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Music in Glass Exhibition at the Ark for Tradfest 2018

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Jan 20th 2018 – Feb 10th 2018 The ARK Cultural Centre for Children. Temple Bar, Dublin

We explore sound captured in glass in this beautiful exhibition of work by Irish glass artist Róisín de Buitléar. Part of the TradFest Children’s Hub 2018

Featuring pieces from Róisín’s Irish Incantation/Ortha series, the exhibition features a series of beautiful glass objects that capture the essence of musical sound and pitch in glass form. Some of the sculptures are made to evoke the sound and duration of a musical note, others will remind you of musical instruments that look like they could be played.

In fact while you are visiting the exhibition, you will see a video of them being played by musicians Liam Ó Maonlaí and Peter O’Toole along with hearing Róisín talking about the inspiration for her work.

Alongside the exhibition display will be a fun interactive glass sound exploring area using glass objects found in everyday life that will enable you to try out making your own glass music.


Category : Current | Exhibition

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National Children’s Play Garden – Dublin

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Róisín de Buitléar is the appointed Artist on a new project to develop a National Children’s Garden for Dublin City Council to commemorate the children who died in the 1916 Rising.


The project has been commissioned by DCC parks and the appointment was made through the Dublin City Council Arts dept. Róisín  working in collaboration with DCC, DCYA and Elements of Action on this project.

The location will be St Audoen’s Park in Dublin 8, of which the old Dublin city walls form a framework for the park.

Work on this project will be completed by 2018.

Category : Current | News

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Mise Éire? Shaping a Nation through Design – Nov 4th-5th National Museum of Decorative Arts & History Collins Barracks

Monday, October 24th, 2016

A conference exploring the expression of collective and national identities in Ireland, through the lens of design and craft.

Taking place at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, this event is part of the 2016 centenary programme and a partnership project between the National Museum of Ireland and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.

Róisín de Buitléar will be presenting the ‘Home’ project and resulting exhibition, made at the Hunt Museum with a group of women travellers from Limerick city. Saturday Nov 5th. 

Friday 4th

9.00-9.30am Registration
9.30am Welcome Remarks

Raghnall Ó Floinn, Director, National Museum of Ireland; Karen Hennessy, CEO, Design and Crafts Council of Ireland

9.45am Panel 1: Remembering 1916

How design and craft addressed and reflected issues of cultural nationalism and identity.



11.10am Panel 2: The role of the state

How national museums reflect identities through material culture and official collections

12.10pm Keynote Address‘La maladie de porcelaine: Travels with the Fonthill Vase.’


Lunch and book signing by Edmund de Waal

2.30pm Panel 3: Designing the futureHow contemporary designers and craftspeople in Ireland regard issues of national identities and the role that global influences may play, now and into the future.

3.40pm Break
4.00pm The Shuttle Hive: A Century of Rising Threads

4.45pm Conference Rapporteur: Concluding Remarks – day 1

5.45pm–7.30pm Reception and exhibition openingThe Shuttle Hive: A Century of Rising Threads
9.00-9.25am Registration
9.25am Keynote Address‘Design, Cultural Practice and Identity in Everyday Life.’

10.15am New Research Papers: Part 1A selection of new papers from researchers, practitioners and graduates that address various themes within the conference.Dr. Claudia Kinmouth – The Sligo Chair revisited: Ancestry & Evolution, an interdisciplinary approach.Dr. Sorcha O’Brien – Shining, Clean Machines: The Promotion of Vacuum Cleaners in 1950s  and 1960s Ireland.Rachel Botha – Mother Ireland’s Facelift.Tom Spalding – Changing Places: Name Changes and Placenames in Cork and other cities.
11.30am Break
11.50am Panel 4: Objects and the meaning of thingsHow cultural diversity, globalisation and the appropriation of cultural signs, has affected/influenced national and collective identities.

