Susan Brindley of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland was on hand to launch the very first Craft Trail for the ‘Model’ county at a Wexford craft showcase in Greenacres Gallery on Thursday, April 3.
The new trail aimed at visitors to the region offers an insight to nineteen different craft makers on a driving route right across the county.
The free trail directory features a guide containing maps and directions to the gallery’s, craft workshops and exhibition spaces in Wexford. Visitors can meet the makers in many of the workshops and gain a greater insight to the skills involved in their own craft. Milliners, Potters, Weavers, Wood turners, Sculptors and Jewelers all feature across the trail offering visitors an opportunity to view a broad variety of traditional crafting skills.
Launching the Wexford Craft Trail, Susan Brindley Head of Public Affairs & Communications said, “I am delighted to launch this wonderful Craft Trail for County Wexford which showcases the wealth of creative talent that exists throughout the county. This easy to navigate trail offers domestic and international visitors unique opportunities to discover authentic Irish crafts; to meet makers in their studios, see them at work, learn more about the stories behind products designed and made in Wexford, and of course to purchase a piece of craft for themselves or a loved one. I would like to commend Wexford Craft Network on coming together to create such a professional trail, which will greatly enhance a visitor’s experience of the county. I wish them every success.”
The Craft Trail is the latest offering in a series of trails across County Wexford including a Garden Trail, a Heritage Trail, a Walking Trail and Food Trail. It is hoped the new trail will offer a boost to revenue in the leisure and pleasure business in the county.
Speaking at the launch Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Cllr Ted Howlin said, “I want to pay particular credit here this evening to each and every member of the Craft Trail. Under the umbrella of Visit Wexford Tourism we are working to make Co Wexford a great destination – the first destination of choice for every domestic visitor, on a year round basis and increasingly a destination of choice for overseas visitors to Ireland. Visit Wexford are marketing our County on a year round basis – taking every opportunity to get the Wexford brand and story in people’s minds.
Commenting at the event Wexford Local Development Chairperson, Pat Rath said: “We have been working with the crafters, the gardeners, the walking trail guides and the guardians of the heritage sites of Wexford for the last three years developing these trails throughout the county, there is a wonderful diversity of trails now on offer and there really is something for all tastes and interests We continue to work on this very successful offering for tourism as there huge potential to develop other trails across the county.”
Chair of the Wexford Craft Trail, Padraic Parle said, “This craft trail sits comfortably with the artistic history of the town and county of Wexford and the current prevalence of artists and makers living and working here. There are nineteen different offerings across the trail and each have a very diverse craft. Workshops, exhibitions and events are held right across the year so this trail really enables all of us crafters to come together, combine our skills and host a variety of interesting events for future visitors. This is an opportunity to discover studios; workshops and even garden workshops not normally open to the public.”
The Wexford Craft Trail features, The Blue Egg Gallery, Martin Doyle Goldsmith, Sculptor Gilly Thomas, Creations by Annette Whelan, Textile Artist Phil Stewart, Robert O’Connor Woodturning Studio, Blacksmith and Designer Dainius Varnelis, Potter Paul Maloney, The Ros Tapestry, Ceadogan Rugs, Tir na Nog Creations, Weaver Terry Dunne, Grainne Kenny Design, Potter Patricia Howard, Woodturner Maurice Duggan, Ballyelland Pottery, Milliner Patsy Flood O’Connor, The Forge CraftShop and Milliner Amanda Byrne.
Visitors will be encouraged to try their hand at various have-a-go venues, including creating a work of art at future events in the Wexford Craft Trail Calendar. For further details on the Wexford Craft Trail see http://www.visitwexford.ie or facebook.com WexfordCraftTrailNetwork