Craft Gifts from the Art for Valentine’s Day

By February 10, 2011News, Newsroom

Craft NI is playing Cupid on February 12 and 13 with a series of workshops aimed at creating crafted Valentine’s gifts for someone special.

Each two hour session at the Crescent Arts Centre will be lead by a highly-skilled designer-maker or craftsperson who will show how to create personal gifts for someone special.

The five workshops will cost just £5 each to cover materials and will include: laser cut 3d pop up card-making, badge-making, creating a “book of secrets”, handcrafted CD cover making using lino tools, and straw creations of love tokens.

“Craft is the ultimate personalised gift – you are creating something by hand specifically for someone special. While a craft skill can take years to learn, we’ve put together a series of very accessible workshops that are perfect for beginners,” said Joe Kelly, Director of Craft NI.

The schedule for the weekend will be:

Laser Cut 3d Pop Up Cards – taught by talented designer-maker Rachel McKnight who has displayed her work in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, London and Manchester.  Rachel will pre-cut laser shapes in her studio for use in this workshop where participants will create pop up cards using these fantastically colourful acrylic pieces.

Love Badges – with Heather Burgess, who has just returned from the highly prestigious Top Drawer design show in London. With these creations, you can wear your heart on your sleeve (or label or coat!).  Participants will explore textile techniques, stitching, layering up fabric and printing to make their designs and then using a badge-maker machine to bring all these elements together.  The badges can then be packaged in glassine envelopes to give to their loved ones.

Songs of Love – make a CD cover for “your song” in this workshop taught by Sarah Campbell, a recent Fine Art graduate from The Glasgow School of Art who has exhibited widely throughout the UK. The inspiration behind this workshop is from Valentine couples having ‘their song’ or a list of songs personal to them. The participant will make a CD cover which will hold this sentimental CD using a linocut image to print on the front of the CD cover made of plain brown or light grey card.

Love Tokens – create straw harvest knots and corn dollies with Rosemary McCartney, a Holywood-based craftsperson who is dedicated to preserving traditional crafts.  Rekindle this ancient country craft using wheat straw plaited and knotted to show someone how important they are to you. Rosemary will teach the basic skills of plaiting which will enable participants to create more complex designs.

Just for You…Valentine’s Secret Book – Dawn Mitchell will help you to make a very special little book, with decorative outer cover, five inner pages of secret verses or messages…to convey your Valentine secrets!  Cut out, print, emboss, sew on charms ribbons and bells to create your personal Valentine. Dawn, an artist who specialises in mixed media, runs Studio D, a gallery located in a refurbished Barn at her home in Hillsborough.

In addition to these five workshops at the Crescent, there are many other studio-based workshops in February to consider including: Creating a Ring – Design Workshop, Garvan Traynor Jewellery, 9am-5pm weekends in February (Sat & Sun); Weaving with Judith Cassidy, 12-13 Feb, University of Ulster, Belfast; Textile Art for Beginners with Naomi Whan, 10am – 4pm , Sat 12 Feb, Island Arts Centre; Exploration of Clay with Susie Crooks, Priory Cottages Art Craft and Design Studios, Benburb, 2-4 pm every Thurs, 10 Feb -17 Mar & 11- 1pm every Sat, 12 Feb – 19.

For more Valentine’s inspiration, Craft NI’s Gallery in Cotton Court, Belfast will host an exhibition by silversmith Samantha Moore.  Samantha is a rising talent and tipped as ‘one to watch’. She will present her new work in her solo exhibition, The Semiotics of Silver, an exciting new show of contemporary silver objects.

For more information on any of these workshops, go to