Top quality craft from Louth will feature strongly in an Irish Craft Village which will form the centre piece of the Tall Ships Festival in Waterford this week.
Louth Craft Mark – an umbrella group for local makers - will be part of a showcase of the best of craft that is imagined, designed and made in Ireland from Thursday June 30 to Saturday July 2 when the Tall Ships Race is expected to attract 500,000 people.
Louth Craftmark was set up in 2000 to represent craft makers in the county Louth, in a co-ordinated and concerted effort to stimulate the development of the craft sector. It offers skills development through workshop based training, exhibitions, showcase events, craft fairs, professional development mentoring and networking opportunities.
Louth is recognised as an area of emerging strength in terms of arts, culture, craft and design activities. Louth Craftmark supports a range of creative enterprises through its close involvement with the Creative Enterprise Development Programme at Louth County Enterprise Board
The craft stands in the Irish Craft Village at the Tall Ships will include everything from beautiful ceramics and unique homewares to contemporary jewellery and colourful accessories from Wicklow makers and other Irish companies such as Bunbury Boards, Belinda Northcote Designs, Jenny Kelly Pottery, Workhouse Studios and Rebeka Kahn Artwear.
The Irish Craft Village is part of the Year of Craft 2011 programme which celebrates craft throughout the island of Ireland. Visitors to the Tall Ships Race will be able to meet with craftspeople and learn more about how their work is made through live demonstrations in disciplines such as ceramics, textiles, paper art, basket making and woodturning. A detailed schedule of workshops and demonstrations is available online at www.craftinireland.com.
Visitors will have a unique opportunity to join in a wide variety of free craft workshops which will include ceramics, basketmaking, paper art, mosaics, jewellery and printing. Aspiring young pirates can get creative and make their own pirate hats, coins and treasure with paper artist Caroline Ryan and jeweller Elena Brennan.
The Irish Craft Village will also feature a giant loom, facilitated by Lian Callaghan. Visitors are invited to participate in the weaving of a giant length of fabric.