outdoors.

Light Refreshments provided. Spaces are limited.

An Tionscadal Tuí: Virtual Straw
Workshop & Introduction to Straw Craft

August 22, 12-1 (virtual) 

This online workshop will give a brief introduction to Straw craft and then Sonia from Kilcoe Studios will demonstrate a few basic techniques including ropemaking, braiding and decorative work . An email will be sent out to participants beforehand with information about any preparation that can be done. All the techniques we will do can be done using wild grasses, rushes and new zealand flax as well as straw that has been harvested by hand.

This workshop is funded by Creative Ireland and is free of charge, however spaces are very limited so booking is required.

An Tionscadal Tuí: Straw Craft Workshop (Ceardlann Tuí) with Kilcoe Studios

August 23, 11am – 1pm

Kilcoe Studio, Ballydehob (opposite Camiers garage) 

This event will be a multi-generational workshop facilitated by Sonia Caldwell / Kilcoe Studios. Suitable for all ages over 9 years old.

This workshop will explore different styles of decorative straw plaiting and braiding . Participants will make decorative bracelets and a harvest bow.

This number is subject to covid guidelines. Spaces are limited.

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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