Carlow Hosts International Craft Exhibition & Free Family Craft Workshops






VISUAL Centre of Contemporary Art & The George Bernard Shaw Theatre in Carlow is the venue for the Craft Hub International Craft Exhibition from 22nd August 2022 to 3rd September 2023 supported by Creative Europe & Creative Ireland. The exhibition commenced in Italy in April 2023 travelling to Greece, Germany, Portugal arriving in Ireland in August. The exhibition will feature work from across the whole spectrum of craft techniques and uses an anonymous selection process, giving emerging artists an equal opportunity to be selected alongside the established makers. Moving onto Wales, then Norway for the closing conference.

Craft Hub is a European project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme focused on Craft in the context of cultural heritage and its continuing relevance in contemporary practice.

The project activities involve investigating and documenting craft skills and processes; their differing application in creative practice across Europe; and questions of cultural specificity & individual motivations of practitioners. This will be addressed through a comprehensive and exciting program to allow the creation of new craft work/experimental investigations into process and material supported by 42 transnational maker residencies, 305 days of outreach work, 1 festival, 7 exhibitions and 2 conferences.

In the build up to the exhibition, Carlow County Council are organising a series of workshops in Carlow Library from 14th August 2022 to 22nd August 2023. The are 16 workshops which include Make a Giant Paper Heart with Dawn from Craft Central, Make a “Pin Ball” Game with Dawn from Craft Central, Print Your Own Tote Bag with Ann Kenny (Ann Makes Books) , Bind Your Own Book with Ann Kenny (Ann Makes Books) , Paint along with Dawn from Craft Central , Sock it to me ! with Jean Robertson, Get Buzzing! with Jean Robertson , I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice-cream! with Jean Robertson , Cool Cactus Craft with Jean Robertson , Handmade Jewellery Workshop with Megan Manning from “Create That Inner Spark” , Make a silver ring inspired by Irelands Ancient East with Mary Bourke (DeBurca Design), Design and make your own silver pendant with Mary Bourke (DeBurca Design), Make blended colour Earrings and Pendant with Liga Valge    (Valg Studio) , Make vibrant pattern Earrings and Pendant with Liga Valge (Valg Studio) and Make a “Pin Ball” Game with Dawn from Craft Central. All of the aforementioned workshops are related to the main themes of this Craft Hub project. Experimentation, Social inclusion, Heritage, Technological Innovation & Sustainability.

Craft Hub in Ireland is co-ordinated by Carlow County Council’s, Local Enterprise Office, Carlow Libraries and Carlow Arts Office. Speaking about the workshops, Kieran Comerford, Head of Economic Development & Enterprise said “Craft workshops and classes can be a great way to bring people together from all walks of life. They provide a shared activity that can help to build relationships and create a sense of community. Crafts can teach people valuable skills, such as hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and creativity. These skills can be useful in many different areas of life, and they can help people to develop a sense of accomplishment. Crafts can help to preserve cultural heritage by keeping traditional skills and techniques alive. This is especially important in communities where these skills are in danger of being lost. Crafts can support local economies by providing opportunities for people to sell their handmade goods. This can help to boost the local economy and create jobs”.