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.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
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 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 email@example.com to book.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
- Cork Craft Month runs from August 1-31; see http://www.corkcraftanddesign.com/