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Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Saturday, 15th of September 2018
Making in Art / Craft / Design / Architecture /

Announcing the second edition of Making In - a seminar designed to stimulate and fire the imagination of all creative minds. Featuring some of the most profound and exciting voices in international design, this seminar puts Joseph Walsh Studio, and Ireland, at the center of a valuable creative dialogue. One that aims to stimulate thought, to question, to inspire.


As an admirer of the extraordinary body of work they have each created, Joseph Walsh and his team are delighted to welcome these visionary artists, designers and educators to Cork, to share their vision, their commitment to creativity and excellence. To share the beauty of what they do with all of us.


The Value of a Making Culture

We value living in a making culture and believe it to be an important component in society. Consuming cultures that rely on the production of goods elsewhere are poorer than those who engage, not only in thinking about the objects they surround ourselves with, but who are committed to making these objects.

This seminar is part of a series of events that explores the notion of a making culture. In a world where people increasing seek connections to the objects they surround themselves with, and where there is access to global design and new technologies, we examine our past and debate our future as we mark our place in time with the objects we create and live with. Objects that enhance the way we live but are also an expression of who we are.


Opening Address by Dr. Claudia Kinmonth
Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Living in West Cork, Ireland, Dr Claudia Kinmonth, MRIA PhD MA(RCA), is a design and art historian whose approach to design history is informed by years spent restoring and making furniture. After studying at the Royal College of Art, London, she worked as a researcher at both the V&A and Sir John Soane’s Museum. Her first book, Irish Country Furniture 1700-1950, was published by Yale University Press.

This was followed by Irish Rural Interiors in Art, a book that instigated exhibitions in Ireland and at Boston College, USA where vernacular furniture was shown with the early genre paintings that depicted it. Claudia Kinmonth is currently working on an enlarged, second edition of Irish Country Furniture for Cork University Press.


Joseph Walsh introduces the Speakers

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Anike Tyrrell’s work has been dedicated to setting up communities and networks that allow individual projects thrive against a background of communal effort and support. She established J. HILL’s Standard as a response to the loss of hand-making skills in the glass industry in the region of Waterford and beyond. J. Hill's Standard is a maker of contemporary cut crystal, crafted by hand using knowledge and skill passed down through generations of craftsmen. The studio takes its name from John Hill, an 18th Century glass alchemist and innovator, credited with revolutionising the production of cut crystal in Ireland and with setting a new standard of quality and material perfection.

This legacy of innovation and commitment to creativity is today honoured by J. Hill's Standard and is the inspiration for its new and original collections of handmade Irish cut crystal. J. Hill's Standard work with talented designers to create cut crystal objects that are honest, functional and beautiful. Their products are a celebration of the progressive and the handmade, whereby the hand of the maker is revealed, not hidden as they explore the inherent qualities of crystal and innovations in glass generally as a material. In their hands this centuries-old craft becomes vital and relevant once again.

Working from the Atlantic shore of Ireland, J. HILL’s Standard are unconventional, individual and free spirited. Working with master craftsmen and an international resource of designers, they deliver rare and singular handcrafted objects.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Nakagawa Mokkougei represents the fine tradition of Kyoto wood crafting where time-honoured skills are passed on from father to son. Shuji Nakagawa is the third-generation of Nakagawa Mokkougei. In 2001 his father, Kiyotsugu, was recognized for his commitment to Japanese design heritage. In his work, Shuji Nakagawa seeks to expand the possibility of traditional Japanese wooden buckets, retaining the structure of previous buckets, while adapting the design and usage to suit modern everyday life. In addition, he has collaborated with renowned designers to create new highly acclaimed pieces such as champagne coolers and stools.

In addition to designing everyday objects, he also collaborates with contemporary artists such as Hiroshi Suigimoto. This has resulted in wooden buckets as art pieces - these have been exhibited in New York and London where they have been very well received. These collaborations have allowed Shuji to show another side of himself, that of sculptor.

Shuji Nakagawa’s Champagne Cooler Konoha has been selected by Dom Perignon as its official champagne cooler while his Big Trays of Parquetry was a finalist for the 2017 Loewe Craft Prize. In 2016 his Ki-oke Stool was acquired the permanent collection of the V&A museum in London; the following year it was acquired for the permanent collection of Musée des Arts Deécoratifs in Paris.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Kaikado was established in 1875 shortly after Japan opened its doors to the rest of the world. In the Edo era, canisters made from tin were commonly used as storage for tea, as were jars made from china or earthenware. Kaikado’s founder, Seisuke, first designed a tin Chazutsu [tea caddy] and made it into a commercially available item. His aim was to provide a well-designed, functional tea caddy capable of storing the type of tea leaves commonly sold by dealers. In a time before the invention of the refrigerator, air tightness was key to maintaining the flavour and quality of freshly picked leaves for a period of one year and Kaikado’s tea caddies were a blessing in disguise to tea dealers.

