Art Textile (level 8) course in Crawford Art & Design College, Cork.

I started this course in September 2016, after seeing an email about it from the embroidery guild. Sally Hewetson who had already applied passed the information along to the guild. I applied by email and attending an interview with Pamela Hardesty who is the head of textiles in the Crawford and runs this course with Sarah Foster (art history). For the first year Sep – May I was in Cork 2 days a week; Monday and Tuesday. I drove or got the train from Hueston, Dublin, Monday about 11.30am, stayed in Cork Monday night, home late Tuesday evening.

Monday afternoon from 3.15pm – 4.15pm and Tuesday 4pm – 5pm is art history with Sarah, mostly based around textiles, throughout the year we must hand in one essay and one presentation. Sarah’s tutorials were interesting and thought – provoking and opened you up to a whole new world of art and artists. The college provided us along with the other full-time students a tutor who at lunch – time went through do’s and don’ts of writing an Art essay, helpful advice and grammar hints.  This was very must appreciated as I find writing essays a daunting task.

Tuesday from 10.00am till 4pm you’re in the studio with Pamela, from September – December a new technique is introduced every week and we have ‘show and tell’ every morning, where you discuss your piece, what you found interesting, where you think you can go with the process, lots of ideas and materials to explore. Pamela is a very knowledgeable teacher, but you also learn from the other students who were all from diverse backgrounds, who have interesting lives and careers and reasons for creating art. I have made some amazing lifelong friends!

From January – May we worked on a personal project and worked toward an exhibition of your work collectively. Crawford are very supportive of their students and a whole new world of creative textile community and opportunities open for you to explore. I loved this year!

Second year its just one day Tuesday with Pamela and we no longer have Sarah (I must admit I was really looking forward to this as I just wanted to ‘make’, but I really missed the art history it adds another dimension to your work!). This second year I found hard, 50% of the class dropped out for personal reasons which really effected the class dynamic, I was traveling up and down to Cork from Dublin in the one day, I was no longer staying over, I was exhausted as I also work outside and inside the home too! Second year was all self-directed, with personal tutorials to keep you focused. Our final exhibition was very successful, which we organized everything ourselves including sponsorship, advertisement and food/wine as part of our final assessment.

Overall, I had an amazing experience in Cork, it was challenging work but worth it! For my sins I’ve signed up for another four years to complete a BA (Honors) in Contemporary Applied Art, in Cork, (part- time) of course! Scenic route for me!!!