European Gaze On Kilkenny Makers
In 2021, the collective applied for and was awarded the designation of World Craft Council Craft City and Region - one of only four regions in Europe to achieve this recognition. This award will greatly enhance Kilkenny’s reputation as a craft destination in Ireland and in a European context.
The World Crafts Council, a non-governmental organization founded in 1964, aims to strengthen the status of and promote crafts as a vital part of cultural, social and economic life through their global network of members and affiliates.
Kilkenny's reputation as a centre for craft in Ireland dates back to the 1960’s, when the Kilkenny Design Workshops (KDW) was set up in the Castle stables in the centre of Kilkenny City. The government led initiative The Irish Export Board aimed to introduce good design into not only industrial manufacturing, but also craft–based production. The project attracted designers from throughout Europe and workshops were set up producing small production runs and prototypes for industry in the areas of weaving, textiles, ceramics, furniture and silversmithing.
Throughout the 1970’s the workshops set up by KDW also ran apprenticeship and training schemes for young aspiring designer- makers and by the time KDW closed in 1988 a considerable number of craft businesses had been set up in Kilkenny.
At DesignYard we have long supported some of Kilkenny’s finest jewellery makers. We have work available online and on display in the gallery by Kilkenny makers Inga reed, Friederike Grace and Rudolf Heltzel. Book your appointment to see their work in person.