Causeway Craft Trail Creators Prepare for Open Studio Weekend

Makers and Collectives are opening their studio doors to the public this weekend (March 19 and 20) as part of Glens Borough Council’s Causeway Coast and Causeway Craft Trail.

A warm welcome awaits, so be sure to come and meet the makers and hear their stories during an up-close experience of basket weaving, pottery, felting, jewelry design, boat making and more.

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You’ll be able to see their studios, enjoy a live demo, and be inspired by the beautiful locations that form the Causeway Craft Trail through the borough.

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Start your journey with a visit to potter Adam Frew who throws functional and unique pots in his converted barn studio in rural Aghadowey, before heading along the River Bann to Elements Studio in Downhill, where McCall Gilfillan creates works of art in a variety of media.

Enjoy spectacular views all the way to the Isle of Jura as you stop at Valkyrie Craft Boatmakers’ workshop perched in the hills before descending into the bustling town of Coleraine to lose yourself in the treasures of Stone Row Artisans, a collective of talented designers – manufacturers and craftsmen.

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Watch potter Babs Belshaw at work as you pause for a home-baked treat in the cafe at Blackheath Pottery near Coleraine, then head to the seaside resort of Portstewart where Flowerfield Arts Center resident ceramicist Fiona Shannon creates tableware inspired by the wild Atlantic coast. .

In nearby Portrush, stop to watch basket weavers Louise and Trevor McLean working on their traditional craft in the workshop behind their house, and don’t forget to visit nearby Frankie Creith Arts, a gallery showcasing works by mixed techniques.

Then head back inland to the village of Bushmills to visit Makers House at The Designerie before continuing to Innisfree Farm, next to the famous Giant’s Causeway, and home to five different makers.

Pay a visit to the Benefield Spencer Glass Studio in Ballintoy – Northern Ireland’s only artisan glassblowing studio – before heading to Ballycastle and the Puffin Gallery, an artist-run gallery and creative hub.

Funded by Tourism NI, Open Studio Weekend is absolutely free and showcases the wealth of creative talent on our doorstep.

The opening hours of the participating studios are:

Adam Frew Ceramics, Aghadowey: Saturday 2pm-5pm
Atlantic Craft NI, Louise McLean, Portrush: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fiona Shannon Ceramics, Portstewart – Saturday and Sunday 11am-3pm
Blackheath Pottery, Coleraine – Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am-4pm
Benefield Spencer Glass, Ballintoy – Saturday 10am-1pm
The Boat House Gallery & Studio Collective, Giant’s Causeway – Saturday 11am-4pm
Frankie Creith Gallery & Studio, Portrush – Saturday 11am-3pm
Stone Row Artisans Collective, Coleraine – Saturday 10am-5pm
Maker’s House, The Designerie, Bushmills – Saturday 11am-3pm
Elements Studio, McCall Gilfillan, Castlerock – Saturday and Sunday 1-5pm
Valkyrie Craft Boatmaking, Castlerock – Saturday 10am-12pm (Please note this demonstration will take place at the Flowerfield Arts Centre)
Puffin Gallery, Ballycastle – Saturday and Sunday 2-4pm

For more information on the Causeway Craft Trail, go to www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com

Pictured at The Blackheath Pottery taking part in the Open Studio weekend, Karen Smyth (Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Cultural Services Development Officer), Councilor Richard Holmes (Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council), Kerrie McGonigle (Destination Manager) and potter Babs Belshaw.

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