Established in 1981
Grennan Mill Craft School is housed in an 18th century grain mill, The Island Mill, on the banks of the River Nore in Thomastown, County Kilkenny. The grain lofts of the mill have been converted into spacious and well equipped craft/art studios. The location is part of the charm in providing inspiration and a unique ambience to work in. The school was set up in 1981 and has now established itself as an important centre of study in the crafts area and attracts students from all over Ireland and further afield.
It offers a wide range of courses: two Post Leaving Certificate Courses with QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) Certification in Art, Craft and Design at Level 5 and Art at Level 6, both full time from September to the end of May; a range of Evening Classes take place weekly starting in September and January respectively and a variety of Summer Courses are offered in June and July. The school is run and funded by Grennan College and Kilkenny & Carlow Education & Training Board (KCETB).
Students who are accepted for the full-time course will gain experience and intensive tuition in a broad spectrum of crafts: Batik, Ceramics, Metalcraft, Printmaking, Weaving and Drawing. Courses are practical and coincide with the abilities of the individual. From the outset, Grennan Mill offers a person with talent, aptitude and a genuine desire to learn, a unique opportunity to explore many types of media. This hopefully gives every student the confidence to experiment and explore ideas and broaden their perspective on the work involved in all areas. The completion of the course results in an excellent level of competency in the use of the many tools and varied equipment across the craft spectrum at the Mill.
Many students use Grennan Mill Craft School as an opportunity to discover which area of Art & Craft they excel in, and with facilities like the DCCOI Pottery Skills course adjacent to their own premises, and the DCCOI Jewellery Skills course in nearby Kilkenny city, the opportunity to develop these skills into a viable career afterwards is right on the doorstep.
Other students come to Grennan Mill Craft School to develop a portfolio for submission to their chosen degree course either in Irish art colleges or on the UK mainland. Most students usually score extremely highly with their portfolio as this course seems to be the right choice for those traveling on an Art & Design route. The course also welcomes mature students considering a change of career or pursuing a life’s dream upon retirement.
With alumni reading like a Who’s Who of Irish craft, people like Angela O’ Kelly, Seamus Gill, Remco De Fouw and Stephen Vaughan, ignited their passions for craft a few decades ago in Grennan Mill Craft School.