Thursday, 11 December 2014

RDS National Craft Awards - changes for 2015

The RDS National Craft Awards rewards and showcases excellence in Irish Craft. Last year a major independent evaluation of these awards was undertaken by consultant Marie Brennan and as a result there will be a number of changes implemented in 2015.
The RDS National Craft Awards has two components; a competition and an exhibition. Open to a wide variety of craft disciplines, the competition provides an open platform for Irish craftspeople to have their work assessed by a professional judging panel of Irish and international craft experts. The prize-winning and a number of high quality entries are chosen for exhibition at the RDS during the Dublin Horse Show. The opening night of the exhibition sees annual prizes awarded to the most outstanding works of that year. The prize-winners are also displayed at the National Craft and Design Fair in December.
The independent evaluation reviewed the entire awards process and its recommendations will be implemented in 2015. The RDS National Craft Awards will now be a two stream competition where the work of emerging and established makers will be judged separately. To be eligible to enter the Emerging Maker Awards entrants must be able to show that they are either:
  • Students studying craft in third level institutions
  • Have within the last five years set up a craft business.
  • Those who are new to a craft discipline within the last five years, either studying via an apprenticeship or life-long learners on an informal course.

All other entrants whether professional or amateur must enter the Established Maker strand of the Awards. An Award of Excellence of €5000 will be awarded in both the Emerging and Established Maker strands.
The evaluation also recommended that categories be reduced from twenty to thirteen, which are as follows:
1.      Constructed Textiles (woven, knitted, crocheted, felted textiles and lace)
2.      Embellished Textiles (embroidery, patchwork, quilting, batik, printed textiles)
3.      Basketry
4.      Jewellery & Silversmithing
5.      Metalwork
6.      Furniture
7.      Carving
8.      Leatherwork
9.      Musical Instruments
10.  Ceramics
11.  Glass
12.  Paper and Calligraphy
13.  Woodturning

Other changes include:
·         An extension for online entries into June
·         A restriction to one entry per person
·         A removal of the first round of judging to create a fully open competition where all entries will be examined by the judging panel.
Changes in RDS structures (we now have a Communications Manager and Director) mean that there is now greater ability to help with promoting RDS Foundation activities; meaning a stronger emphasis on media coverage in the future for both the competition and exhibition.
We believe that these changes will help to create a fairer, clearer, open and more streamlined competition and exhibition with a higher profile and a clear set of objectives in line with the RDS Arts goal which is: to provide a platform that supports the transition from student to emerging artist; encouraging the pursuit of a career in visual art, craft or music.
The call for online entries for the 2015 RDS National Craft Awards will be launched in March 2015. Please keep an eye on our website and social media pages for more information and to access the online application form from mid-March.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Party Night

A sneak preview of prizes for our IPS party Friday night and for those of you who are enjoying " I'm a celebrity get me out of here " you will have an opportunity to find a star and receive and extra prize !

Don't forget to bring a fat quarter with you tomorrow night so you can play "FAT QUARTER BINGO"

Monday, 1 December 2014

December Christmas Meeting reminder

The Christmas meeting takes place Friday 5th December at 7.30.

Entry fee €10 (members). 

We hope to have a fun-filled social evening with gifts and food. Please remember to bring your Christmas challenge piece (Christmas stocking or wine bottle gift bag). 

We will always be playing Fat Quarter Bingo. Don't forget to bring a fat quarter with you on the night, so you can join in the fun!

Also don't forget to return your library books. 

Members are also asked to bring some food (sweet or savoury) to the part table. 

Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Eastern Branch Workshops

Below is a list of up-coming classes from the Eastern Branch (Dublin). If anyone in the Mid-West branch wants to wants to come just contact the Eastern Branch workshop co-ordinators (Kirsty and Mary Canning) on their site on the eastern branch.  

Maybe you might like to make a group visit or a weekend away as they often have classes on a Saturday and following Sunday. 

A reminder from the Eastern Branch Workshops Co-ordinator

There are a number of exciting and challenging workshops taking place in the New Year. Now is the time to book to secure a place. Please see their Calendar page for more detailed information.
10th January 2015 - Alice White - Quilt As You Go
Alice is a well know member of the society and a very experienced teacher. Kirsty is taking names to go on the waiting list. Please contact Kirsty Whaley at
24th January 2015 - Rosaleen Dwyer - Table Runner
Rosaleen will be giving her workshop from 1pm to 4pm (Cost €30). Rosaleen writes for the Farmers Journal. You can read about Rosaleen’s work at and visit her on Facebook at Please contact Mary Canning at
14th February 2015 - Terri McNeill - Stained Glass Window
We all know Terri as a much admired member and teacher in the Branch and love her stained glass windows. There are still a few places available. Please contact Kirsty Whaley at
28th February 2015 - Bernadette Kelly - Scrappy Quilts
Bernadette will hold her workshop from 1pm to 4pm (Cost €30). Many of you will have seen Bernadette’s amazing Scrappy Quilts demonstrated at various meetings. You will be sorry if you miss this class! You will be shown how to use up your tiny scraps and I mean tiny lol ! Please contact Mary Canning at to sign up fast.
14th March 2015 - Mary O Reilly - Curved Piecing
Mary will be giving her class from 10 pm - 4 pm (Cost €30). She is a well know member of the Branch and of the Society and her class on Curved Piecing will be both challenging and instructive conducted in Mary’s inimitable style. Please contact Kirsty Whaley at to grab a place.
29th March 2015 - Barbara Weeks
We are privileged to have Barbara visiting us for two days Barbara is a Internationally acclaimed Quilter who teaches and exhibits world wide. You can read more about her at Barbara will be giving a workshop following the Branch Meeting on Saturday from 1 pm - 4 pm. (Cost to be announced). Please contact Mary Canning at to register for this class.
Sunday 30th March - Barbara Weeks 1-day Workshop
Barbara will hold a workshop on Mosaics from10 am to 4 pm. (Cost to be announced) You can see examples of her own mosaic work at Get your name down quick as the places for this course will fly out the door. Please contact Kirsty Whaley at