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August Craft Month returns with over 100 events across Northern Ireland

28 July 2014

A ceramic pot by Grayson Perry, a workshop on botanical embroidery, an exhibition of props and costumes from Northern Ireland’s burgeoning film industry – just some of the many highlights of August Craft Month 2014.

This year’s celebration of contemporary craft is the largest ever, with more than 100 events taking place throughout Northern Ireland showing how craft’s influence touches on all aspects of life including politics, the environment, business, cultural tourism and education.

The 2014 launch will take place at the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s University on 31 July with the opening of two outstanding new shows, Hidden Agenda: Socially Conscious Craft, a Crafts Council Collection exhibition, and Material Subversion. The former is a Crafts Council UK touring show exhibited for the first time in Northern Ireland and features the work of 12 top UK makers and artists, including Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry, who use craft as a platform for social comment and provocation. The exhibition explores issues such as environmental responsibility, war, class and work with specially commissioned work by ceramicist Doug Jones. Jewellery maker Angela O’Kelly, whose piece ‘Hundreds and Thousands’ features in the exhibition, will talk about her work at the gallery on 1 August.

Following on from last year’s highly successful launch of August Craft Month in Derry as part of the UK City of Culture 2013, CultureCraft this year is presenting ‘Reclaim The Streets’ - a three week event which will see renowned US craft designer Boris Bally take up residency in the 4Rs Resource Centre in the city. Best known for the use of recycled street signage to create unique furniture Bally will invite makers from around the country to join his team in the production of street furniture when he will share an array of techniques required to creatively work sheet metal. Alongside the residency will be a spectacular exhibition of international contemporary craft relating to the theme ‘Reclaim-Repurpose’ involving ten international artists, three of which will be running one-week masterclasses at North West Regional College over August.

August Craft Month features everything from Neolithic Pottery workshops in Fermanagh to making computer generated designs in Belfast.

Among the highlights are:

5 August: Charlotte Jess of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board delivers a masterclass on social and digital marketing to help makers grow their businesses.

1 - 10 August: Creative Peninsula - a series of open studios, exhibitions and more from leading makers and artists from Ards Borough.

5 - 30 August: McAleer & Doherty: Double Flipside. A collaborative visual journey with Dr Sarah McAleer & Eddie J Doherty. Known independently for their successful contemporary jewellery pieces and high-end commission work constructed in precious materials, like platinum, gold, diamonds, sapphires and pearls, McAleer & Doherty’s exhibition aims to give you a glimpse of their ‘alternative’ sides. Sharing many complementary ideals, design styles and construction techniques, McAleer&Doherty will investigate how they traditionally convert inspirations and concepts into three dimensions.

7 - 30 August: Costumes, Props, Armour and Weapons at Space CRAFT, Fountain Street, Belfast – The Craft and Design Collective exhibition of work by artists and designer makers working behind the scenes making props for Northern Ireland’s burgeoning film industry.

1 - 31 August: Ring of Gullion Handcrafts and Art presents Ring of Gullion Festival of Craft taking place in Ti Chulainn Cultural Activity Centre and various studios in South Armagh including demonstrations and taster sessions in fused glass, ceramics, feltmaking, wood turning and an arts and crafts summer school for children aged 5 – 11.

9 and 30 August: Living History Pottering About at Enniskillen Castle Museum. Craft has been in vogue since humankind began and the public are invited to have a go at creating their own Neolithic Pots.

5 - 29 August: Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh have a range of craft workshops, demonstrations and talks as part of the live and learn project aimed at those aged 50 and over.

15 - 17 August: CRAFT FEST – The Craft & Design Collective’s annual celebration of craft, applied art and design at beautiful Castle Ward on the shores of Strangford Lough.

19 August: Director of the Design Trust, Patricia van den Akker delivering a workshop to makers about the creative process.

For full details of all August Craft Month events, visit the Craft NI website  and click on the August Craft Month section. To find out about all the makers and events in your area, click on the interactive craft map.

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