ACM Exhibition Prize Winners 2023

This year we invite makers to apply to the annual August Craft Month 2024 Exhibition! If this sounds like something you would be interested in, take some time to look through the winners of the 2023 Guild Prizes!

In 2023, applicants were invited to respond to the theme of Pathways.  Submitted work was directly inspired by the theme itself, were pieces that took the makers craft practice in a new direction, or existing work the makers wanted to showcase.

Each year we are extremely grateful to the former Guild of Northern Ireland Designer Makers (The Guild) who have given us a legacy gift for the development and promotion of the craft sector in Northern Ireland, providing five prizes for the exhibition. The prizes available include;

1st Prize: £500

2 x Commended: £250 each

2 x Emerging Maker prizes: £500 each for makers who have been practicing for five years or less.

Explore the case studies below that demonstrate how these talented makers benefitted from taking part in the August Craft Month Exhibition.


2023 Joint 1st Prize – Samantha Moore, ‘Betty’



2023 Joint 1st Prize – Fiona Kerr, ‘Re-attached’

My response to ‘Pathways’ was a purely personal, focusing on becoming re-attached to my life, the people around me and my craft after suffering a period of poor mental health. I was so focused on the process of creation and complication of my work that it came as a complete surprise to be selected for joint first prise, it had simply never occurred to me.

Winning has meant a great deal to me, to be recognised as a jeweller, a craftsperson, a designer maker for my making and design skill, and also, more simply for being human, a human, like so many, who had been through a hard time and come out the other side.

Since last years Craft NI Annual Exhibition I have become increasingly interested in the science of the mind, particularly neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. The ability to change our own minds, grow new brain cells and learn new things.

I am looking forward to continuing my creative journey and learning process through the medium of silver and gold and sharing my experiences and new work with you all.



2023 Highly Commended  – Adam Frew, ‘Round pot with blue tabs and white ridges’


2023 Highly Commended – Scott Benefield ‘Meander’

I was pleased to exhibit my work in the August Craft Month exhibition at Craft NI last year, because it gave me an opportunity to show more elaborate pieces to a local audience. The bulk of my practice involves the practical necessity of making production wares—functional, utilitarian pieces that are affordably priced and designed to be made in unlimited multiples. They sustain the not inconsiderable overhead expensive of maintaining a glassblowing furnace.

But occasionally I get to make unique pieces that allow me to spend more time making complex patterns and working on a larger scale. It’s good for people in the crafts to be able to stretch creatively now and then. This work is more suited to higher end galleries and exhibitions which are often located elsewhere in the UK and Europe, but I’m always happy to be able to engage the community in Northern Ireland.


2023 Emerging Maker –  Tamzen Lundy, ‘EXTINGUISHED’

Being the recipient of the “Emerging Maker Award” in 2023 was the boost to my confidence and motivation that I needed at this stage of my career. Making the move to back yourself, to work full time in a creative space is scary. Imposter syndrome looms large on my shoulder, and I struggle each day to keep it at bay. I’ll always be very grateful to Craft NI for the recognition of my work and for building a dedicated craft space for makers. 

I used the financial package that came with the award to directly fund my arts practice, buying materials and frames and going on to hold a solo show of my felted textiles in my local town. I have a wet- felting workshop coming up during August Craft Month and I also sell wet- felt making kits as an encouragement to anyone who wants to try this craft, both are available through my website


2023 Emerging Maker – Tracey Johnston, ‘Yvonne’s Walk’

I was absolutely delighted to have been selected for the Emerging Artist Prize last year.  It really helped my confidence.  With the prize money I was able to purchase a mobile pottery wheel allowing me to bring the pottery experience to other people.  The most recent person to benefit from this was a 95 year old woman who has always wanted to try the potters wheel.   

My method of research is about people, place, stories, history, music and searching out new information which can inform the surface of my ceramic canvas.  

I am very excited about my new venture which is working with Castle Espie to create a residency on their historic site of brick, pipe, tile and potteries.  I plan to respond to the historic pieces of pottery produced over 150 years ago on this site and through conversations, historic research and informed by what the site represents today,  create new work and potentially a new space for other artists to be inspired. 


To apply to the 2024 August Craft Month Exhibition, see here for more information. Deadline to apply 28th June.

You can see all of the talented 2023 participants and their works, here.

Subscribe to Craft NI Newsletters

Click Here
* indicates required

CRAFT NI will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.