Narrative Tools

Narrative Tools

May 2020 - Ongoing
view gallery
Weaving Tools - Mourne Textiles Woven Fabric and Weaving Shuttle. - Mourne Textiles Weaving Tools - Mourne Textiles "The tools I use & love most each have a story attached." - David McCaul Edgar Campden's archival bamboo brush pot & Japanese brushes. Image supplied by Edgar's son Mark. Edgar Campdon's Archival Notebooks. - Generation Exhibition, National Design & Craft Gallery "I came across a number of his tools that I have added to my own clutter of things." - peter sheehan Ryan Connolly's Dads Upholstery Tools. From left, hyde pliers, tailor’s shears and pincers. My father's cutting lists. - Ryan Connelly It was special to have a piece of our grandmother with us on the day. - Shauna Sweeney Map Before we took any journey he would map out the route. - Bernadette Keogh Hammers Some are my dad’s, some are mine, some we share and others we don’t!. - Cara Murphy Pliers as with many of our tools we have multiples of everything…. ". - Silversmith Cara Murphy Hammers are very special to a silversmith as they are the main tool we use. - Cara Murphy Stanley Plow Plane plus blades. - John Sheeran My attachment to the items of my past was heightened in childhood. - Martha Cashman Grandmothers thimble. Using this thimble seems so right and intimate. - Pamela Hardesty Here is a photo of my mother’s mother Florence Webb, at her quilt as usual. - Pamela Hardesty My sculptures are like line drawings in wire. Notebooks, books & pliers are my tools. - Susan Cuff My Father’s Knife, alongside my tailors tracing wheel. - Caroline O’Brien They were passed to me from other smiths 40 years ago, - Jane Murtagh I inherited this dusting brush from my Father - Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck I remember admiring his work as a child. - Paul Bokslag


Narrative ToolsMay 2020 - Ongoing

Welcome to our Narrative Tools online exhibition, click through the images in the gallery above.

Explore stories behind Narrative Tools in our blog

Narrative Tools is an online and postal intergenerational project hosted by the National Design & Craft Gallery (NDCG) with visual artist Caroline Schofield.

It explores a culture of making through creative connections and the importance of handing down skills within families & our communities. Launched to coincide with Bealtaine Festival At Home 2020, NDCG aims to showcase the Narrative Tools project as part of the Bealtaine Festival 2021.                 

To celebrate family and community craft connections, content submitted will be shared on and NDCG’s Facebook and Instagram platforms (@NDCGallery).

“Ever since vessels were first made from clay, clothing from wool, and metal used to create precious objects, makers have been inspired by the past. Craftsmanship and making have been passed down within families. We would love to know the traditions and history of your family as told through the craft tools you use or have inherited.” Caroline Schofield

Education & Outreach

Narrative Tools Online Blog Fri 1 May 2020 - Ongoing

Our online Narrative Tools blog will continue to grow over the coming months. To view updates on content gathered and our monthly public engagement activities please click here

Narrative Tools - Crafternoon Tea Thu 6 May, 11am 2021

Join us for an enjoyable Crafternoon tea and chat as part of the Bealtaine Festival At Home 2021. You are invited to come along, join in the conversation and we’d love it if you could share a story, a tool, or a piece of craft that is special to you. We will share some of the Narrative Tools project with you.
We will be sharing a video from Cushendale Woollen Mills and a crafter will join us to talk about their tools. It’s all about sharing and chat! Please do bring along a family member or friend to share the experience.
Free online event. Register HERE.

Irish Textile Mills Fri 9 April, 11am - 11.40am 2021

Researching the Douglas Mills: uncovering an important chapter in the history of Irish textiles. In this webinar Anne Kiely and Carmel Creaner will share with you the fascinating history they have uncovered of the Cork textile industry over the past two centuries. This research was carried out as background to a substantial installation commissioned by Cork City Libraries. Speakers include Carmel Creaner & Ann Kiely who will discuss The Woven History of Douglas, Caroline Schofield who will highlight her familial history of woollen mills in Kilkenny, the Arts & Craft Movement and more. Free Zoom event. Register here.

Tools of the Trade Thu 8th April, 11am - 11.40am, 2021

Caroline Schofield will be joined by a panel of guest speakers who have submitted entries to the Narrative Tools project. Audience members will gain a general overview of the Narrative Tools project and will be able to listen to a selection the wonderful stories and imagery gathered to date. Do you have an interesting story to tell? If so bring along your precious tool or craft item on the day. Free Zoom event. Register here. Registerhere

How Tradition Informs Contemporary Making Tue 6 April, 11am - 11.40am, 2021

This webinar will include speakers including keynote speaker and award winning fashion designer Natalie B. Coleman, joined by Aisling Clancy Education Manager of DCCI. Aisling will highlight a selection of work by recent DCCI graduates who produced contemporary pieces for InForm. A two-year long collaborative project between the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History and DCCI. Speakers will reflect on how traditional making techniques can be an expression of culture & tradition and how it can influence contemporary craft & design practice. Free Zoom event. Register here.

Floral Arrangements Suitable for Easter & Spring Wed 31 March, 7pm - 8.30pm, 2021

Award-winning floral artist Eva Holmes of Darver House Nursery and Chairwoman, of Kilkenny Flower Club will deliver a free live online floral arrangement workshop via zoom. In this practical workshop Eva will guide participants, as they explore and incorporate design elements of floral art to develop & refine their skills. Participants with all levels of experience are welcome. Free Zoom event. Register here.

Narrative Tools Project Gathering For DCCI GANS Members Fri 7 August, 2020

NDCG along with visual artist Caroline Schofield, would like to directly engage with DCCI GANS members as part of the ‘Narrative Tools’ public engagement project. This online gathering includes an introductory overview about ‘Narrative Tools’, as well as interactive group activities with members of various GANS. Guest speakers include Colm Bagnall of the Irish Artist Blacksmiths Association, and Mary Palmer of the Cork Textiles Network, Cork Craft & Design, The Quilters Guild of Ireland and the Irish Patchwork Society. We invite all attending, to bring along a craft tool or item to discuss.

Heritage Week Webinar: Tools Of The trade Thurs 20 August, 2020

Join NDCG with Narrative Tools visual artist Caroline Schofield, GENERATION exhibition curator Frances Mc Donald & Helena Mc Ateer of Borris Lacemakers, for an informal panel discussion focusing on heritage crafts. This webinar explores the theme 'Heritage on Your Doorstep'.

PAST EVENTS Sunday 21 March 2021 at 8.15 pm