Omagh Ceramics Graduate Wins Top Craft NI Award

Omagh ceramic artist, Rachel Leary has been named as the winner of the prestigious Craft in Business Award, at last week’s University of
Ulster graduate prize-giving ceremony.

An initiative of Craft NI and Invest NI, the award recognises designer/makers in the early stages of their careers pinpointing people whose artistic concepts display potential for the development of a successful craft business.

Receiving her award, Rachel Leary commented, “It’s a daunting experience when leaving university; therefore it is a privilege to receive
this award, which will help kick start my career within the creative industries. My passion lies in experimenting and discovering new possibilities, which is what I aim to base my practice on.”

Rachel’s work is habitually distinctive, owing to her use of ‘Egyptian Paste’ – an ancient and little used material, and one which she has made her own, through experimentation and modification.

Loving the vivid colours and glossy textures, she finds the material a perfect fit with her ongoing work of bringing microscopic organisms to life through art.

According to Rachel, she is already is full of ideas about how to develop her artistic concepts into product ranges of interest to the hospitality sector, and to the general public in Northern Ireland and beyond. With experimentation at the heart of her practice, she plans to put the award towards the purchase of a kiln, which is vital to the further development of her work.

The judges also remarked on how Rachel’s artistic practice shows incredible potential for business application.

You can see examples of her Rachel’s work by visiting