Mayo glass artist Laura Quinn is this year's recipient of the RDS Irish Craft Bursary 2022.
The €10,000 bursary, managed by DCCI and open to makers in its portfolio programme, was presented at the opening of the Conjuring Form exhibition at the National Design & Craft Gallery on Friday by deputy chief executive of the RDS foundation, Niamh De Loughry.
Quinn, who now works as the glass technical tutor at the University for the Creative Arts in the UK, intends to use the funding to undertake a year long, ambitious project to develop and publicly document a new series of work. Commencing in late Autumn 2022, this project will involve the development of a new series of blown and lampworked sculptural glass pieces that further explore her research into audience interactive glass art.
Quinn creates interactive sculptural glass forms which encourage close human engagement to challenge the perceived restraints of glass. The forms she creates are modular, often composed of hundreds of meticulously handmade glass components, combined with alternative materials and processes to create moveable, durable frameworks.
Laura Quinn says the bursary will help her considerably at a pivotal point in her career.
"Juggling a full-time job as an educator and my glass career means that time is the biggest challenge I face. The RDS Bursary will allow me to take time out from my role as an educator to focus on the creation of a new body of work, including attending a glass masterclass in America to continue to hone my skills. Receiving the bursary is recognition of the years I have dedicated to my craft, but it is also a huge boost of confidence that tells me I am going in the right direction.”
The RDS Irish Craft Bursary may be used for a wide range of career and professional development activities, such as further education and training, development of new work, mentoring, purchase of equipment, studio improvements, technology, websites and residencies. Each year the judges look for proposals demonstrating how the award could help develop a maker’s practice and career, as well as being of benefit to Irish craft.
Previous winners of RDS Irish Craft Bursary include Cara Murphy (silver ) Edmond Byrne (glass ) and Seliena Coyle (jewellery ). They have used the bursary to fund projects which have enabled them to push boundaries and make innovative strides in their disciplines.