With a manufacturing process that involves anywhere between 130 to 140 steps, these hand-made tea caddies have virtually remained true to the original designs of Kaikado’s founding generation with the die and mold used in the early years of the company still in use today. The current successor, Takahiro, has developed a two-tiered tea caddy, initiated the first ever collaborations with tea brands and has started marketing his caddies abroad.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Originally from a scientific / engineering background, Bill Haneman is one of a handful of uilleann pipe makers in Ireland. He is known for having restored historically significant instruments and for the detailed documentation of the methods employed by both contemporary makers and past masters. In addition to making new instruments modeled after historic examples, Bill Haneman has served as a curriculum consultant to Na Píobairí Uilleann and an instructor for the making of this unique musical instrument, the worldwide significance of which has recently been recognised by UNESCO through inclusion in its Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Symbolic of both historic and contemporary Ireland, the uilleann pipes are a subtle and complex integration of form and function.

Despite an impressive resurgence of the uilleann piping tradition over the past five decades, much of the rich history of this instrument is still being rediscovered as it now approaches its own third century.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

In Ireland there is a long tradition of working in stone. Living and working in Cork, Ken Thompson is perhaps the most renowned exponent of this craft today. Working primarily in stone, but also in wood and bronze, he is self-taught. Inspired and influenced by the ideas and approach to art of Eric Gill, through his friendship with his daughter who lived near Thompson, he also famously acquired the tools, equipment and unfinished work of the celebrated Irish stone carver, Seamus Murphy, who died in 1975.

A great deal of Ken Thompson’s work involves lettering and sacred art and he has completed numerous private and public commissions in Ireland and internationally. These include the Air India Disaster Monument in Ahakista, West Cork; the Innocent Victims Memorial at the Great West Entrance to Westminster Abbey; the monument for the late Cardinal Basil Hume for Westminster Cathedral and a number of works for the Irish College in Rome.

In 2014, he completed the Stations of the Cross as part of the major restoration project at St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Giles Smith is a founding partner of Assemble where his work involves developing strategic design responses to urban issues and building cultural infrastructure. Most recently this has involved working on projects at a range of scales in Venice, Liverpool and London with clients including the University of the Arts London and Goldsmiths.

Giles was a juror at the Architectural Association of Ireland awards in 2017, has taught and lectured internationally at venues including recently at the Tate Modern and Harvard University, and has taught design studios at the London School of Architecture and the University of Westminster.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Sudarshan Shetty, best known for his enigmatic sculptural installations, has long been recognized as one of his generation’s most innovative artists in India. Shetty [b. 1961] completed his BFA in painting from Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai in 1985. Moving from painting exclusively to installation early on in his career, Shetty explores the fundamental ontological challenges presented by our immersion in a world of objects.

His installations are developed around a rigorous grammar of materials, mechanical exposure and unlikely juxtapositions of things that may belong to culturally distinct spheres. Shetty’s object language eschews narrative as well as established symbolism. He has exhibited widely in India and around the world, was the curator of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 and a participating artist in the inaugural edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2012.

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Born in Cork, Ireland in 1971, Sara Flynn trained in ceramic design at the Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork. Her work concentrates on the challenges of thrown forms, which are then altered and changed at varying stages of the drying process. Having begun her career producing small-scale functional pots she now produces one-off vessels that are entirely sculptural in their intent.

Shortlisted for the Loewe Craft Prize in its’ inaugural year, she served as a member of the Experts Panel for the Prize in 2018 and will do so again in 2019. Sara Flynn’s work is held in many major collections including The Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth House, England; The Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Canada; The Art Institute of Chicago, U.S.A., and the National Museum of Ireland.


Joseph Walsh introduces the Moderator

Speakers, Seminar - Decoding Craftsmanship

Glenn Adamson is a curator, writer and historian who works at the intersection of craft and contemporary art. Currently Senior Scholar at the Yale Center for British Art, he has previously been Director of the Museum of Arts and Design; Head of Research at the V&A; and Curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee.

Adamson’s publications include Art in the Making (2016, co-authored with Julia Bryan Wilson); Invention of Craft (2013); Postmodernism: Style and Subversion (2011); The Craft Reader (2010); and Thinking Through Craft (2007).

Most recently Adamson was the co-curator of Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years at MAD (2016); curator of Beazley Designs of the Year, at the Design Museum in London (2017); and co-curator (with Martina Droth and Simon Olding) of Things of Beauty Growing: British Studio Pottery, at the Yale Center for British Art (2017).

His new book Fewer Better Things: The Hidden Meaning of Objects will be published by Bloomsbury in August 2018.


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