A celebration of what is made in Northern Ireland

Jan Irwin, Craft NI enjoying the knitwork of Rosalind Shaw, a local Maker
Published : 09 Oct 2018 Last update : 15 Oct 2018

This Saturday past, the National Trust welcomed craftspeople from across Northern Ireland to the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre to showcase their skills.

The event saw the re-launch of our Made in Northern Ireland Craft Booklet, which showcases the local people whose products we are very proud to stock at the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede. In addition to traditional crafts such as woodworking, pottery and painting, we also welcomed local writers and chefs.

 

The event was launched by Assistant Director of Operations for the National Trust in Northern Ireland, Jonathan Clarke and Jan Irwin, Co-ordinator for CRAFT NI.

Bob Kane, Retail Manager; Alastair Walker, Commercial Manager; Jonathan Clarke, Assistant Director of Operations, National Trust NI; Jan Irwin, CRAFT NI; and Aislinn Coyle-Little, Retail Supervisor pictured at the 'Meet the Makers' event
Bob Kane, Retail Manager; Alister Walker, Commercial Manager; Jonathan Clarke, Assistant Director Operations; Jan Irwin, Craft NI and Aislinn Coyle-Little, Retail Supervisor pictured at the Meet the Crafters event
Bob Kane, Retail Manager; Alastair Walker, Commercial Manager; Jonathan Clarke, Assistant Director of Operations, National Trust NI; Jan Irwin, CRAFT NI; and Aislinn Coyle-Little, Retail Supervisor pictured at the 'Meet the Makers' event

 

Bob Kane, Retail Manager at the Giant's Causeway explained: "We are immensely proud of the talent and skills of our local crafters in Northern Ireland and this is an opportunity to bring them and have them show how their products are made and for visitors to meet the makers. This booklet is incredibly popular with our visitors, regional and international and they love to see products that are made here and read a little about the people who make them. 

‘These booklets are available free-of-charge for visitors to take home and we hope they will lead to future online sales for our local crafters.’ 

Deardre McKibbin demonstrating her craft in the Meet the Makers event in the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre
Local Maker, Deardre McKibbin demonstrating her skills and local craft
Deardre McKibbin demonstrating her craft in the Meet the Makers event in the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre

CRAFT NI praised the conservation charity for their dedication supporting local craftspeople in their practice. Jan Irwin said: 'Thank you to the National Trust for inviting us to this wonderful event in this beautiful place today. CRAFT NI are the sector lead body and champion for craft, and we feel this really is a great time for craft in Northern Ireland with organisations such as the National Trust supporting our local crafters.

 

Local author Claire Savage at the 'Meet the Makers' craft event in the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre with Jennifer Michael from the National Trust
Claire Savage local Author at Meet the Makers event at the Giant's Causeway
Local author Claire Savage at the 'Meet the Makers' craft event in the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre with Jennifer Michael from the National Trust

‘Our vision at CRAFT NI is to design and make an integrated, innovative, vital and sustainable ecosystem for craft in Northern Ireland that is of international standing and that Northern Ireland is recognised nationally and internationally as a place that embraces and values the cultural, economic and social significance of craft, and the National Trust building partnerships with local markers and showcasing their work to an international audience is helping us to achieve this vision.

 

‘Personalisation, authenticity, ethical consumption, the experience economy and new ways of signalling connoisseurship are currently influencing the market for craft. A fascination with the provenance is driving consumer desire for direct contact with the makers, and original objects with a local connection are increasingly being valued.

 

‘CRAFT NI is delighted with this National Trust initiative that focuses on supporting makers and that helps them to sustain their business practice. But this event is special as it helps to develop pride and a sense of belonging to this region and this place in particular, with many of the crafters making bespoke items for these special places.'

" The National Trust building partnerships with local markers and showcasing their work to an international audience is helping us to achieve our vision"
- Jan Irwin
Stephanie Hazleton and Sheila Oldcroft, owners of Dasalee Textile Art demonstrating their skills in the Visitor Centre
Dasalee textile art at the Meet the Makers event
Stephanie Hazleton and Sheila Oldcroft, owners of Dasalee Textile Art demonstrating their skills in the Visitor Centre

You can download the Made in Northern Ireland craft booklet here:

Giant's Causeway Made in Northern Ireland 2018 (PDF / 1.1MB) download