National Sculpture Factory


25th—27th August 2023

CLAY : holding/ transforming/ performing

CLAY holding/transforming/performing is a season of clay at the National Sculpture Factory. It celebrates clay as a fundamental and complex material. A key tenet of this clay season is to be witness to experts in moments of live practice, to look into the complexity of clay production and material negotiation. This season of clay presents the breadth of material practice from the skills of traditional practices to the urgency of this material vital to expressive and sculptural live practices. The programme of live practice and keynote live conversations will present deep insights into the production and elemental demands of this ancient and current material.


Clare Twomey Paris Monument


CLAY : holding/transforming/performing is a season of clay at the National Sculpture Factory, Cork, involving a mould making workshop with Kate O’Kelly, a live raku bench for audience participation throughout the month of August, and a full programme of events the weekend of 25th, 26th & 27th August including a live performance by Florence Peake.
This Festival is curated by artist Clare Twomey (UK), artist Nuala O’Donovan (Ire) and NSF curator Dobz O’Brien. Our featured artists are Linda Sormin, Florence Peake, William Cobbing, Simon Kidd, Kate O’Kelly, Bernadette Tuite & Nuala O’Donovan.
Booking now open through Eventbrite




As part of CLAY : holding/ transforming/ performing Florence Peake will be engaging with Cork-based sound, performance, and film artist Vicky Langan and multidisciplinary artist Andrea Williams over the course of the whole weekend, where they will be investigating, collaboratively, Florence’s practice as an open space for experimentation and expression.
On Sunday 27th August from 2pm – 3pm there will be an opportunity to come and witness their explorations as ‘moments of live practice’ looking at the complexity of material negotiation and expression.
Weekend/Sunday passes include entry to Florence’s live practice. Live practice-only tickets are priced at €20 + booking fee.


William Cobbing, Keramiek Museum Holland


Two Day Plaster Mould Making course with Kate O’Kelly

19 & 20 August | 9:30AM – 5PM daily | €300
Booking now open through Eventbrite

A hands on technical workshop exploring the process of Mould Making for use with ceramics, including presentations and demonstrations on various techniques.
Participants will choose from a range of found objects to produce multi-part moulds suitable for slip casting. We will also look at single piece and drop out moulds for use with slab work.
During this workshop you will learn the basics of plaster mould making, plaster preparation and pouring, how to cast from various surfaces and what materials or objects are suitable for casting.
Day 1 :
AM : Presentation and Demonstration : Slip casting and plaster moulds
PM : Further demonstrations, participants will start to set up their individual moulds.
Day 2 :
Participants will continue to work on the moulds throughout the day.


Kate O’Kelly, Porcelain Clouds, photo by Rory Moore


Clare Twomey

Nuala O’Donovan

Linda Sormin

Bernadette Tuite

Florence Peake

William Cobbing

Kate O'Kelly

Simon Kidd

Vicky Langan

Andrea Williams


The Live Bench is the space for Transforming.

The Live bench is an open studio space on the Factory floor where individuals can come in, make a small ceramic work that can be fired in our NSF Raku kiln during the August Weekend.
This continual live production bench that will be open from July 24th and will be operational throughout the festival on the Factory Floor. Visitors can engage in the production and transformative nature of clay by creating their own small ceramic work which will be stored and kiln fired by Bernadette Tuite in our Raku kiln on the final weekend of the Festival in August.
So please do come in, engage, participate, and we can transform together.
Drop in times are Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm

This event is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and the British Council, August Craft Month, Scarva Pottery Supplies and DBI Pottery Supplies.