Creativity, a love of materials and process are a good basis for choosing a career in craft or design. Additionally an interest in business is useful if thinking of setting up your own enterprise. You will need passion and determination to succeed and stand out in this sector, and good interpersonal skills are an advantage for networking.
Finding a job or establishing a business:
Jobs in the sector are found through a number of means. Being subscribed to the right newsletters and alerts is key. It is therefore very important for those studying a craft or design discipline to make contact and become members of professional networks. For example the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) has free student membership.
Internships, workplacements and volunteering are also good ways to make connections and begin getting experience in this area. But sure to select your internship or placement carefully so that you will get the most benefit out of it. Does the organisation you are working with have a good reputation? What kind of work you will get to do while you are there? Can you ask a past intern how they found working there? Is it in the right area for where you want to go in career?
If you are thinking of setting up a craft or design enterprise in the future you might want to look at the DCCoI enterprise website.
You can also seek advice from your Local Enterpirse Office.
FURNITURE: Alan Merideth Studios
From a young age I had a desire to make things from all sorts of materials. Over the years wood became my material of choice. The disciplines of woodturning and furniture making traditonally use solid wood and so I was naturally attracted in this direction.
Studying Architecture came about from a desire to explore design and making from a broad perspecive. Setting up my studio after my studies was an attempt to steer my career towards a creative process with more physical involvement.
What has your career looked like so far?
Throughout my time in university I was making and selling my furniture and
installations that are both material based and with substantial spacial consequences.
Lately I have produced a distinct collection of furniture and turned vessels which have been exhibited both nationally and interna6onally. I produce both speculative and bespoke commissions from my workshop. This allows me to maintain a steady workflow while also giving space for experimentation.
The work I have produced over the last couple of years is sold at fairs and through galleries and I have won a number of awards including the Tresor Discovery Award in Basel, Switzerland and the Future Maker of the Year award from the DCCOI.