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RDS Craft Awards

The RDS Craft Awards (formerly RDS Crafts Competition) has contributed significantly to the development and growth of the craft sector in Ireland over many years.

Following a review of the Awards, the structure and focus of the Awards has changed in 2018. This involved a restructuring of the RDS Craft Awards which are now in the form of significant bursaries (5 x €10,000) for emerging craft makers, this restructuring also created a new €10,000 bursary called The RDS Irish Craft Bursary which will be managed by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) and open to makers in the DCCoI's Portfolio programme.

2018 RDS Craft Awards

Winners of €10,000 Bursaries:

- Laoise Carey (Fashion Design) 

- Chloë Dowds (Ceramics)

- Pierce Healy (Jewellery / Objects)

- Alan Meredith (Furniture Maker / Woodturner)

- Pearl Reddington (Knitwear)

These five significant RDS bursaries are for the development of business and craft skills for those pursuing a professional career in the sector. The award can be spent on further education and training, research, development of new work, mentoring, purchase of equipment, studio improvements, website and residencies. These winners will also have the opportunity show their work to the public on a free stand (value €2,000) at Gifted – The Contemporary Craft & Design Fair which will be held in the RDS December 5-9, 2018. (Pictured above L-R: Laoise Carey, Alan Meredith, Pearl Reddington, Pierce Healy and Chloë Dowds) 

In 2018, the judging panel of craft and design professionals reviewed the applications from eligible candidates and nine were shortlisted to attend interviews in the RDS where examples of their work were shown to the panel. Shortlisted candidates: Laoise Carey, Sophie Kate Curran, Chloë Dowds, Pierce Healy, Ann McBride, Alan Meredith, Pearl Reddington, Sarah Roseingrave and Adele Walsh.


Judging Panel

Róisín de Buitléar, Artist (Chair)

Sara Flynn, Ceramic Artist (Interviews Only)

Joe Hogan, Basketmaker (Shortlisting Only)

Siobhán Riordan, Managing Director, Alan Ardiff Jewellery

John Tynan, Head of Education, Training & Development, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

Annie Warburton, Creative Director, Crafts Council UK


To be eligible to apply for the 2019 RDS Craft Awards, emerging craft makers must have won a 2018 DCCoI Future Makers Award or Support in 2018. The DCCoI's Future Makers Awards & Supports programme which provides cash supports for students and emerging crafts & design practitioners – is the qualifying competition for the new RDS Craft Awards. To be eligible to apply, an emerging maker must have received a Future Makers Award or Support in the preceding year. This provides makers with the opportunity to demonstrate the progression of their skills and body of work in the year since winning Future Makers.

See rules of entry to the 2018 RDS Craft Awards.


The new RDS Craft Awards is aligned with the RDS Arts Work Programme and its goal of supporting artists to make the transition from emerging to professional practice. At €60,000, the RDS has doubled its direct support to Irish craft makers annually.


For further information please contact:

Dara O'Leary
RDS Arts Programme Manager
Dublin 4
Tel: +353 (0) 1 240 7255
Email: arts@rds.ie

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