Lighting the Way for Wendy’s Craft Business

Emerging ceramic artist Wendy Ward has been presented with the prestigious Craft in Business Award at the University of Ulster’s graduate prize-giving ceremony; for her sculptural pieces destined for the top-end designer lighting market.

An initiative of Craft NI and Invest Northern Ireland, Wendy is the winner of the annual Craft in Business Award which recognises emerging designer-makers whose artistic concepts have enormous potential for business success.

Expressing her delight at the recognition of her work, Wendy Ward said:

“I am passionate about developing my product further and this prize will enable me to explore ways in which I can do this. I love interpreting my discoveries of nature in porcelain and am excited about the prospect of taking my ceramics into the business world.”

Wendy, from a farm near Hillsborough, is inspired by the way light falls on natural structures like seed cages, webs or tangled birds’ nests. Her pieces invoke the intricate delicacy combined with fitness for purpose, of these, often unobserved, structures.

As lighting is a major aspect of her work, she is currently working to create contemporary lit sculptures and shades – both to commission, and as product ranges. In the longer term, she aims to take her designs into manufacture on a larger scale.

Congratulating Wendy, Alan Kane, Director of Craft NI, commented:

“The ability to combine artistic and entrepreneurial vision is what we look for when selecting this award. Wendy has received the award based on the strength of her concept and her clear plans for business progression.

The craft sector is a key contributor to the creative economy in Northern Ireland. Recognising and supporting creative, entrepreneurial talents of emerging makers like Wendy Ward, is vital to ensuring this sector grows and develops.”

 John Hood, Director of Life Sciences, Electric and Consumer Products, Invest NI said:

“Invest NI is committed to encouraging creativity in business and to helping export focused companies in the creative sector to achieve their full potential. Wendy Ward’s entry demonstrated such potential and we are delighted to recognise her creativity and entrepreneurial flair.”

View Wendy Ward’s intricate work at

Image: 'Curvature' by Weny Ward. Photo credit: Norwood Photography

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