Creative Boost for Keith with Craft NI

Keith Sheppard
Keith Sheppard

Portadown man, Keith Sheppard, is one of nine designer/makers to have completed Craft NI’s unique Innovation Boost Programme.

Keith, a Kiln-formed Glass Maker, has a studio in Moyallon and was chosen to participate in the programme after its launch in October 2014. The initiative was launched with support from the Creative Industries Innovation Fund, with an aim to develop the work of makers who have been in business for five years or more, and were looking for a fresh creative impetus.

Artistic creations from the nine designers are now going on display at Bangor’s North Down Museum. The fascinating exhibition features the work of established ceramicists, glass makers, textile artists, stone carvers and jewellery designers.

Robert Martin, who is curating the exhibition, commented: “People will find this exhibition an interesting and engaging statement on the creative process and how an artist’s work is constantly evolving.”

Each of the makers have been working with a mentor to gain fresh perspectives on their work in a bid to develop new products or re-design some of their existing products to make them more contemporary and commercial.

Alan Kane, Chief Executive of Craft NI, said: “The programme has enabled local designer-makers to take a step back and look at their work with the help of their mentors. The exhibition is an exciting opportunity to see how this process has encouraged innovation, fresh thinking and new directions. In some cases the makers have been developing new work, and in others it has been more of a business exercise - improving their brand and presence on social media.”

The Craft NI Innovation Boost Exhibition runs from 7-13 March at Noth Down Museum. For more information, visit