Armagh’s Art Of Craft celebrates our outstanding craft creators whose work both preserves and develops ancient techniques and also embraces modern skills and new technologies. Wonder at these talented artisan creators as they skilfully hammer and manipulate precious metals, turn and chisel wood and stone and carefully stitch textiles and leather. The white-hot furnace of the glass-blower to the throwing wheel of the potter are all part of Armagh’s rich creative heritage.
Mount Ida Pottery
The work created in Mount Ida Pottery reflects the rural location of the studio and workshop. Trevor has created a unique and very personal range of hand-built and thrown ceramic work. Trevor is well-known for his range of animal figures and his work is found all over the world.
Some of his recently commissioned pieces have been taken to the USA as part of the Dromore Exchange Programme. During 2007 Mount Ida Pottery was part of the design team that represented Northern Ireland at the Smithsonian Cultural Festival in Washington DC USA.
Trevor has developed day and evening ceramic workshops for various levels of ability. These courses give experience in using the wheel, hand building, using a broad range of clays and using glazes and oxides to achieve a range of effects.
Ciara Campbell – Ceramics
A resident artist at Artspace, Oxford Island Nature Reserve, Craigavon. As a mobile ceramic artist with a portable potter’s wheel, Ciara holds regular workshops in Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre and demonstrates her craft at the annual Armagh Craft Fair in late May. Ciara’s work features a range of bespoke porcelain, ceramics and sterling silver jewellery. Each piece is handmade and painted, these colourful, whimsical pieces aim to bring a sense of fun and nostalgic joy to the viewer.
Ciara partnered with her brother Shea to create different vessels for the Glenfiddich Whiskey Distillery in Scotland. These celebrated pieces allow the drinker to explore the various flavours and aromas of the whisky, as well as experience the touch, weight and colour of the vessel itself.
Stephen Farnan – Ceramics
A potter from Benburb, a small village outside Armagh. In 2012 he relocated his studio to Belfast and started developing a portfolio of drawings, in conjunction with his ceramics.
‘Captured Memories’ are the embodiment of his drawings and ceramics, each piece is in its own way unique. Hand rolled porcelain, cut, ripped and stamped, delicately drawn pencil sketches, each lovingly crafted in his Belfast studio – ‘Timeless landscapes and memories, captured forever in porcelain’.
‘Portrait of Ireland’ is a collection of about 80 landscape scenes from around Ireland. These, along with new works from a growing international (world landscapes) collection, are available framed as Porcelain Landscapes in a variety of sizes, cushions, or as a regular prints.
Sean O’Dowd, Master Potter bought Bloomvale House and developed Ballydougan Pottery, a place which has gained a reputation as one of the most innovative craft studios in Ireland. Bloomvale House, an historic listed grade 11 thatched house was built in 1785 by a Huguenot family named Gasgoine. Originally a merchant’s house, Bloomevale was a centre for the receiving and final processing of linen from the many out-weavers who lived in the local cottages. From the raw clay the Ballydougan team of potters produce timeless pieces of decorative and functional pottery. With a range of strong and distinctive designs which have become their trademark, every piece of pottery reflects the tradition and durability of stoneware pottery.
Thomas Powell Pottery
Established in May 2013 near Gilford in County Down. Thomas has developed a range of contemporary, functional handmade tableware. Each piece comes in a variety of mix and match colours and his hand-thrown pots are tactile in design with a simple circle of colour around the top of the pot, giving his work a fresh and uncomplicated look. With over twenty-five years of experience working in potteries in Northern Ireland and Wales, Thomas has designed a range of domestic ware that has a contemporary feel whilst still maintaining a traditionally hand-made quality.
Thomas Powell Pottery is a member of the North Down Craft Collective, which is based in Holywood, Co. Down, and the Craft & Design Collective, which is based in Belfast. His work is a favourite amongst collectors and Thomas offers courses at The Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre.
Keith Sheppard – Glass Artistry
Based in Portadown, Keith works predominately with copper in glass to create unique vases and bowls. More recently Keith has been involved in creating unique high value sculpture pieces for gallery display e.g. The Guinness Gallery, Foxrock Village, Dublin & The Cecilia Colman Gallery, London. These kinds of creations are proving to be attractive to discerning individuals who simply want a piece of art that no-one else can own.
A life threatening skiing accident, where Keith sustained a Spinal Cord injury, changed his life irrevocably. Having been told that he would probably never walk again, seven months later, Keith walked out of hospital, drove home and put his life as an adventurer behind him to begin the life of an Artist
Keith’s work is now finding popularity locally in Northern Ireland, London & Dublin. Collectors from other International Markets are also developing an interest in Keith’s work.
Liz Nicholls – Felt And Textiles
Through the art of felt making Liz makes one-off accessories and 3D sculptural forms. Based in Armagh, she applies the art of felt making with fine fibres and silk. Drawing inspiration from her surrounds, the colour and texture within her work is often reminiscent of shoreline walks, hilltop rambles and urban architecture. Liz is also a regular tutor at workshops in The Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre.
Maggie Napier – Glass Jeweller
Margaret Napier, a flamework glass artist, established Glass i Studio in 2011. She designs and produces contemporary glass jewellery ranging from one-off to small batch production pieces.
Her work has a strong sculptural element, investigating natural forms, texture and pattern and explores notions of transience and permanence, exploiting the organic qualities of molten glass. Margaret Napier is a making it ’13 participant, based for the duration at Oxford Island, Craigavon.
Alan Kirk – Artist
Working in his preferred medium of oils, Alan’s paintings have been inspired by the colour and beauty of the landscapes, towns and villages across the north of Ireland. Fine art prints of his paintings have travelled to many homes across the world. He now lives and works in the countryside of his native county.
Helen Fitzpatrick – Jewellery
Helen’s collections are synonymous with delicacy, subtlety and elegance. They are designed to dazzle with a touch of sophistication and tradition for a cosmopolitan woman. A Helen Fitzpatrick purchase is an affordable way for modern women to experience the grandeur of a couture piece. Visits to the design gallery and studio are by appointment. www.helenfitzpatrick.com
Will Harnett – Photography
A photographic and creative media business based in the historical Waring Estate. Will specialises in contemporary landscape, travel and architecture photography and has recently branched out into aerial photography and videography. Visitors are offered the unique opportunity see the Estate and gardens, learn photography and view WHP collections. By appointment only. www.willharnett.com