Meet The Judges: 2023
ROUND 1 JUDGES
Maria Couchman is an experienced professional with over 25 years’ track record in sector development gained in Ireland and the UK. Maria spend 13 years working with Bord Bia delivering national supplier development programmes, capability development programmes, education and talent development programmes, and marketing promotions. She has been the project manager for the South East regional innovation, export and start-up programmes with the South East Local Enterprise Office network.
She is an experienced mentor who believes that developing sustainable career pathways for sustainable craft and design talent, coupled with support for established and emerging craft and designer makers are central to sectoral success.
Maria has a keen interest in Craft, Fine Art and Design, and through the DCCI’s craft and education agenda dedicates her wealth of experience to the progression and promotion of the craft and design sector and the skilled craftspeople within it.
Laura Quinn is a multi-award winning maker and designer of contemporary glass sculpture and wearables. She graduated from the National College of Art and Design in 2015, since then she has worked in the world renowned Corning Museum of Glass, New York, in Olustvere Glass Studio, Estonia and LoCo Glass in the UK. She achieved her MA in 3D Design Crafts with a specialism in Glass from Arts University Plymouth in 2019. Quinn now works as the Glass Technical Tutor in the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, UK, where she teaches the next generation of glass artists and hones her own craft.
Laura seeks to push the perceived boundaries of glass as a material by exploring how people interact with the forms she creates. She combines traditional glass making techniques such as blowing and lampworking, with digital technologies and alternative materials to create a variety of glass outputs including lighting, jewellery and interactive sculptural forms.
In recent years her work has received international recognition having been awarded the Golden Fleece Award and the RDS Craft Bursary in 2022, and being selected for the Ireland Glass Biennale in 2019, 2023, and the British Glass Biennale in 2022. Most recently Laura was awarded funding from the highly prestigious Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) to undertake further training in glass this summer. In the past Laura has been the recipient of two Future Maker supports, which have been instrumental in the development of her early career. www.lauraquinndesign.com
ROUND 2 & FINAL ROUND JUDGES
Angela Brady is an all round design champion and enthusiast in many areas of design and craft.
She graduated in architecture from TUD and currently sits on the TUD Foundations Board, she chairs Croydon Design Review Panel and is an ambassador to Design Council UK. She is past president of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) and set up the RIAI London Forum 30 years ago, to maintain strong links with UK and Irish professionals.
With studios in London and Cork Angela is chair of GANS group “10 Hands Crafts” based in West Cork and curator of their shows as lead country in China Craft Week 2019 and London Craft Week 2021 showcasing the best of Irish master crafts. She is part of West Cork Creates group shows. Angela is a fused glass master and promotes Irish craft on an international stage. She has won many awards for her voluntary work in bringing design into schools and running design workshops and video called “Designers of our Future” and has made 3 prime time TV shows - the latest being “Designing Ireland “ co written and presented with Dr Sandra O’Connell now on RTE Player.
Angela believes everyone has a design skill - it’s just often waiting to emerge with a little inspiration from others.
Róisín Pierce inhabits the space between intergenerational craft and contemporary textile innovation.
Effortless in character, each frothy, all-white piece quietly pushes boundaries with novel textile manipulations and zero-waste cutting side by side with traditional craft techniques. Experimental textures are developed by hand each season by founder Róisín Pierce, who launched her eponymous label in 2020 after studying Textile Design at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland.
Invited to debut her first collection, Mná i Bhláth (Women in Bloom), at the 34th Hyères International Festival, Pierce was subsequently awarded the Prix du Public and the Chanel Métiers d'Art award. The latter saw her collaborate with Maison Michel, Atelier Verneuil-en-Halatte, and Atelier Paloma on a number of pieces for her second collection, Bláthanna Fiáin (Wild Flowers). Pierce was a finalist in the LVMH Prize 2022 and listed in the Forbes 30 under 30 in the Arts and Culture Category for 2022.
Pierce showed her fourth collection at Paris Fashion Week as invited by the Fédération De La Haute Couture et de la Mode and elected by the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter. Róisín Pierce is the first brand from the Republic of Ireland to receive this accolade.
With each collection, Pierce delves further into unexplored creative territory, drawing upon heritage Irish crafts and pushing their potential to produce an entirely new category of womenswear. Delicate embroidery, meticulous handiwork, decorative loops, bows, and new floral forms embrace femininity, finding power and resilience in softness and beauty.
Clothes crafted slowly in this manner are an act of disobedience, rejecting the expectations of what contemporary fashion is supposed to be. Each collection is an expansion of an enduring universe.
Kim Ling Morris has a strong appreciation of elegant design and well-crafted work. Prior to coming to Cork, Kim-Ling had worked in ceramics in Paris and Lyon. After taking the textiles night class in the Crawford College of Art and Design, Kim-Ling joined the Cork Textiles Network, where she is currently the treasurer. Kim-Ling was one of three founding directors of Sample Studio, which is among the biggest artist-led studio groups in the country.
Starting off as treasurer from its inception in 2011, with her experience in engineering project management Kim-Ling has continued to guide its finances through its various challenges, such as the loss of premises and COVID-19. The sharing of passion and skills is what Kim-Ling believes makes work stronger, and she advocates for cross-group technical and peer support of all makers, particularly those emerging. Kim-Ling does not believe there is a line between art and craft, but a gradation.