Louth Craftmark Designers Network is a group of makers and visual artists based in and around County Louth. We promote and support our members through accessing funding, networking and collaborative projects.
Louth Craftmark Designers Network is an impact-driven membership organisation. We currently have 63 members from Louth and its environs. The creative disciplines of our membership include Ceramics, Print, Jewellery, Textiles, Woodwork, Furniture, Leather, Sculpture and Painting. All of our members work full-time or part-time in their discipline. We have the potential to increase our membership to all engaged in creative practice in and around Louth.
Co. Louth has a long history of collaboration between craftspeople and in 2006 we formalised our relationships when we formed Louth Craftmark Designers Network. The main focus of the network in 2006 was our flagship retail store at Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda. With support from Louth County Enterprise Board, Louth Craftmark Ltd was formed to open and manage the shop. Since then the network has continued to grow and collaborate on a variety of projects such as Showcase Ireland, National Craft Fair, Bloom in Park, Art in Action, Art Source, Autumn Gift Fair, Meet the Makers, Drogheda Arts Festival, Tain Festival, Dundalk Agricultural Show, Creative Map and many printed materials and group marketing projects.
In 2011 Louth Craftmark Designers Network curated the first Craft, Design and Fine Art exhibition in Highlanes Gallery, “The Song of Amergin” which was highly acclaimed. Highlanes Gallery has invited us to work with them on future selected shows. With our strength in numbers, we have found the courage to stand up in front of the public and take part in 20/20 a nerve-wracking 20 slides in 20 seconds. This fun event has become part of our annual Design Week celebrations.
In 2017 Louth Craftmark Designers Network launched the annual three-day Louth Craftmark Winter Fair offers a showcase of the finest locally made crafts to produce a high-quality craft fair with an opportunity to purchase quality products with local provenance. The Winter Fair takes place in Bellurgan Park a beautiful period house set within its own 390 acres of land, the 18th-century house, with its completely original features, is an incomparable location. The Winter Fair offers the public a rare opportunity to see the whole house. Our aim is to develop the Winter Fair as the destination Art and Craft event in the northeast.
The thing our members talk about is the support we offer to each other, you can easily get the low down on an important buyer or find out how to source quality packaging and any other creative business question. We host regular members nights when we visit each other’s workspaces. While giving each other the opportunity to see our workspace this also gives a wonderful insight into how we improve our individual practice. Although our retail outlet closed in 2012, we have continued to work closely with Louth Craftmark Ltd in the establishment of Creative Spark, Louth Creative Community Hub, a new centre that offers workspace and training facilities for the creative sector in County Louth.