Causeway Craft Trail makers prepare for Open Studio Weekend

Causeway Craft Trail makers prepare for Open Studio Weekend

Mon, March 14, 2022

Makers and collectives are throwing open their studio doors to the public this weekend (March 19th and 20th) as part of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Causeway Craft Trail.

A warm welcome awaits you so please drop in, meet the makers, and listen to their stories during an up-close experience of basket weaving, pottery, felting, jewellery design, boat making and more.

You’ll be able to see their studios, enjoy a live demonstration and be inspired at the  stunning locations which form the Causeway Craft Trail across the Borough.

Kick-off your journey off with a visit to potter Adam Frew who throws functional and one-off pots at his converted barn studio in rural Aghadowey, before heading along the River Bann to Elements Studio at Downhill, where McCall Gilfillan creates artworks in a variety of media.

Enjoy spectacular views as far as the Isle of Jura as you stop off at the workshop of Valkyrie Craft Boatmakers perched in the hills before heading down into the bustling town of Coleraine to lose yourself in the treasures at Stone Row Artisans, a collective of talented designer-makers and artisans.

Watch potter Babs Belshaw at work as you pause for a homemade bake in the cafe at Blackheath Pottery near Coleraine, then head to the coastal resort of Portstewart where ceramicist Fiona Shannon, a resident in Flowerfield Arts Centre, creates tableware inspired by the wild Atlantic coastline.

In neighbouring Portrush, stop to watch basket-weavers Louise and Trevor McLean working on their traditional heritage crafts in the studio behind their home, and don't forget to visit nearby Frankie Creith Arts, a gallery displaying mixed media works.

Then head back inland to the village of Bushmills to visit Makers House at The Designerie before continuing to Innisfree Farm, next to the famed Giant's Causeway, and home to five different creative makers.

Pay a visit to the Benefield Spencer Glass Studio in Ballintoy - Northern Ireland's only artisanal glassblowing studio - before making your way to Ballycastle and the Puffin Gallery, an artist-led gallery and creative hub.

Funded by Tourism NI, the Open Studio Weekend is absolutely free and showcases the wealth of creative craft talent on our doorstep.

Participating open studio times are:

Adam Frew Ceramics, Aghadowey: Saturday 2pm-5pm
Atlantic Craft NI, Louise McLean, Portrush: Saturday & Sunday 11am-3pm
Fiona Shannon Ceramics, Portstewart - Saturday & Sunday 11am-3pm
Blackheath Pottery, Coleraine - Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 11-4pm
Benefield Spencer Glass, Ballintoy - Saturday 10am-1pm
The Boat House Gallery & Studio Collective, Giant's Causeway - Saturday 11am-4pm
Frankie Creith Gallery & Studio, Portrush - Saturday 11am-3pm
Stone Row Artisans Collective, Coleraine - Saturday 10am-5pm
Maker's House, The Designerie, Bushmills - Saturday 11am-3pm
Elements Studio, McCall Gilfillan, Castlerock - Saturday & Sunday 1pm-5pm
Valkyrie Craft Boatmaking, Castlerock - Saturday 10am-12pm (Please note this demonstration will take place at Flowerfield Arts Centre)
Puffin Gallery, Ballycastle - Saturday & Sunday 2pm-4pm

For more information on the Causeway Craft Trail go to


Pictured at The Blackheath Pottery which is taking part in the Open Studio Weekend are Karen Smyth (Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Acting Cultural Services Development Officer), Councillor Richard Holmes (Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council), Kerrie McGonigle (Destination Manager) and  potter Babs Belshaw.