12.50pm New Research Papers: Part 2A selection of new papers from researchers, practitioners and graduates that address various themes within the conference.Mary Ann Bolger – “Ritual strangulation with regurgitated interlacing:” reimagining the Celtic in modern Irish design.David Smith – Embracing Cliché: The influence of Kerbstone 52 in the visual identity of Year of Irish Design 2015 – a project study.Bernard Timmins – Historical-creativity inspiring the Co-Creation of Present and Future Design.Dr. P.J. White – Irish Designers as Future Change Agents.
2.00pm Conference Rapporteur: Concluding Remarks

2.30pm Conference Conclusion

Category : Current | News

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Hybrid – Limerick Lace|Liminal Identity – Conference October 28th 2016

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Limerick Lace ¦ Liminal Identity

From 24 October to 4 November 2016 in Limerick City

Hybrid: the identity of liminal lace

Lace and textile are the product of multiple cultural, social and political influences. Limerick lace is the perfect example of this cross-pollination that with time has become part of the identity of Limerick city. The Hybrid Conference and Exhibition and Workshops will address the role of multiple influences in the creation of contemporary lace inspired work.

Hybrid will address the role of lace and its social-economic history and how this once pure entity is continuously transforming and recombining in its use of materials, execution and consumption. The liminal space exists between tradition and new practice; it is an area where different rules apply and the creativity of multiple influences generates a new identity, and this is Hybrid.

28 October 2016 – 9.00am to 4.30pm

City Hall, Merchants Quay, Limerick.

Lace and textile are the product of multiple cultural, social and political influences. Limerick lace is the perfect example of this cross-pollination that with time has become part of the identity of Limerick city.

Speakers include textile artists, lace makers, lace historians and curators. Experts from other great lace centres in Nottingham and Calais will address the heritage and future of lace and what it means to contemporary society.

Lunch will be provided. Two workshops with limited spaces will also be held. These are free but must be booked separately.

Lace as a Delicious Enigma’, 2:00 – 5:00 (limited to 10 places)

Class by: Róisín de Buitléar: is Irelands best known glass artist and educator

Lace as adornment, is a rich source for contemporary practice. Chaotic or structured, organic or inorganic, revealing and concealing, fragile and robust, masculine or feminine.. lace can be about how we live.

This workshop is an investigative project examining how lace can be used to reinterpret objects and explore the potential of lace as a source for construction and adornment.

Participants will work on developing sketch ideas in 2 and 3D,  in various materials with a view to creating a series of proposals for objects to be realised in a variety of materials and scale.

A basis in design is an advantage to participating in this workshop. Workshop is open to: designers of all disciplines, students, and practicing artists working in 3 dimensions. No prior knowledge of lace is necessary but lace experts will be welcomed.

To book this workshop email archives@limerick.ie

Category : Current | News

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Macalla: Creggan Library St Patricks College DCU Drumcondra

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Macalla Echo Exhibition of Glass sound objects 5th April – 28th April Open Monday – Friday

Sounding an echo is a magical moment, which is followed by marvel, curiosity and joy! Creating an echo requires particular science and a touch of alchemy, two essential ingredients also needed for glassmaking. MACALLA sound suspended in time, repeats. Volume, movement and distance, an Echo describes dimension through space.

As a collection of displayed objects these works communicate through pose – a visual echo of sound and light, created through articulating form. Some resemble ethnic musical instruments suggesting a method of playing or tone; some suggest dialogue through their relationship to each other.

As performance pieces, the composition becomes one of human interaction with Glass. Innate qualities of the material: resonance, timbre and fragility, contribute to the sound and tension of each performance. A composition of sound, source and musician, changes with the performance and the performer. The glass object becomes a tool for communicating ideas in different contexts, Macalla – an echo of patterns and traditions in our music. Sometimes the resulting sounds are unfamiliar – new. To create new sound is rare, exhilarating, challenging and continues to be on going artistic investigation.

Róisín de Buitléar

Category : Exhibition | News

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Knock Shrine commission completed.

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Pilgrimage – a two year long commission for the Basilica of Knock has been completed. The two entrance corridors flank the new tobar or well feature in the central arrival area to the Basilica, recalling the collecting of people in early cletic times around a sacred site, or well with curative powers.

