Craft NI Support

Craft NI is the sector-lead body for the promotion and development of the design-led contemporary craft industry in Northern Ireland. Below you will find the contact information for the Craft NI team who are dedicated to supporting and promoting the craft sector. If you have a query but do not know who to contact, email the team at


Katherine McDonald

Craft NI Director

Katherine has been Director of Craft NI since 2019, having previously worked in public relations, as well as in a range leadership roles in charities and third sector organisations.

How Katherine can assist you:

Katherine is Director of Craft NI and is responsible for delivery of overall strategy for the organisation. Please talk to Katherine about ideas for the Maker Forum, exhibition proposals, issues affecting the sector, ideas for training or CPD, or collaborations with other organisations. Contact Katherine by calling the gallery on 028 9032 9342 or email her at

Lorna Towns

Craft Development Officer

Lorna graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2018 with a degree in the History of Art and postgraduate in Art and Business. She has had significant experience working in the tourism and events sector in Northern Ireland and came to Craft NI in 2022.

How Lorna can assist you:

As a craft maker, you may encounter various challenges and opportunities along your creative journey. As Craft Development Officer, Lorna is here to offer support and guidance on a range of issues from business growth, developing connections and networking, accessing support from council areas and other organisations and more. Beyond these specific areas, Lorna is here to address any other challenges or questions you may have on your creative journey. If she isn’t able to assist you immediately, Lorna will gather resources and external support and guidance tailored to your unique needs.

Feel free to reach out to speak to Lorna over the phone or via email, or to arrange a meeting by calling the gallery on 028 9032 9342 or email her at

Katya Buryakova

Digital Development Officer

After graduating from Moscow Academic Art College and Nation Design Institute, Katya finished Ulster University MFA in 2022. During her studies, she worked as an Art Teacher for youth and adults, a Photo Reporter for a local newspaper, participated in the organisation of various events, and taught Graphic Design for adults and young people before coming to Craft NI in 2022.

How Katya can assist you:

Katya is available to help you develop your digital needs, from content creation, social media design and planning, to graphic design and video making, basic SMM and website development. Katya is happy to talk through any issues you’re facing, call the gallery or contact her at

Andreea McManus

Marketing and Communications Officer

After graduating Journalism and Advertising, Andreea has spent a few years in the luxury jewellery retail and travel sector and subsequently found her passion for jewellery, arts and crafts. Andreea has joined Craft NI in 2020 after managing a well-known jewellery and art gallery in Dublin for the last 7 years.

How Andreea can assist you:

Reach out if you would to chat about your marketing strategy, social media tools relevant to your practice, or if you’d like an introduction to Meta advertising and Google Analytics. Andreea loves words too, as Marketing and Communications Officer, it is part of Andreea’s role to construct press releases for our exhibitions, gallery stockists and events, connecting with organisations and publications in the promotion of makers and their work. If you need assistance with improving your online presence and how you present yourself through words, Andreea is the right person to contact. Call the gallery on 028 9032 9342 or email

Rachel Thompson

Craft NI Gallery Manager

Rachel graduated from University of Ulster in 2005 with a degree in textiles and fashion specialising in weaving.  Following on from this she worked in retail management for many years and recently, her passions and experience  have merged into the role of Gallery Manager.

How Rachel can assist you:

Rachel is here to help makers who want to learn more about what looks good in a retail setting, including advice on display and supporting materials. She can also provide advice on preparing to sell in a retail setting, advice on pricing and product range and support with applying to sell in retail locations. Contact Rachel by calling the gallery directly or email her at

Rachel is also available to talk to customers who might be interested in learning more about starting their own contemporary craft collection, looking into corporate gifting or finding out more about local makers across Northern Ireland.

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