Eligibility and Quality Criteria

Photo: ‘Bloom’ –  silvered flame-worked glass, painted wood and wax; Maker: Andrea Spencer; Photo credit: The Studio- David Pauley




Craft NI champions craft that displays exceptional craftsmanship, from makers who demonstrate a mastery of their materials to create innovative designs and who show Excellence in Craft’. This standard enables audiences to be assured that craft is technically excellent, well designed and made, and showcases the skills and vision of the maker.


Craft Directory

Craft NI maintains an up to date and informative online Craft NI Makers Directory (the Directory) which allows Makers to reach and connect with craft audiences, buyers and commissioners. (See here for more information)

Craft NI also maintains a Directory of Venues, listing galleries, exhibition venues and independent retail outlets who showcase craft items achieving this standard. 

To be listed on the Directory makers and venues need to meet the respective eligibility and quality criteria and then apply via our online application form. Applications will be reviewed by the Craft NI Quality Group and applicants are encouraged to complete the form as fully as possible to allow the panel to be totally informed about the offering. The Directory will be updated four times each year. 



To be eligible for inclusion in the Craft NI Directory:

  • Makers should be professional or semi-professional crafts people living or working in Northern Ireland
  • If you are not currently living or working in Northern Ireland, but wish to apply, please demonstrate in your application your connection to Northern Ireland through birth, education or through working for a significant part of the year in Northern Ireland. Please contact info@craftni.org to check eligibility
  • Makers should be working in one of the recognised craft disciplines listed here 
  • All work should be the original design of the Maker and should also be made by the Maker – small batch production under the direct supervision of the Maker is also permitted
  • All work must evidence the skill of the Maker and must be a unique object, coming from the vision of that Maker

Makers should clearly describe how they meet the criteria on the application form.



Applications will be assessed on the following quality criteria, demonstrating Excellence in Craft. Applicants should:

  • Demonstrate distinctive design and significant accomplishment in product construction and presentation;
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the material with which they are working;
  • Show high levels of skill in the techniques used;
  • Demonstrate the individual creative signature of the maker;
  • Demonstrate creativity or create design and innovation in the use of materials;
  • Reflect appropriate standards in the products’ durability, size, weight and materials.


In addition, makers should also be able to demonstrate that they have achieved the following:

Section A: at least one from:

  • Makers have been practising professionally for at least three years, or
  • Makers have trained as an apprentice in their craft discipline, or
  • Makers hold a degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant area

Section B: At least two from:

  • Makers have exhibited their work publicly within the last 24 months (at a selected show, exhibition and/or event, this excludes degree shows)
  • Makers have received one or more prizes, awards or bursaries for professional practice
  • Makers’ work has been positively reviewed or featured in an art journal, magazine or newspaper
  • Makers have been engaged by contractual agreement in an artist’s placement scheme (e.g. a residency)
  • Makers’ work has been purchased for one or more public collections
  • Maker is represented by a gallery
  • Makers’ work is stocked in one or more quality outlets
  • Makers’ work has been sold in a juried craft fair or exhibition

 Craft NI will review the criteria regularly based on developments in the sector and feedback from Makers. 

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