Craft NI's August Craft Month is underway once again, with over 150 events taking place in celebration of specialist artist-makers and their beautiful contemporary works.
This year craftspeople, galleries, studios, local arts venues and community hubs based in stunning locations across Northern Ireland are welcoming everyone to be part of the country's vibrant, exciting and innovative design-led craft sector.
This is the Irish Year of Design 2015, an all-Ireland initiative to promote the work of designers across a broad range of design disciplines. Craft is a major component of the year and August Craft Month in particular brings a month-long showcase of the contribution of NI designer-makers.
There are opportunities for everyone to get involved throughout the month and experience the best of contemporary craft, whether it's seeing, making or buying. Browse the full programme now or read a selection of the highlight events below.
Jul 31 – Sept 23: Millennium Court Art Centre, Portadown, presents two exhibitions: August Craft Month launch exhibition 'ONTOGENY: Vessels by Sara Flynn' including an artist's talk on the 15 August in the setting of the exhibition, and making it: 10 (in partnership with Craft NI).
Jul 31 - Aug 9: The Creative Peninsula 2015, happening across Ards Peninsula and North Down. This mighty programme of exhibitions, open studios, workshops, creative cafes, craft fairs and much more, is an excellent way to connect with the artists and crafts people working and living in the area – most creating work inspired by this incredible location.
Starting Early: If you can’t wait for August, Forming Words is a touring exhibition from London’s Flow Gallery on now in Limavady, presented by the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre. Linen Futures launches at R-Space Gallery, Lisburn, on July 18.
Jul 31 - Aug 17: Lunasa Festival of Art and Craft presented by Ring of Gullion Handcrafts and Art takes place at South Armagh including an exhibition, demonstrations, open studio visits and taster sessions for all ages.
Aug 6 - Sept 9: In the Making at the Higher Bridges Gallery, Enniskillen. Here works from the Fermanagh County Museum collection are presented alongside responses by contemporary designer-makers.
Aug 7 - 29: From the Festival of Britain to 10 Downing Street at Space CRAFT, Fountain Street, Belfast – an exhibition presented by the Craft and Design Collective which actively explores the relationship between craft and design. The Craft and Design Collective present their annual Craft Fest 2015 at Castle Ward on the bank of beautiful Strangford Lough on the August 14 - 16.
Aug 1 – 31: Workshops. From Laser-craft to Intermediate Crochet, have a look and see what you would like to try this August. The August Craft Month guide gives you a day-by-day schedule of the tremendous variety of workshops and talks available throughout the month.
Aug 15 - Aug 31: Five Artists Show in a Byre – an exhibition of work by contemporary local makers Sharon Adams, Alice Clark, Katy English, Noel McCullough and Rory Shearer, at the Byre Studios, Ballymena.
Aug 6 & Aug 11: Craft NI retail programme – aimed at both designer-makers and sellers of contemporary craft, this programme features talks by the Irish Design Shop and retail expert Shalina Alabaksh, and a ‘Meet the Buyer’ showcase.
#FinditFriday: A special treat for those taking part in August Craft Month activities on Fridays during August Craft Month. For #FinditFriday we have commissioned designs from two exceptional NI designer-makers of very special tote bags (artwork in one case and design/making in the other). A tote bag will be hidden in six separate venues - exhibitions, workshops, etc - waiting for you to find every Friday!
August 2015 and beyond: Craft Map plays a big part in the August Craft Month celebrations as always. Check the map if you are visiting Northern Ireland to see where you can find open studios, outlets and galleries to visit.