A decade and a half of artistic excellence

made in kilkenny

July 2023

For the past 15 years, the MADE in Kilkenny Craft Group has been an embodiment of passion, creativity, and collaboration. Comprising 29 professional makers, this remarkable collective has not only showcased their individual talents but also elevated Kilkenny’s status as a region of craft. As we celebrate their journey, it is crucial to acknowledge the significance of Kilkenny’s designation as a World Craft Council City and Region of Craft—one of only five in Europe. The upcoming exhibition which will run from 12th August to 28th October at the National Craft Gallery, titled MADE in Kilkenny/Made Local,’ serves as a fitting tribute to the county’s rich heritage of craftsmanship.

The MADE in Kilkenny Craft Group stands as a testament to the power of unity and the strength of community. Organised and run by its members, this collective has fostered an environment of collaboration and support. In a world often dominated by individualism, this collective has demonstrated that together, artisans can achieve far more than they could on their own. By sharing resources, knowledge, and experiences, these artisans have not only honed their skills but also forged lifelong friendships. They have created a supportive ecosystem where creativity flourishes, new ideas are born, and the traditions of the past are cherished and evolved. Together, they have become a force to be reckoned with, showcasing the best of Kilkenny’s craftsmanship to the world.

Kilkenny has long had the reputation for being a centre of creativity and now, its designation as a World Craft Council City and Region of Craft is a prestigious honour that speaks volumes about the county’s commitment to preserving and promoting traditional craft practices. This recognition places Kilkenny among the elite ranks of craft destinations in Europe, highlighting the exceptional talent that resides within its borders, and solidifying its position as a beacon for artisans and enthusiasts alike.

The ‘MADE in Kilkenny/Made Local’ exhibition at the esteemed National Craft Gallery will showcase the group’s finest creations and celebrate the county’s craft heritage. Walking through the halls of the National Craft Gallery, visitors will be treated to a dazzling array of skilfully crafted pieces. The exhibition reflects the diverse talents and techniques that make Kilkenny’s craft scene so unique. It’s a testament to how heritage and modernity can harmoniously coexist, breathing new life into age-old traditions.

The MADE in Kilkenny Craft Group has left an indelible mark on the artistic landscape of Kilkenny. They are not just creators of beautiful objects; they are custodians of culture, ambassadors of tradition, and champions of community. Their collective journey stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, and the enduring spirit of creativity. As we celebrate their accomplishments and enjoy the exhibition, let us also recognize the invaluable role that artisans play in shaping the identity of a region. Their passion and dedication for craftsmanship serve as a source of inspiration, ensuring that the flame of creativity continues to burn brightly in this historic county.