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Sunday, 15 December 2019

The Year of Craft in Ireland

An Post Stamps Gets Crafty


An Post is celebrating 2011 Year of Craft with the issue of five new 55c stamps today Thursday, May 12, 2011.

2011 has been designated as Year of Craft by the Crafts Council of Ireland and Craft Northern Ireland, and these stamps recognise the traditional and contemporary elements in our craft heritage.

Each stamp is dedicated to one of the main craft disciplines: Glass, Wood, Metal, Textiles and Ceramics.The work of five leading craft artists/makers illustrates each
of these disciplines: 

  • Roisín de Buitléar – Glass
  • Liam Flynn – Wood
  • Inga Reed - Metal
  • Helen McAllister – Textiles
  • Deirdre McLoughlin – Ceramics

The five 55c stamps were designed by Irish graphic designer Ger Garland incorporating photographs of one-off gallery type pieces. The stamps and booklet may be viewed and purchased online, at the GPO, Dublin and main Post Offices and by phone at (01) 7057400.

The five featured Craft pieces will be on display in the GPO Public Post Office until June 10th.

Contemporary Irish Craft

Irish craftspeople today produce innovative, contemporary work using traditional, sometimes ancient skills.  Craft covers everything from woodturning and basket making to blacksmithing and stained glass making.  It is estimated that almost 5000 people are employed in craft, making the sector a significant contributor to the Irish economy.

In recent years Ireland has achieved a reputation as a world-class source of contemporary fine craft. Irish craft makers have participated at international shows such as the biennial LOOT, held at the Museum of Art and Design in New York, SOFA (Sculpture Objects & Functional Art) in Chicago and more recently Collect in London, putting contemporary Irish craft on the international stage.

Background on Craft Makers

Glass - Roisin de Buitléar
Dublin’s Róisín de Buitléar draws inspiration from her cultural heritage in her blown and cast glass creations that she’s been making for almost 30 years. Her work can be seen in public and private buildings throughout Ireland.

Wood - Liam Flynn
Liam Flynn  has been making wood vessels in his studio at Abbeyfeale, County
Limerick, for the past 25 years.  Flynn was the winner of the inaugural Crafts Council of Ireland Irish Craft Bursary in 2005. His work is featured in numerous private and public collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin; the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; the Woodturning Centre, Philadelphia and the Department of Foreign Affairs Collection, Dublin.

Metal - Inga Reed
Inga Reed has been making jewellery since the late 1970s, recently in County Kilkenny, where she makes her distinctive pieces in her rural studio. She uses classic goldsmithing techniques, combining precious metals and precious and semi-precious stones. It is the intricate organic engineering that underpins the structure of collected items like seed pods and leaves and the patterns and textures they create. Her work is featured in many private and public collections including the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin.

Textiles – Dr Helen McAllister
Designer Helen McAllister has an MA in embroidered textiles and is head of fashion and design at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. She was the winner of the inaugural Golden Fleece award in 2002. Her work has moved from 2D image based hangings to 3D form making.

Ceramics - Deirdre McLoughlin
The work of philosophy and history graduate Deirdre McLoughlin shapes space. It has been described as biomorphic, abstract and sculptural. She was awarded the Westerwaldpreis, outstanding ceramic art and craft work in the framework of a competition, in 2004 and showed at the 4th World Ceramic Bienalle in Korea in 2004.
The Year of Craft

Year of Craft is being celebrated through a diverse range of dynamic events to showcase the very best of craft made on the island of Ireland. The programme of events includes everything from exhibitions and open studios to lectures and workshops for craft enthusiasts of all ages. For further information on Year of Craft 2011, visit