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The Venue

RDS Craft Awards Rules of Entry

For Rules which govern each individual sponsored prize please see the awards page. Only one entry per maker is permitted.


The Awards are open to all craft workers living on the island of Ireland.  All work entered into the RDS Craft Awards must be an original craft item designed and made by the entrant in Ireland.

The Awards is a two strand competition; entrants must select on the online application form if they are an Established Maker or an Emerging Maker.

To be eligible to enter the Emerging Maker awards entrants must be: students studying craft in third level institutions, or have within the last five years set up a craft business, or be life-long learners (new to a craft discipline within five years) studying craft on a more informal course or via an apprenticeship. Proof of status will be required on the online application form.

All other entrants whether professional or amateur must enter the Established Maker awards.

Entries may only be submitted in the categories listed. Entrants should reflect their primary skill when choosing a category. An entry may be submitted in one category only.

Only one entry per entrant is permitted. 

(Please note that a single entry can comprise of a number of related objects).

Those that are entering a collaborative piece with one other person can also enter a second individual entry.

All entries must be wholly original and not copies. The RDS does not accept responsibility for entries that infringe the copyright of another maker. All entries are accepted at face value and each entrant must agree to the terms and conditions of the competition which is judged anonymously.

All works must have been executed by the entrant within two years of the Awards and are not eligible to be entered in any subsequent year. If a joint entry is submitted (maximum two people) the work of each competitor should be clearly identified.

Evidence of the makers hand is a significant element of the craft object; however the RDS recognises that technology can usefully and creatively assist the maker with production of contemporary craft. Entrants must declare any outsourced/technologically produced/non-hand made parts of their work to ensure transparency in the judging process.

An entry selected for judging must be the same entry as submitted initially on photograph. Substitution will lead to disqualification.

Entries are judged on the standard of craftsmanship, design, creativity and presentation. The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into after the Awards. The judges may transfer an entry from one category to another if they think it will benefit the competitor.

Prize winners and a select number of other high quality entries will be exhibited annually at the Dublin Horse Show.

The RDS will organise an exhibition of the prize winners at the National Crafts & Design Fair in December in the RDS Main Hall. All winners must agree to have their work shown at this event.

The purchase of a piece of craft will not be concluded until the competition and the Dublin Horse Show exhibition is over. Entrants will receive payment for any work sold when the work has been collected and paid for by the buyer. Those exhibiting at the National Crafts & Design Fair will not receive payment until December.

All entries will be professionally photographed by the RDS for publicity purposes in connection with the RDS Craft Awards catalogue, and will also be used for marketing and advertising materials. The copyright of all such photographs will remain the property of the RDS. Copyright of all craft work will remain the property of the maker.

There are specific terms and conditions attached to specific prizes in the competition which entrants must comply with when entering.

Entries can only be accepted via the online application form accessible at www.rds.ie/craft . Digital images must be no larger than 1MB and must be in JPG/JPEG format. All photographs will be titled with the entry number once submitted online; no names or other identification should be visible. It is important that the scale, size of work and a full description of the piece should be given; including materials used, design source and function, as this information will be given to the judges. On the application form entrants are required to fill in a 40 word max catalogue entry which will be used in the exhibition catalogue if selected for exhibition. The online entry fee of €15 must be paid. The entry fee for students/emerging makers is €10 and evidence of their status will be required. An entry is defined as one piece of work or a matching group of work.

Entrants must deliver work to the RDS for judging on the dates given and unsuccessful entrants must also collect their work on the dates given after judging has taken place. Please note that the RDS cannot pay for works to be returned by post or courier. It is the responsibility of the competitor to make arrangements for work to be collected on these dates.

The RDS strongly recommends using sturdy packing materials (plastic boxes with lids are preferred) when delivering the work for judging. The work will be moved around and stored in the RDS between judging and exhibition set up and should be well protected.

The judging panel is composed of prominent craftspeople and academics from Ireland and Europe. To maintain high standards, prizes are only awarded if sufficient merit is shown. The judges’ decision is final.

All work will be insured for cover against theft and damage while in the care of the RDS during judging and exhibition.


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