CRAFT NI: The Art of Presenting Craft

CRAFT NI: The Art of Presenting Craft
The Art of Presenting Craft is a bespoke workshop programme aimed at mid-career designer-makers. It consists of four workshops focusing on personal and professional development as well as business development issues pertinent to more established craftspeople. The workshops will take place fortnightly in February and March 2017.


The underlying theme of the workshop series is the professional presentation of craft in order to further the careers of designer-makers. By emphasising the importance of the high quality presentation of work for retailers, galleries and in applications (for funding, awards, trade shows etc.) we will help mid-career makers develop the quality of their work, hone their brand identity, identify and connect with new markets, and grow both as practitioners and as businesses. The workshop series will be practical and interactive, and will ‘join the dots’ between making, marketing and selling.

The Art of Presenting Craft Seminars

This seminar programme aims to inspire makers by presenting talks that include 'Product Development', 'Application Clinic', 'Portfolio Presentation & Brand Building', and 'Connecting with the Art Market'.

The seminar talks will be open to the public and FREE to attend – and will only involve a half day (10am-1pm) for each seminar. Craft NI strongly advises that those interested in attending commit to attending all four modules to get the most out of taking part in this programme. The time commitment is a half day every fortnight over two months.

How to Book

Booking is now open. It's recommended that attendees take part in each seminar to make the best of what the programme has to offer. 

Product Development

Application Clinic

'Me' and My Craft Business

Connecting with the Art Market

Craft NI will send reminder notifications well in advance of each session.

Seminar Series

Product Development

Thursday 9th February, 2017


Craft NI and The Nerve Centre are partnering to present industry specialist and creative business mentor John Jenkins with The Product Development seminar as part of Craft NI’s ‘The Art of Presenting Craft’ programme, supported by The Department for Communities. This seminar will take place at 10am-1pm, Thursday 9th February at The Nerve Centre, Derry/Londonderry.

The Product Development seminar is led by experienced practitioner, industry specialist in product development and creative business mentor John Jenkins. John will lead this seminar giving you the advice and invaluable expertise that supports you in creating or re-designing high quality designs with clear target markets. Covering topics including: product development/diversity, product specific development, costing, mark-ups and margins, manufacture, product development strategies, negotiation: prices, exclusivity and settlement terms and identifying target markets.

The Nerve Centre welcomes you to a seminar opening at 10am in their Fab Lab studio that will be followed by the Product Development Centre held onsite. All public seminar participants will be invited to Eighty81 Studios for refreshments and an informal tour of the “The Future Artist-Maker Labs” exhibition from Curator Declan Sheenan.

Application Clinic

Thursday 23rd February, 2017


Craft NI presents Professor Karen Fleming with The Application Clinic seminar as part of ‘The Art of Presenting Craft’ programme supported by the Department for Communities. This seminar will take place at 10am-1pm, Thursday 23rd February, 2017 at The Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown.

The Application Clinic is led by Director of the Research Institute Art and Design, researcher and practitioner Professor Karen Fleming. Karen will share tips on sourcing a wide variety of local funding opportunities and address what you want to achieve from funding, while recognising the needs of your funder. Karen will give you the tools necessary in being selective with funding opportunities and holding on to your core values.

Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Visual Arts Development Officer Deirdre Robb will contribute to the Application Clinic seminar by presenting competitive funding applications from the perspective of a funding body.

Craft NI’s Application Clinic is dedicated to ensuring you are able to prepare high quality applications that reflect accurately and positively what you do. Covering topics including: applications for fundraising including Arts Council applications, Invest NI, Creative industries Innovation Fund, competition entries, juried exhibition entries and other competitive application processes.

The seminar concludes with a panelled Q&A with Karen Fleming and Deirdre Robb who will answer your questions relating to competitive funding applications and how you can be successful in your future application bids.

‘Me’ and My Craft Business

Thursday 9th March, 2017


Craft NI presents to you Director of The Design Trust Patricia van den Akker with ‘Me’ and My Craft Business as part of ‘The Art of Presenting Craft’ programme supported by The Department for Communities. This seminar will take place at 10am-1pm, Thursday 9th March, in The Londonderry Room, Ards Arts Centre.

The ‘Me’ in My Craft Business seminar is led by creative business expert, trainer, mentor and Director of The Design Trust, Patricia van den Akker. Patricia van den Akker will lead this seminar with a focus around identifying your core values and how to communicate and present them clearly through more fitting branding, imagery, packaging, social media presence, company culture and beyond. Within this seminar you will find out how to identify, attract and approach dream clients who share your values in a creative and professional way. Throughout the day Patricia will share creative case studies of creative businesses who really show their values and personality throughout their work, brand and marketing. You will leave the day with a clear action plan to show your values and personality more throughout your creative business.

Connecting with the Art Market

Tuesday 14th March, 2017


Craft NI presents to you Yvonna Demczynska Director of Flow Gallery, London with Connecting with the Art Market seminar as part of The Art of Presenting Craft programme supported by The Department for Communities. This seminar will take place 10am-1pm, Tuesday 14th March, 2017 at Riddle Hall, Queens University Belfast, Stranmillis Road, Belfast.

Gallery Director and owner Yvonna Demczynska will introduce you to Flow Gallery and its contemporary craft focus, the global craft market in which you are working and the potential of exhibiting overseas. Yvonna will share a unique and important insight into how to approach galleries and how not to do it!

The seminar concludes with a panelled Q&A with Yvonna Demczynska and will give you the chance to have your questions answered about how you connect with the art market successfully.

This seminar will highlight key areas of importance which can influence how a gallery connects with you and sources your work, including: branding, social media and networking. You will leave the day with a clear understanding of how you can make connections and ensure establishing long term relationships with galleries.


The overall objective of the programme is to provide mid-career and established designer-makers with a blended set of skills to enable them to identify the best route to market for their own particular artistic practice and to empower them with the tools to be able to exploit that route.

To ensure that designer-makers believe in themselves and their work and have the opportunity to acquire the skills ensuring that this belief translates into a sustainable and growing business while encouraging the development of artistic practice within an appropriate brand identity.

One-to-one Workshops

*While the seminar series is open to the public and those working within other disciplines throughout the creative sector, these one-to-one workshops that are only open to makers, and require an application*

The one-to-one workshops will offer tailored advice and specific feedback on work, proposals and applications, business plans, portfolios and websites, depending on the seminar. Attendance in both morning and afternoon sessions is mandatory for selected designer-makers who are participating the full day programme equating to 10am-4pm every fortnight over two months.