Tralee Artists To Showcase Work At Craft And Design Fair In Dublin

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Valerie Clifford, who specialises in fine painting on slate and driftwood, is among the Kerry makers showcasing at Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair in Dublin’s RDS from December 5-10.

A TRALEE artist who discovered her passion for fine painting while studying French in Paris, will be showcased at Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair in Dublin’s RDS from December 5-10.

Gifted celebrates the best of over 600 Irish designers and makers from fashion to jewellery and beyond.

Record-breaking crowds of over 45,000 are expected to generate more than €1m per day in sales at this year’s largest-ever six-day fair.

Valerie Clifford left Tralee for France to learn the language and instead discovered a new form of art.

“I had studied art at college but went to Paris to learn the language because I wanted to be a French and Art teacher,” she said.

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“I saw some ladies painting china in a studio near Notre Dame and I was hooked. I loved fine painting but had never learned about it in college so I bought a kiln there and then and taught myself the techniques.

“I spent 28 years in Paris before I came back to my beloved Tralee.  I used to teach children art classes here through French and they loved it. I collect a lot of my slate and drift wood from Banna Beach and specialise in individual hand-painted gifts. I’m just passionate about painting. It’s my life.”

There is a total of ten local makers taking part at the event, including Tralee’s Mary Neville, Hand Made in Dingle and Firbolg Design, Killarney’s Studio Amberarte and House of Kerry and Castlegregory’s Kathleen McAuliffe.

Killorglin’s Ring of Kerry Crafts, Dingle’s Holden Leathergoods and Ballinskelligs’ Skelligs Chocolates will also fly the flag for the county.

Gifted is a celebration of the best Irish designers and makers – people who are truly gifted.

Formerly known as the National Crafts and Design Fair, Gifted includes top cutting-edge designers and makers in Irish fashion, ceramics and glass, jewellery, art and photography, children’s gifts and presents inspired by nature.

The event also includes a Spectacular Christmas Food Emporium featuring over 120 artisan food producers, taste-tempting visitors with the best of the season’s fare.



Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair takes place at the RDS Main Hall from December 5-10 from 10am each day.  Full details and booking can be found at

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