This weekend, the Ulster Folk Museum at Cultra, will come alive to the sights, sounds and smells of our traditional crafts as they celebrate the revival of Northern Ireland’s heritage skills.
The new two-day Making Festival takes place on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 August and will feature crafts such as drystone walling, stonemasonry, signwriting, stained glass and thatching.
Visitors will have the chance to watch and participate in these time-honoured practices and many more at-risk skills.
Visitors will also have the chance to experience lively traditional music sessions and film screenings in the Ulster Folk Museum’s original Picture House.
Other highlights within the event programme include wood turning, musical instrument making and traditional food demonstrations.
The Ulster Folk Museum, established in 1964, was created to safeguard the unique way of life that defined the people in the north of Ireland.
Susan Starrett, General Manager at the Ulster Folk Museum said: “The Making Festival will be a special weekend of discovery and participation, celebrating Northern Ireland's rich traditions, and showcasing the talents of our artisans.
“The festival is an opportunity to rekindle or ignite appreciation for these remarkable skills and traditions that we actively preserve and demonstrate here at the museum, so that we can learn more about them, be inspired and keep them alive for future generations.”
The family-friendly festival is planned in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board NI (CITB NI), who hope the demonstrations inspire future generations to learn these traditional skills.
“Heritage skills form a small but vital part of our construction sector. In recent years we have seen a decline in people taking these skills forward, putting these skills and our built heritage at risk,” says Barry Nielson, CITB NI Chief Executive.
“We hope this festival will inspire people to reconnect with their heritage and to become the next generation of master craftspeople.”
Plans are currently underway to ‘reawaken’ the Ulster Folk Museum and unlock its potential as a dynamic heritage and environment resource.
The proposed scheme also includes two new, carefully located buildings. A ‘Culture Hub’ will create a greater sense of welcome and orientation for visitors, whilst an ‘Industry Zone’ will tell the story of industrialisation and unlock the potential of a unique collection of items currently inaccessible to the public.
In addition to showcasing Northern Ireland’s unique building traditions, the Making Festival will host a craft fair in collaboration with Craft NI throughout the weekend, coinciding with August Craft Month.
For further information and booking visit www.ulsterfolkmuseum.org/whats-on/festival-making.