The imagery creates a vision of open landscape, echoing the experience of approaching and leaving Knock. It also serves as a metaphor for the openness of clear thinking and a peaceful state of mind. On approach to the Basilica the strong yellow colours draw the pilgrim in to the main vestibule.  The two corridors of windows work in synergy with each other, transparent areas allowing the pilgrim to look though them see the apparition site and chapel of reconciliation outside, and and view the window opposite. On exiting the Basilica, the individual painted figures and the dispersing pilgrims outside become integrated into the window, the setting and purpose merge as one. As every pilgrim leaves the shrine, they carry with them a parting phrase or thought of the psalms.


Category : News | Public Art

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Home – An Exhibition of Glass at the Hunt Museum, Limerick 7th January until the 28th January

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Hunt Museum in partnership with Limerick city Traveller Health Advocacy Programme, funded by the Limerick City and County Council.

Thirteen Traveller women from Limerick city participated in a project based at the Hunt Museum with support from the Limerick city Traveller Health Advocacy Programme. The project was funded by the Limerick City and Council. Using museum artefacts as a source for ideas the women worked with artist, Róisín de Buitléar through the medium of glass to produce pieces worthy of their own exhibition. Exploring the subject of ‘home’, the exhibition reflects themes such as faith, community, housing and family. It also reflects some the challenges that living on a halting site in Limerick city can bring.

According to one of the participants:

‘…[I]ts been great to meet Roisin, she really believed that we could produce something beautiful and we have. It’s great to have something exhibited in the museum. It’s an amazing place.’

The Hunt Museum was delighted to be involved in such a worthwhile project. Feedback from the participants as well as from artist Róisín de Buitléar was wholly positive. The quality of the work produced in such a short amount of time and with no previous experience of art making or working with glass is impressive

Category : Exhibition | News

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Summer 2015 Glass Art Conference San Jose USA Glass Cutting from Waterford The Glass City, Ireland

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

June 7th 2015

Fred Curtis, Róisín de Buitléar: Glass Cutting from Waterford The Glass City, Ireland


Our workshop was held at Held at the San Jose State University and introduced by Mary White, this years recipient of the GAS lifetime achievement award. It was while on a Fulbright Scholarship in Ireland in 2009 that Mary White witnessed first hand the devastating effect on the City of Waterford when the Waterford Crystal factory went into receivership with the loss of 2000 jobs. She has been an advocate for preserving Ireland’s glassmaking tradition since then, and we thank her for supporting us in this journey to San Jose.


Our demo started with a short visual view of our work, including ‘CAUTION! Fragile – Tradition in Transition’, a collaborative exhibition shown at Museum of Glass Tacoma, and ‘Waterford the Glass City’, a series of glass focussed events supported by the city, to celebrate the Year of Design in Ireland 2015, aimed at bringing an awareness of the importance of Glass to the city’s future regeneration. These include: a contemporary exhibition in Waterford’s City hall called ‘Refract’ ‘Masters of the Glass’ at the Museum of Treasures, (the first ever exhibition of local Master pieces in the history of the city), and a symposium called Future Legacies to be held in Waterford Institute of Technology September 18/19th 2015. I am the project director and curator of these events, which are helping to bring about change and a new optimism to the city.


The future of glassmaking is at a critical point in Ireland, with only two remaining factories blowing and cutting crystal on a very small scale, in the entire country. To put this statement in context – Glass has been made in Waterford city since 1783. In recent years, the glass factory, employed 4000 people blowing and cutting glass in 4 different plants around the city. The perceived value of the Waterford crystal company was once so great, that shares in the company were more valuable than those of CocaCola. With the closure of the hot glass furnace at NCAD last year, there is now nowhere in Ireland to study hot glass at degree level, and no open access studios which qualified glassmakers can utilise. The House of Waterford Crystal factory has just been resold to a Finnish company. There are currently hundreds of skilled workers who have remained in the city, without employment.


Fred Curtis is undoubtedly the most versatile crystal sculptor and cutter, independently working in Ireland today. He was trained at the famous factory, starting as an apprentice at age 16. He has become one of the most celebrated and sought after crystal sculptors in contemporary commercial production. Recipients of his work, list like a who’s who of political and social life, from US Presidents, to the Queen of England. He regaled the San Jose audience with stories of visiting Buckingham Palace last year, playing with the corgis and taking tea with the Queen.


