Kinsale Pottery Centre
Visual Art School/Craft School: Ceramics, Figure Drawing, Painting, Stained Glass Art, Mosaic Crafts: Gallery Exhibitions.

Adrian Wistreich,
founder of KPAC, is
a ceramic artist and an active member of Hands On West Cork.
He is the regional representative for
Ceramics Ireland
and also co-founded
Cork Art and Design the largest network of professional crafts workers in Ireland.

Find out about the latest arts courses,
dates and fees by visiting the website:

Kinsale Pottery and Arts School

Founded in 2000 by ceramic artist Adrian Wistreich (b.1956), the Kinsale Pottery & Arts Centre is now the largest teaching centre of its kind in the south of Ireland, offering a wide range of easy-to-join courses in pottery, drawing and painting for adults and children, plus specialist weekend workshops in ceramics, stained glass art, mosaics, mixed media art, book-binding, photography and film animation. The school continues to expand year by year, bringing more and more specialist artists and teachers on board. It works closely with other craft producers in and around Ireland.

The overriding aim of the school is to bring out the 'artist' in each student, so every course in the curriculum is carefully designed for its practical value, and is taught by an expert in the field.


Taking Shape.

A gift voucher for a course at
Kinsale Pottery and Art School
makes an ideal gift. As little as
€225 buys a full weekend course,
while €30 can secure one of the
many individual classes. Email
Adrian with your requirements,
and pay online with Paypal, or
telephone with your credit card
details. Vouchers can be posted
or emailed to you.

For details of potters and pottery
art from ancient Greece, see:
Greek Pottery.
For information about ceramics
from China, see:
Chinese Pottery.


Kinsale Pottery is located a mere 20 minutes from Cork Airport, near the centre of the beautiful harbour of Kinsale. The school occupies converted stables in the home farm for Ballinacurra House, and the gallery is situated in the eaves of its coach house, which dates back to 1795. The gallery is open to visitors, and ceramics and paintings are available for sale all year round.

Courses To Suit Everyone

There's a course to suit almost everyone, from absolute beginners to fine art graduates, adults and children - even companies! There are weekly morning and evening classes, weekend breaks, summer schools and tailor-made workshops for corporate groups and private parties. Up to 30 people can be accomodated in one class (up to 50 in a group), or as few as two or three.

Outstanding Teachers

In addition to Adrian Wistreich, the school has a number of excellent teachers who are not only skilled communicators, but also practising artists. They include Robert Lee, a ceramicist from Ballydehob with more than 10 years training in throwing, from the Crawford College of Art and Tomastown; Michael Ray, a glass fusing expert from Castlefreke; Una O'Sullivan, a Mallow-based stained glass artist; Odette Norman, a mosaics expert; UK-based Ciara Healy, who teaches book binding; Flickie Howe, jeweller and fashion designer from Howe Strand West Cork; Jane Lee, a film animator from Cork; Julia Pallone, a Kinsale-based scuptor and installation artist; Michale Prior, a West Cork photographer; and Afric Hamilton, a Kinsale-based journalist and writer.

If you can't find a date to suit your
schedule, the school invites you
to contact them to arrange for
a tailor-made course.

The Kinsale Pottery & Arts Centre
also runs a Mixed Media course,
covering Land Art, Architecture
in Art and Mail Art, workshops on
making mosaics, jewellery and
other items. For details, visit:

For details of art schools and colleges
in Ireland and UK, see these resources:

National College of Art & Design
Dublin Art Courses
Munster Art Schools
Leinster Art Colleges
Connacht Art Schools
Ulster Art Colleges

England & Wales

Types of Subjects Taught

Here is a brief selection of some of the many arts and crafts courses which the school offers. Unless indicated, all are open to beginners as well as those with experience.


Beginner's courses cover all the basic pottery techniques such as coiling, slab methods, thrown pots and sculpting in clay, as well as decorative techniques, like sgraffito, slip-painting, underglazing and glazing. Typically, students produce about 6-8 finished works in their first course, after which they can upgrade to the experienced group. More experienced students work on their own projects and receive one-to-one tuition.

Courses focus on three-dimensional art – sculpture and pot-making, with an emphasis on developing technical skills. Classes are designed to be relaxing and fun, without the need to achieve academic standards, but with all the support and guidance to develop personal potential and gain experience working with clay. For more experienced ceramicists, the school provides advice on throwing or glazing and experimenting with new materials, like paper clay, porcelain, engobes and on-glaze enamels.

Whatever your prior level of experience, Kinsale Pottery aims to tailor the course to your needs.


Drawing & Life Drawing

These courses involve a mixture of experimental and analytical exercises, alternating between a technical and fun approach to drawing from the model, students develop an understanding of the human form and increased hand-eye co-ordination as they learn to convert a 3D subject into a convincing 2D drawing.

The school also runs Mixed Media classes in which students can improve their drawing skills by experimenting with a range of materials and techniques, including collage, frottage, basic printing techniques and tracing.

Painting and Life Painting

Students learn the basic techniques of fine art painting in a range of mediums such as: oils, acrylics and watercolours. They explore the different styles and effects that are produced with salt, wax, tar, solvents and other mixed media. There are opportunities to work from still life, landscape, and a life model, focusing on composition, focal points and perspective.


Glass Fusing

Students are taught how to cut, assemble and shape coloured glass using a kiln. They learn about mould-making materials suitable for shaping glass, how to texture and produce holes without drilling. Students have the opportunity to produce various coloured pendants, glass coasters, tiles or dishes.

Stained Glass

Students learn how to design and create a stained glass piece in 2D or 3D using copper foil, grinding, fluxing and soldering. The course includes design and finishing techniques and a short history of the process.

New Courses For 2009

The centre is expanding its 2009 art syllabus to include courses and workshops on Creative Writing, Film Animation, Photography and Book making and Binding. For more experienced students, the school offers Portfolio Preparation programs for those planning to apply to art school, and an Artist Development program, making it one of the best art centres in Munster.

See also: Crafts Council of Ireland.


The Gallery

In 2008, the Kinsale Pottery and Arts Centre expanded its gallery space to include a huge reception room and exhibition area which permits the display of 2D and 3D artwork indoors and outdoors, while video installations can be hosted in a separate room. This spacious venue is open to the public throughout the year and stages a rotating exhibition program of works by artists from across Ireland. For the full calendar of exhibition events, see the website.

How to Book an Exhibition

Artists can book the gallery to host their exhibition on a self-contained basis, or they can take advantage of the centre's promotional expertise to help with the launch. No commission is taken on sales: instead a flat fee is charged. For details of availability, the centre's wide range of promotional and other support services, and the competitive rates it offers, please use the contact details, below.

See also: West Cork Craft & Design Guild.

Contact Details

Kinsale Pottery & Art School
Kinsale, County Cork

+353 (0) 21-477-7758
+353 (0) 87-969-6901


For full details of all visual art and crafts course curricula offered by the centre, as well as dates, times, and fees, visit:

More Irish Ceramicists

For biographies of outstanding contemporary ceramic artists, see:

Jane Jermyn
Abstract organic forms.
Ayelet Lalor
Figurative ceramic sculptures in porcelain, earthenware, bronze.
Sara Roberts
Porcelain wall hangings.

• For more about Irish culture, see: Visual Arts in Ireland.
• For a review of fine art in the 32 counties, see: Irish Painting and Irish Sculpture.
• For more information about culture in Ireland, see: Homepage.

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