Cruinniú na nÓg is Creative Ireland Programme’s Creative Youth flagship project holding a national annual day of free creative events for children. Ireland is the world’s first and only country to have such an event to support the creative development of children and young people.
The Leitrim Design House took part in Cruinniú na nÓg 2023 by introducing local children to Woodlands, Foodwebs and Ecosytems through facilitating a “Create your own Woodland Creature” workshop with craft maker & ecologist Fiona O’Driscoll. The event was held on Saturday, 10th June, the nationwide day for Cruinniú na nÓg 2023.
Woods are such intriguing and magical places with a lot going on that we don’t always see on first glimpse. In the “Woodlands, Foodwebs and Ecosytems: Create your own Woodland Creature” workshop, local children learned about Irish woodlands, food webs and ecosystems while stitching up and stuffing knitted hedgehogs, badgers and felt toadstools with real, natural sheep fleece. Each child took home one knitted animal and one toadstool to be brought on adventures around their localities, with care not to unravel their new friends!
Local artist Fiona O’Driscoll studied Ecology in her native Cork but since moving to Leitrim in the 90s she has joined her twin loves of nature study with creating collectable creatures from wool. Her creations aim to capture the innocence of childhood and the beauty of nature. She always uses freshly washed natural fleeces from a local organic farm to stuff the knitted animals as the environment and sustainability are very important to us all. Fiona’s workshop for Cruinniú na nÓg 2023 at Leitrim Design House was the perfect way to introduce children to ecological concepts while engaging in a fun, creative activity. View more of Fiona's work here.