Craft meets craft beer as NWRC students fire their imaginations

Level 3 Diploma in Art & Design students from the North West Regional College, Derry Campus, Jake McKenny, Jade Thompson, Dermot Sweeney, and Jenna Keys, who participated in the Live Client Brief for Walled City Brewery. Included are Seliena Coyle, Culture Craft, Deirdre Harte, Craft Development Officer, Derry and Strabane District Council, Basil Dalton, Head of School of Media & the Arts, NWRC, Alex Scott, ceramicist, James Huey, Walled City Brewery, and Colin McKeown, Irish Design.
Level 3 Diploma in Art & Design students from the North West Regional College, Derry Campus, Jake McKenny, Jade Thompson, Dermot Sweeney, and Jenna Keys, who participated in the Live Client Brief for Walled City Brewery. Included are Seliena Coyle, Culture Craft, Deirdre Harte, Craft Development Officer, Derry and Strabane District Council, Basil Dalton, Head of School of Media & the Arts, NWRC, Alex Scott, ceramicist, James Huey, Walled City Brewery, and Colin McKeown, Irish Design.

A group of creative talents from the North West Regional College have successfully come up with some exciting new ceramic designs for the Walled City Brewery as part of a special live project.

The project was funded by the Year of Irish Design 2015 with additional support from Derry and Strabane City Council’s Craft Development Programme.

The Year of Irish Design is an initiative facilitated by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Enterprise Ireland.

The project aimed to engage Art and Design students in a client-based design project, and educate them in professional design practices, as well as showcase contemporary craft in the region.

The students were tasked with coming up with some unique ceramic product designs by working with the newly established Walled City Brewery to produce a special product range by engaging in a series of intensive design workshops.

Craft development officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Deirdre Harte, said: “I would like to congratulate all the students at the North West Regional College who have been involved in the project, and who have demonstrated a real flair for craft product development.

“It’s been a challenge for the students to work at this level, identifying the requirements of a client and developing a suitable product range to meet their expectations.

“The project supports the council’s drive to promote learning and development within the local craft industry by providing opportunities and supporting and showcasing new talent.”

Local artist and coordinator of the CultureCraft programme which developed this initiative, Seliena Coyle, said: “The project has been a great success.

“The emphasis was on the student experience with the ultimate goal of introducing contemporary craft practice into their curriculum.

“The nature of a live project is twofold as it engages a business in a practical and tangible way whilst producing a valid and rewarding learning experience for the student.

“CultureCraft aims to continue to explore opportunities to showcase contemporary craft in the city through participation, exhibition and residency.”

Ceramicist Alex Scott facilitated the workshops, which introduced students to various industrial processes to enable them to reproduce ceramic drinking vessels which incorporated the Walled City Brewery branding in their design.”

According to those behind the Year of Irish Design: “There’s general agreement across Europe that innovation in business is essential in underpinning sustainable economic growth.

“But new ideas don’t come out of nowhere.

“Design can act as a launchpad for innovation in your business.

“Because thinking about design means examining how your product or service works, how it looks, and how it will be experienced by your customers. This design-led approach can continually generate improvements.”