Coastal zones of Counties Galway and Clare.
One of our methods of engagement was to attend coastal communities' festivals. Cruinniú na mBád (Gathering of the Boats) festival in Kinvara, Co. Galway celebrates the turf boats, the Galway Hookers. As a regatta, the festival
promotes the art of traditional sailing and the culture that surrounds it, e.g. sean nós singing, the Irish language and is very important for the survival of the craftsmanship of traditional boat building, sail making and more.
The festival attracts visitors local and global and was a great opportunity to share information about the project and engage with local schools and communities to develop contacts for the co-design workshops.
We made many connections including Galway University, Calasanctius College, Oranmore, Headford lace group, Kinvara Tidy Towns and expanded our mailing list. This enabled us to begin planning for our next series of co-design workshops and develop a local and international conversation.
Building on our connections from Cruinniú na mBád we visited a school and community group and delivered inductions sessions to the project with a view to developing a TY Design Challenge sprint for late Autumn / Spring 2020.
Calasanctius College, Oranmore is a Catholic, co-educational, voluntary secondary school under the trusteeship of CEIST with over 700 students. Two of the team worked with 40 students introducing them to the project, the process and the problem. We confirmed dates for week beg. 23rd March 2020 for the challenge week.
Unfortunately, all schools closed 14th March 2020 due to Covid restrictions and in-person contact ceased until Feb. 2021 and even then no external facilitators were allowed to deliver. The design week challenge was broken down into weekly / daily possibilities however schools were facing many challenges and we were unable to reschedule the challenge week within the project's delivery timeframe.
Developing contemporary explorations of craft through researching reviving and re-imagining.
One of our contacts was with Headford Lace Project, a voluntary community initiative established to research, revive, and reimagine the lacemaking heritage of Headford, County Galway.
The history of net making and lace making are intimately linked through filet lace - embroidery using knotted net as a base. Skills to make knotted nets were the same as making the base for filet lace. In some instances there are records of discarded fishing nets adapted or beyond repair cleaned and decorated and used as table runners or dressing table runners. Two of the design team also have a background in textiles (weaving, embroidery, textile sculpture and clothes design) so we began to explore possibilities.
We presented to them virtually during the lockdown period developing the potential for some of the community co-design workshops however it was decided that online engagement was not of interest due to online fatigue and their timetable. We kept in touch and eventually visited in May 2022.
We looked at exploring making bobbins by 3D printing bobbins from nylon lace and lace-making using filament as well as the possible reuse of nets locally with lace infill and using the nylon reclaimed net filament to create a base for performance or sculpture perhaps revisiting a an earlier collaborative project 'Bobbin beats' with Drumadore and Claran Theatre