Fred demonstrated stone wheel cutting, by first trueing up the stone wheels with a homemade tool of metal strapping from a packing case, stacked and tied, which sharpens and shapes the profile of the wheel. In the small workshop space of San Jose State University, it created a piercing noise which illustrated well how a warehouse of 400 cutters may have sounded in the height of production at the factory. Next he explained how ‘marking up’ the shallow bowl he was cutting, guided the wheel from one line to another, cutting a geometric pattern typical of the style of Irish crystal cutting. As the pattern emerged, together we unfolded insights to his work and life as an industrially trained glassmaker.


Intermittently he resharpened the wheel to keep the cutting lines clear and sharp. He then showed how carving from a solid block of crystal, he can achieve sculpted figures such as a horse, with softened curves and delicate prancing limbs. He showed how he maps out the form in profile and then carves into the block, removing sections at a time.


On a taza shaped piece, I demonstrated diamond point engraving using a flexible drive. I have for many years worked on a series of pieces inspired by lace making traditions of the unnamed craftswoman. By interpreting the stitches of Irish lace makers, I look to pay homage to the toil, patience and intricacies of their work, while capturing the the delicacies of shadow and light inherent in glass. I had marked up the piece with an indelible pen before arriving as it takes many hours of drawing, and refining the lines before actually engraving the image. I refine each line with a dampened wooden cocktail stick to fine the line and improve the shape, so that when I am working with the flexible drive it flows easily. The repetition of line and meditative quality of the movement adds to the overall rhythm of the image and is important to the harmony of the finished piece. The demonstration included how I approach the design, the free drawing style which in this case is based on the actual stitches of the original lace pattern, and tips and advice on the use of various bits and shafts. What you leave out is more important than what you put in.. it is this that gives life to the engraving. Planning where to engrave a piece takes me far longer than the actual engraving which is a long slow process.


We took heart from how many people were interested in learning from us. We were amazed that the room was so full and everyone wanted to linger, far longer than our allocated slot. In coming to San Jose we wanted to share our story and to open new possibilities in showing what kind of skill base is available in glass cutting in our country. There are skilled workers, and teachers ready to work. Seeing new possibilities for these skills is the key to making a better future for glassmaking in Waterford. International support, whether through learning, commissioning, visiting, sharing, or technically supporting us, is critical to the survival of this knowledge base. Witnessing the support in San Jose, gives us much energy to keep trying to connect the world to the huge resource we have laying idle in Ireland. It encourages us to continue to show the International Glass community how it is they can become involved or engaged in our conversation. In September we look forward to welcoming Treg Silkwood based in San Jose, who will lead a workshop and give a presentation at our symposium in Waterford. If you wish to find out more or join in our conversation, please look at Waterford the Glass City on Facebook and CAUTION Fragile http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfWuvdTW4Zg&sns=em Every view, like or “share” actually makes a contribution to our efforts. Thank you.


A special thanks to Mary White, Cassandra Straubing, Rich Samsel and Kim Webster in helping to supply necessary tools and information.

Category : News | Project

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San Jose Art Museum Lecture : Summer 2016

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

June 4th 2015

San Jose Dublin’s sister city hosted Fred Curtis and Róisín de Buitléar for a lecture on ‘Caution! FRAGILE, Tradition in Transition’ the Exhibition. The lecture, introduced by Berkley artist Mary White, was attended by the sister city members, and also members from Irish Network, and collectors of Irish glass. The hour long presentation was followed by a busy question time, and Fred showing some of his carved animals at different stages of completion.   Some delicious scones and tea were served by the sister city!
Well attended, the attendees were invited to see Fred and Róisín at work at a demonstration of cutting and engraving at San Jose Art College, during the GAS conference programme later in the week.

Category : News | Project

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Gravuur on Tour /Glass engraving exhibitions

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Gravuur on tour continues its European tour now in the Netherlands – 27th August until September 12th at Aventurijn Glass gallery, http://www.aventurijnglasgalerie.nl  ..31 artists from all over Europe.

Category : Exhibition | News

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