An insider's guide to Cork Craft Month's exciting exhibitions, shopping opportunities and workshops

An insider's guide to Cork Craft Month's exciting exhibitions, shopping opportunities and workshops
Artist Olive Murphy demonstrates lampshade painting at Cork Craft Month.

Carol O’Callaghan previews Cork Craft Month, when exhibitions, workshops and retail opportunities kick off on Thursday across the city and county to celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary.

CALLING all craft and design lovers looking for something novel to do during August — especially when it starts raining and indoor activities are a priority.

Cork Craft Month is going all out to mark its first decade, with a varied programme to entertain visitors from out of town, to occupy restless youngsters on school holidays, or to feed a jaded soul with the sight of lovingly handcrafted items, high on design quality.

“Our festival of events spans both the city and county of Cork, giving you access to everything from woodturning demonstrations, textiles exhibitions to bookbinding,” says Tony Farrell, chairman of Cork Craft Month 2019.

“It’s also a vehicle to help ensure that we continue to preserve, encourage, and nurture the special skills of the people working in the craft sector in Ireland today.”

In addition to the flagship events and exhibitions taking place in public buildings and galleries across the city and county, there’s a programme of workshops for the public to get crafty with, some of which can include the whole family from age six upwards.

A few are paid-for, but others free of charge for anyone who liked to explore their creativity and fashion an interiors item for the home or to give as a gift. Although the latter will depend on how much creativity is unleashed.

Handmade shades by Mr Kite offer fun options for overhead lights and table lamps (from €35).
Handmade shades by Mr Kite offer fun options for overhead lights and table lamps (from €35).

Hands-on

Fota House & Gardens hosts the making of woven willow platters on Sunday 18th from 1pm-5pm. Basketmaker Rosemary Kavanagh will facilitate basic techniques to craft your own platter on which to serve bread. Email corkcraftanddesign@gmail.com to book; €50 including materials.

The whole family can get involved in weaving with rushes and straw on Thursday, August 22, from 11am-5pm, also at Fota.

This event is free and designed to show how in the past people used what they had to hand to make useful and decorative objects. It’s suitable from age six upwards and participants get to take home their own little rush mat in the finish. Also free that day is a seasonally appropriate class on how to make a harvest bow. It’s from 1.30pm to 3pm for anyone aged eight and up. Email sonia@kilcoestudios.com to book.

Sophie Longwill makes glass objects with a touch of fun like this hand crafted bowl (€89).
Sophie Longwill makes glass objects with a touch of fun like this hand crafted bowl (€89).

Design eye

While in the Fota demense, a visit to the historic mansion is a must-see after indulging in creative pursuits. Check out the old library which is undergoing restoration and has revealed original brickwork and a newly discovered window. The Present Past exhibition is installed here, taking a look back at Cork craft development over the last 10 years. Expect to see functional and decorative pieces using woodturning, handknitting, ceramics, basketry and silversmithing.

Ceramicist Siobhan Steele is running workshops during Cork Craft Month.
Ceramicist Siobhan Steele is running workshops during Cork Craft Month.

Throw shapes

Ceramicist Sara Roberts opens up her studio at Chinaman’s Loft in Nohoval with a workshop over two consecutive Saturdays, 17th and 24th, 10.30am-4pm.

This calm, almost meditative activity involves a making session on the first day and glazing on the second, with the week in between allowing for drying your creation.

The €120 per day price covers a three-course lunch and tea and coffee are included. Email sararobertsceramics@gmail.com to book.

Beautiful lighting by Brian Goulding cites the industrial look with an up to date and more elegant finish (from €60).
Beautiful lighting by Brian Goulding cites the industrial look with an up to date and more elegant finish (from €60).

Birds and bees

As we’re all being encouraged to help our bees and birds, the Stable Door Pottery in Lisgoold hosts a “make your own birdhouse” ceramics course on August 10 and 24, plus workshops on painting your own tableware in the Shanagarry Design Centre on August 17 and 31 at 12pm.

Just in case you miss those opportunities, potter and facilitator Orla O’Rourke will also be in Dunmanway on September 7 at 12pm. Prices are from €6; bookings at stabledoorpottery@eircom.net.

The lovely people at Benchspace in Marina Commercial Park join forces with Seán O’Sullivan from Badly Made Books to tackle the ancient craft of bookbinding on Saturday, August 3, from 11am-2pm. It’s €50; bookings to hello@benchspacecork.ie.

The following Saturday, August 10, Barbara Hubert opens up her long-established bookbinding studio on Tobin Street for a four-hour session starting at 10am, focusing on how to make a hardbound book. It’s €75; email hubertbookbind@gmail.com to book.

- Cork Craft Month runs from August 1-31; see http://www.corkcraftanddesign.com/

More on this topic

Man seen repeatedly exposing himself on a busy Cork streetMan seen repeatedly exposing himself on a busy Cork street

Irish boy who drowned in Spain to be laid to rest on FridayIrish boy who drowned in Spain to be laid to rest on Friday

'I hope you are executed': Chilling voicemail left for UCC lecturer'I hope you are executed': Chilling voicemail left for UCC lecturer

German baker's painstaking confection at Cork city's Victoria RoadGerman baker's painstaking confection at Cork city's Victoria Road

More in this Section

Everything we know about the new collection by jewellery brand MissomaEverything we know about the new collection by jewellery brand Missoma

Chef James Cochran: ‘People need to broaden their minds about eating goat’Chef James Cochran: ‘People need to broaden their minds about eating goat’

The Menu: Food news with Joe McNameeThe Menu: Food news with Joe McNamee

Waterford event to offer antique hunters plenty of varietyWaterford event to offer antique hunters plenty of variety


Latest Showbiz

Take a peek at some of the slate here.Pulling with my Parents, Dublin Murders and Cat Hospital: RTÉ announces it’s new season

He will be a celebrity guest judge on the series.Andrew Garfield’s ‘day in gay heaven’ in first look at RuPaul’s Drag Race UK

The TV star shared a picture from a family trip.Holly Willoughby reveals son’s shark prank in holiday photo

The TV star said he took part in the programme himself because he did not want Goody’s mother to represent him on camera.Jeff Brazier on why he has not let his sons watch Jade Goody documentary

More From The Irish Examiner