Frances McDonald provides consultancy and support services in contemporary craft and design. Working with state agencies and academic institutions, galleries and practitioners, she has worked on numerous exhibitions and events. These have included the 2017 Mise Éire conference for the Design & Crafts Council Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland;  Liminal – Irish Design at the Threshold, New York, Eindhoven & Dublin for Irish Design 2015; The International Academy of Ceramics Dublin 2014 for the Design & Crafts Council Ireland.

She writes on contemporary craft and has contributed to the Irish Arts Review; Ceramic Review; Neues Glas: Art & Architecture; Ceramics Art & Perception and Frances McDonald has a Degree in Design Communications from Limerick School of Art & Design and an MA in Design History & Material Culture from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

Paula McCoy is homeware buyer for Arnott's. 

Paula is a fine art graduate of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Paula has been a buyer for Arnott's the past 20 years. In 2011 she was part of the creation of the Irish Crafts Collection at Arnott's.  The collection brings together 23 Irish designers under one umbrella brand. Developed in conjunction with the Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI), the idea was to give small Irish craftmakers the opportunity to become listed in a department store, a process that Paula says is often prohibitive for small makers working on their own.

She has been a member of the DCCI mentoring panels for Design Ireland and FUSE clinics.  


Alan Ardiff is a contemporary Irish jewellery designer.

Alan graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin with a degree in Metals.


Alan’s work is characterised by the sterling silver and gold combinations in his pieces. He has been exhibiting his work internationally for the last 20 years, showing at; The Maker’s Hand 50 Years of RDS Craft Awards Dublin 2018, Handmade Chelsea Town Hall and Edinburgh 2017, International Jewellery London 2016, Global Design Baltimore USA 2015 and Portfolio, Design and Crafts Council Ireland.

Rachel Dickson is the Dean of Academic Programmes at Central Saint Martins.

Rachel is a graduate of the Royal College of Art with an MA in Ceramics and Glass. Prior to taking up her role in Central Saint Martins, Rachel was the Associate Head of School at the Belfast School of Art. Rachel has a strong history in designing and leading courses in higher education. She is also involved in the co-funded Creative Europe project ‘Ceramics and Its Dimensions’, a project with 25 partners across 11 countries bringing museums, universities and research institutes together to provide an integral view of ceramics past, present and future.


As a maker, Rachel has exhibited widely in the UK, Ireland and North America. Rachel is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the Irish Ceramics in Education, and the Design and Crafts Council Ireland.

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