THE Kilkenny launch of Hands On: The Art of Crafting in Ireland by Sylvia Thompson with Patsey Murphy will take place tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Heritage Council in Kilkenny
Hands On is a celebration of the abundance of crafts practiced and taught across Ireland. Dry stone walling, hat making, beekeeping, pottery, thatching, cider and wine making, knitting, quilting, leather work, wallpaper conservation – it’s all there and more! In full colour, and lavishly illustrated, this beautiful book highlights the profusion of talented craftspeople in Ireland, as well as encouraging the creativity of the readers.
The book began as a weekly column in The Irish Times – ‘Hands On: Traditional Skills and where to learn them’ –to mark the Craft Council of Ireland’s Year of Craft. By expanding on her column, Sylvia Thompson has highlighted forty eclectic, contemporary and traditional crafts, all practiced and taught across the country. Each piece, accompanied by beautiful images, includes information on the history of the particular craft, where and from whom you can learn, as well as the resources you’ll need. The ‘Craft in Focus’ sections scattered throughout the pages feature exquisite images from recent exhibitions at which Ireland’s most accomplished craftspeople have showcased their work.
Sylvia Thompson is an author and award-winning journalist who writes mainly on health and environmental issues for The Irish Times. She also interviews Irish craftspeople and is always impressed by their skill and commitment to creating beautiful objects. This book grew out of a weekly column on learning craft in The Irish Times during the Year of Craft, 2011. Her previous books include Test-Driving Complementary Therapies and When Food Becomes Your Enemy. She has an honours degree in psychology from Trinity College Dublin and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Dublin City University. Sylvia is currently writing a new weekly column in The Irish Times called ‘Heritage Hot Spots’.