This year marks the tenth anniversary of the MADE in Kilkenny bespoke craft collective and it has been a challenging and rewarding journey for all of those involved. MADE in Kilkenny is a multidisciplinary craft group organised and run by its members on a voluntary basis with the mission to promote Kilkenny County as the premier destination in Ireland for authentic handmade Irish crafts of exceptional quality. Kilkenny has long had the reputation for being a centre of creativity, and the MADE in Kilkenny collective has actively contributed to
this perception over the last decade. The group has striven to bring together the considerable wealth of craft talent found in Kilkenny to a wider audience, to foster excellence in craftsmanship, and to promote the economy and tourism of the county.
MADE was formed after some makers from the county completed a year long evening marketing course run by the County Enterprise Board (now LEO) in conjunction with CCOI (now DCCOI) in 2007, after completion of the course they felt there was a need for a more structured craft group. So with the support and some facilitation by the County Enterprise Board a structure was put in place and full time professional makers in the county were approached and MADE in Kilkenny was formed.
It was at this time that the Kilkenny Leader Project were starting their 'Trail Kilkenny' project and MADE fitted in under their craft initiative, with the publication of a map and website. MADE launched their trail brochure at their exhibition during the Kilkenny Arts Festival in Butler House in 2009, they exhibited in Butler House during the Arts Festival each year since, as well as creating a pop up shop in the city during December. Membership opens biannually to full time crafts people, through a juried application process and joining members would be required to be active participants in running the organisation.
Now ten years on, the members of MADE in Kilkenny include a diverse collection of makers. The steady behind the scenes work of all of them, past and present has created a collective with a solid identity and a strong brand name that represents the best in craft
The success of the collective has not been achieved by the members work alone, there has been many (too many to list!) people and organisations involved who have supported the establishment and growth of the group and from all of the members of MADE in Kilkenny we say a sincere thank you.