Regarded as one of the largest competitive platforms for Craft in Europe, the RDS brings an international panel of judges to Ireland to adjudicate its 20 category RDS National Crafts Competition
The Competition is renowned for celebrating excellence in traditional craftsmanship as well as encouraging innovative design and creativity through a wide range of craft processes. This year’s prize winning works and selected entries represent a wide range of disciplines and will be on display from September 6th until October 24th.
Opening Hours: 10am – 3pm
RDS Award of Excellence and California Gold Medal - €7,000
Eimear Conyard, Centered 2, Gold, Silver and Alternative Materials
Eimear is a much respected and successful silversmith based in Kilkenny, where she is the Manager of the Crafts Council of Ireland’s Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills and Design Course. Eimear’s prize winning work is an exquisitely made contemporary brooch which combines carved perspex with gold, silver and pearl, a refreshing combination of precious and non-precious materials. In describing her work, she quotes ‘balance’ as the key aesthetic, ‘whether symmetrical or asymmetrical, every aspect of the design and use of materials and proportions of form compliment and engage with one another’.
RDS Award of Excellence Reserve Prize - €3,500
Seamus Cassidy, Jugular, Woodturning
Seamus is a woodturner and cabinet-maker based in Meath. A teacher and demonstrator in woodturning, his work is known for its innovative design and exquisite craftsmanship. This prize winning work is a contemporary hollow vessel in bleached ash and contrasting rich burr elm with a steam bent handle and is mounted on a glass base. The free flowing lines curve to elevate Jugular so that it imparts a simple visual elegance.
RDS New Entrants’ Prize - €1,500 and Crafts Council of Ireland Purchase Award
Adam Frew, Scribble Pot, Ceramics
Adam’s work centres on the potter’s wheel and is inspired by traditional eastern forms as well as spontaneity as a means of personal expression. The exuberant action of throwing is enhanced by a continued experimentation through process, form and colour. The prize winning work is a beautifully thrown porcelain pot which has been gas fired and inlaid with slip, celadon and copper red glaze.
‘The nature of Adam’s ceramic pots allows the owner to continually revisit their purchase, gaining pleasure from seeing new and wonderful things in its quirky decoration.’ Kim Mawhinney, Head of Art, Ulster Museum & Chair of judging panel.
RDS Graduate Prize - €1,500
Fiona Harrington, Divisions, Lace
An artist with work in many public collections, Fiona graduated in textile design from NCAD in 2013 and was the only student in the country to specialise in Handmade Irish Lace. In 2012, she began an internship at the Kenmare Lace and Design Centre, Co. Kerry, where she acquired traditional lace-making techniques indigenous to that area. The design of this piece is inspired by historical land divisions and structures of the Beara Peninsula in Cork, and incorporates established stitching, but uses an original design and explores new stitch combinations.
William Smith O’Brien Perpetual Challenge Cup and Crafts Council of Ireland Purchase Award
Anne Kiely and Mary Palmer, Eroded Prospects, Patchwork and Quilting
Patchwork artists Anne Kiely and Mary Palmer collaborated to create a beautifully balanced subtle piece which won this year’s award. This collaboration with its freeform structure, printed imagery and natural colours in locally sourced linens is intended to evoke our relationship with the countryside in the makers’ rural Cork communities in a contemporary and thoughtful manner.