Clay Culture: Dublin, Ireland, City Guide

Dublin is an artistically vibrant city—home to approximately 100 ceramic artists who focus mostly, but not exclusively, on sculptural work and gallery representation. While many potters prefer the countryside for the lower rents and ample space, Dublin does have a small and talented group of ceramic artists who produce beautiful functional work such as Danu Ceramics, Arran Street East, karoArt, and Brookwood Pottery.

Post-secondary Ceramics Programs

The main educational institution for the ceramic arts is the National College of Art and Design, which offers a three-year bachelors degree in ceramics and glass and the option to stay on for two more years to earn a masters degree. Graduates have traditionally celebrated the culmination of their studies with a show at Gallery Zozimus—the largest ceramics-focused gallery in Ireland. Emerging artists also have the opportunity to showcase their work through SO Fine Art Editions, which represents a carefully curated portfolio of both new and established artists.

Organizational Resources

Ceramics Ireland offers the main organization for ceramic artists, publishing its own magazine (also titled Ceramics Ireland), curating exhibitions, and hosting workshops. Every two years they organize a ceramics festival that attracts artists from Ireland and around the world.

A number of grants provide support for ceramic artists. The Local Enterprise Office provides business grants, which are funded by Enterprise Ireland. Additionally, numerous art grants are available through the Arts Council. The Design and Crafts Council of Ireland provides support through their professional development programs, which offer guidance in business development, marketing and selling, as well as organizing an annual trade show “Showcase Ireland,” which champions the best of Irish design.

There has been a reignited interest in handcrafted ceramics and all crafts since the economic crisis in 2008. Emma McGrath, from Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, has pointed out that the economic downturn influenced the way in which people spent their money. The public became more discerning, desiring more meaning in the items that they bought, leading to an increase in sales of handmade items. Since then interest in the crafts has continued and, with the improved economy in recent years, enthusiasm for hand-crafted items is growing in strength. Irish Design Shop, The Kilkenny Shop, and Cows Lane Designer Studio all stock stunning examples of Irish craft and are well worth a visit during your trip to Dublin.

Galleries and Shops

1 Gallery Zozimus
55/56 Francis St., Dublin 8
www.galleryzozimus.ie

2 SO Fine Art Editions
10 South Anne St., Dublin 2
www.sofinearteditions.com

3 The Open Window Gallery
205 Lower Rathmines Rd.,
Rathmines, Dublin 6
www.theopenwindowgallery.ie

4 Irish Design Shop
41 Drury St., Dublin 2
www.irishdesignshop.com

5 The Kilkenny Shop
6 Nassau St., Dublin 2
www.kilkennyshop.com

6 Cows Lane Designer Studio
2 Pudding Row, Essex St. West,
Temple Bar, Dublin 8
www.facebook.com/DesignLaneDublin

7 Jam Art Factory
64 Patrick St., Dublin 8
jamartfactory.com

8 Arran Street East
1 Little Green St., Dublin 7
www.arranstreeteast.ie

1 Irish Design Shop, offering traditional and modern Irish gifts, home items, and jewelry.

2 Cows Lane Designer Studio, gift and specialty shop.

Museums

9 National Museum of Ireland—Decorative Arts & History
Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7
www.museum.ie/Decorative-Arts-History
Admission to all sites of the National Museum of Ireland is free.

10 National Museum of Ireland—Archaeology
Kildare Street, Dublin 2
www.museum.ie/Archaeology
Admission to all sites of the National Museum of Ireland is free.

11 National Gallery of Ireland
Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
www.nationalgallery.ie
Admission to the National Gallery of Ireland is free.

12 Irish Museum of Modern Art
Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
www.imma.ie
Admission is free except for special exhibitions.

Organizations

• Ceramics Ireland
www.ceramicsireland.org

13 Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
Castle Yard, Kilkenny R95 CAA6
www.dccoi.ie

14 Arts Council
70 Merrion Sq., Dublin 2
www.artscouncil.ie

15 Visual Artists Ireland
4 Oliver Bond St., Dublin 8
www.visualartists.ie

3 Fire Station Artists’ Studios, residential studios for artists to live and work.

4 Jam Art Factory, independent gallery and design shop showcasing the best in Irish art and design.

Community Art Centers

16 Fire Station Artists’ Studios
9-11 Lower Buckingham St., Dublin 1
www.firestation.ie

Fairs/Festivals and Sales that
include Ceramics

17 Showcase Ireland
www.showcaseireland.com

18 National Crafts & Design Fair
www.giftedfair.ie

• Sculpture in Context
www.sculptureincontext.com

Educational Institutions

19 National College of Art and Design
100 Thomas St., Dublin 8
www.ncad.ie

5 Arran Street East studio, designing and producing functional and simple homewares.

6 Arran Street East shop, located on Little Green Street.

7 National College of Art and Design, offering a large range of art and design degrees in the state.

the author Yasha Butler is a full-time artist and designer who makes jewelry and ceramic vessels. She currently lives in Dublin, Ireland. To learn more about her work, visit https://yashabutler.com.

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