PORTFOLIO actively works to grow the reputations and potential of makers across all major disciplines of contemporary craft. Featured makers are those producing innovative objects, either one-off pieces or limited editions, and working to high standards of design quality and technical skill.


PORTFOLIO actively works to grow the reputations and potential of makers across all major disciplines of contemporary craft.  Featured makers are those producing innovative objects, either one-off pieces or limited editions, and working to high standards of design quality and technical skill. Selected by an international expert panel, PORTFOLIO currently showcases contemporary work by over 140 of Ireland’s most renowned makers across the following disciplines: Ceramics, Jewellery, Glass, Metals, Paper, Textiles, Calligraphy, Furniture, Woodwork, Basketry, Fashion and Stone.

Critical Selection is a biennial publication of the leading edge of Irish contemporary craft in a world-class context. This volume is published by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in order to increase awareness and understanding of top Irish makers and their work, particularly among Irish and international collectors, galleries, commissioning bodies and museums.

24 makers were selected for PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection 2019-2020. The judging panel were: Gregory Parsons, a UK-based freelance curator, exhibition designer and product developer; Dr. Maureen Bampton, Director of the Bluecoat Display Centre in Liverpool and  Suzanne Macdougald, Founder and Director of Solomon Gallery from 1982 to 2008 and Solomon Fine Art from 2011 to 2014. The panel was joined by Deirdre McQuillan, The Irish Times’ Fashion Editor, for the fashion selection.

The publication and accompanying exhibition, “Narratives in Making” launched in the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny in May 2017 and toured to Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales  from July to September 2017.

Application forms for PORTFOLIO Critical Selection 2019-2020 and PORTFOLIO wider programme are now available HERE

Deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 9th November 2018.



RDS IRISH CRAFT BURSARY | Applications open


The RDS, as a key part of its continued strong support for craft in Ireland, has created a new bursary valued at €10,000 which provides support for established makers of contemporary craft. The RDS Irish Craft Bursary is open to makers who are members of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) PORTFOLIO Programme; both those featured in the Critical Selection publication and those featured in the wider programme, dccoi.ie/portfolio. The selection of the recipient of the bursary will coincide with the next PORTFOLIO application process in November 2018. Current PORTFOLIO members and new applicants for the programme are welcome to apply for the bursary. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 9th November 2018. 


The bursary may be used for a wide range of career and professional development activities such as: further education and training; research; development of new work; mentoring; purchase of equipment; studio improvements; technology; websites and residencies. The planned activity for the bursary must be taking place in 2019.


Applicants are required to submit:


  1. A proposal outlining what they would do with the bursary, including timeframe, aims, objectives and expected outcome.
  2. A budget breakdown.
  3. Digital images of current work practice.
  4. C.V.


Applicants may also submit examples of actual work to the assessment panel if they feel it will strengthen their application.


The applications will be assessed by an independent expert panel and a representative from the RDS. Selection for the bursary will be decided in November 2018. The award of €10,000 will be paid to the bursary winner in two installments; €9,000 in December 2018 and the balance in 2019 on completion of a report. The Bursary winner will be officially announced at the launch of the PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection 2019 – 2020 exhibition and publication in Dublin Castle in February 2019.


An information event about the bursary will take place on Friday 21st September in the RDS, Dublin which will include presentations from three makers who have received various bursaries in the past: Joe Hogan, Róisín de Buitleár and Anne Butler. Attendance is free of charge but places are limited.To register your interest, please email: ciara@dccoi.ie.




Click here to find out about more about the BURSARY INFORMATION EVENT


The reach with our PORTFOLIO programme has been extending significantly over the last number of years. We work closely with the National Museum of Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs running two joint purchase funds. This has meant that contemporary design and craft features strongly in the National Museum of Ireland’s decorative arts collections and is showcased in a number of Irish embassies around the world. The full list of acquisitions with the National Museum of Ireland, the Contemporary Collection of Design & Craft, can be viewed here  


For further information on PORTFOLIO, contact: Ciara Garvey, Development Manager, Collector & Tourism Programmes, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Castle Yard, Kilkenny. Email: ciara@dccoi.ie / Tel: (056) 7796137 / Facebook


Contact Details:

Ciara Garvey
Development Manager,
Collector & Tourism Programme
Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
Castle Yard, Kilkenny

T. (056) 7796137
E. ciara@dccoi.ie