The importance of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) to Kilkenny and the country was brought into focus on Friday night when an exhibition of works by the 2016 graduates of the renowned DCCoI, Ceramics Skills and Design Course opened.
Entitled, Cré, an Irish word meaning ‘made of clay’, the beauty, sensitivity and quality of work is wonderful.
You could sense the joy in the work as the graduates mingled with family and friends in the National Craft Gallery for what was a lovely occasion.
Cré includes large-scale spherical moon jars by Claire Murdock; delicate, cut-rim, pastel coloured bowls by Kate McGuane; thrown and modelled sculptural heads, evocative of spiritual traditions, by Éva Kaszás; fine functional porcelain tableware, sensitively decorated with blues and turquoises, by Marta Ozog and smoke fired ceramic musical instruments including Udu drums by Andrew Ilsley.
Also featured in the exhibition are Babs Belshaw’s porcelain bowls and narrow-necked bottles enhanced by spectacular large-scale crystal glazes; a selection of
functional porcelain tableware finely decorated with original illustrations and bold coloured interiors by Martha Opher; Aisling McElwain’s classic forms, glazed with a jade green celadon and embellished with 19ct gold lustre; Bridget Timoney’s sculptural and highly textured vessels and Fiona Shannon’s functional dishes, designed and made for the serving of food, glazed with visually rich crystalline interiors contrasted against strong, dark exteriors.
The graduates recently completed DCCoI’s intensive two-year, full-time programme at the picturesque Island Mill in Thomastown. The skills-based course, which is accredited through Maynooth University, is designed to equip graduates with the practical knowledge to develop careers in the ceramics industry. It sets out to give students a common set of skills, knowledge and understanding from which they develop their own individual work. and progress their technical