Westport-based crafter Suzie Sullivan scooped second prize at this year’s National Craft Competition which was held at the RDS recently.
Founded in 1968, with a prize fund in excess of €26,000 shared over 20 categories, the RDS National Crafts Competition is regarded as one of Europe’s leading craft competitions. Approximately 150 crafters were in contention for prizes over a host of different categories that include ceramics. glass and furniture and textiles.
Suzie, who runs Derryaun Crafts in Drummin, Westport, received second prize in the felting category which included 15 other crafters.
Speaking to The Mayo News about her achievement, Suzie admits that a lot of work has gone into creating the pieces which she entered in the national competition.
“I’ve been doing craft all my life, but for the last ten years I’ve been really working hard at it.”
After a long process of submitting pieces and waiting on feedback, Suzie and her husband, Steve Bryant, received confirmation that three out of five creations from Suzie had been chosen for entry in the competition.
“I started working on the pieces in February and submitted them by May. After several trips to Dublin we heard I would have three up for contention, along with the possibility of them being purchased.”
A member of the Connacht Textile Crafters and the Greenway Artist Initiative, Suzie works with wire, wool, beads and many other materials in order to produce her works.
Suzie admits that she has always had a fascination for Ireland and ‘all things Irish’ and moved to Mayo in 2001 with her husband Steve.
Suzie has embraced modern technology and has created a unique range of greetings cards, posters and limited edition prints from her original felted artworks – which are scanned, printed and packed in Co. Mayo making them a truly Irish product.
Suzie currently has five felted pieces at The Museum of Country Life exhibition of work by The Connaught Textile Crafters ‘Past and Present’ which runs until October 28.
Her prize-winning piece is a felt coat that was showcased at the RDS National Crafts Competition & Student Art Awards Exhibition during the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show.
Following on from this exposure, Suzie’s piece will also be included in a travelling exhibition along with the other prize-winning crafts.
“My piece will travel the country as part of an exhibition which will visit Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre in Tulsk, Co Roscommon, from September 14 to October 14 and The Discovery Park, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, from October 27 to November 18.
Having reached the finals last year without being placed, Suzie acknowledges that all the submitting and travelling to Dublin does ‘cost a lot’, but she says that it is ‘the honour of it all that really matters’.
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