Laura Quinn, RDS Irish Craft Bursary 2022 winner, and Niamh De Loughry, deputy chief executive, RDS Foundation, at the launch of the Conjuring Form exhibition at the National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Mayo native presented with RDS Irish Craft Bursary

GLASS artist Laura Quinn has been announced as the recipient of this year’s RDS Irish Craft Bursary 2022 by the Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI).

The €10,000 bursary, managed by DCCI and open to makers in its PORTFOLIO programme, was presented to Laura at the opening of the Conjuring Form exhibition at the National Design & Craft Gallery.

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.

Laura, originally from Mayo, 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, 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.

Laura, who works as the glass technical tutor at the University for the Creative Arts in the UK, 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.

Speaking about the bursary, Laura said: I couldn’t believe when I was told I was this year’s recipient of the RDS bursary. The bursary will help me considerably at a pivotal point in my 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.”