Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Craft now floating on a local tide of interest

Once regarded as a past-time for grannies, craft making in Northern Ireland - including pottery, knitting and jewellery-making - has experienced a renaissance in popularity among all ages.

August Craft Month, organised by Craft NI, is hosting exhibits and workshops to showcase the best examples of craft and also encourage people to learn new skills.

This year's theme, Craft Chat, aims to get the public thinking about the relevance of craft through discussion, storytelling, poetry and online blogging.

The Ulster Museum and the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum are holding workshops on leatherwork, interactive sculpture and cross-stitch brooches.

Artist Gail Mahon, from Co Londonderry, who is exhibiting her work during the month said there has been a new surge in interest in crafts across the generations.

"It is a kind of DIY culture and a type of 'craftism" developing," she said. "Groups like knitting circles have shaken off the twee stereotypes with all age groups engaging in them."

Tomorrow's 'Craft of Conversation' will see designers display their work in the Crafty Tearoom in Wellington Place, Belfast.

"The idea is to put craft at the centre of a table where people are sitting down to eat and to get them thinking about it," Ms Mahon said. "Everybody has a bit of creativity in them, these events give people the chance to explore that."

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