Royal Visit: Prince and Duchess presented with gifts in Thomastown

Sam Matthews & Sean Keane


Sam Matthews & Sean Keane


Royal Visit: Prince and Duchess presented with gifts in Thomastown

HRH Prince Charles pictured pictured at the Design and Craft Council of Irelands Pottery Skills Course in Thomastown Co. Kilkenny. Photo: Dylan Vaughan.

The royal couple have now arrived in Thomastown, where they have engagements at the Design and Craft Council of Ireland Ceramic School and Grennan Craft Mill.

The pair visited each of the dedicated studios viewing students at work, demonstrating a wide variety of techniques and skills. They saw examples of floor and table loom pieces being woven, tufted rugs and tapestries, and the Duchess was presented with handwoven scarf made by the students in the class.

Prince Charles has a huge interest in crafts, having set up the Royal School of Drawing. He has also been a patron of ceramics and crafts industry. He was presented with piece of ceramics made by the students in the ceramics class.

During their visit, the Royal guests had an opportunity to see the excellent facilities that have been developed by KCETB over the past 30 years in the unique creative setting. The five floors of the old mill on the banks of the River Nore are home to studios where students learn and practise the crafts of ceramics, printmaking, woven textiles, art metalcraft, silversmithing and batik.

Speaking on the occasion of the Royal visit, the Chair of Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board, Councillor Peter Cleere, welcomed Their Royal Highnesses to Grennan Mill Craft School and paid tribute to Alexandra Meldrum Course Director and her team for their dedication to craft and design education.

“Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board is very proud to welcome our distinguished guests to experience the unique teaching and learning environment that has been created in Grennan Mill Craft School over the past three decades," he said.

"Our teachers are designers, makers, artists and craftspeople who share their expertise with each new generation of students. Our students are motivated by the desire to learn new skills and to create beautiful objects. They come together as a community in this inspiring space that nurtures their creativity, and our graduates leave as skilled practitioners, ready to advance in their chosen creative medium. Their Royal Highnesses saw today how very special Grennan Mill Craft School is: we hope they enjoyed meeting the people who make it so special.”