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Make memories at the table with Bealtaine At Home

Share family memories and learn new craft skills guided by artist Ciara Harrison.

Helium Arts in partnership with Age & Opportunity, Bealtaine At Home 2020, invite families to take part in a public exchange as part of our creative exchange project, At the Table No One Grows Old. 

So many memories are made at the table, as we share food and stories together. Inspired by heirloom tablecloths that artist Ciara Harrison inherited from her great aunt, Ciara brought together children from our Dublin Open Studio programme and their family members via postal and internet exchanges to share textile skills, memories and stories.

Each family decorated pieces from one of Ciara’s tablecloths with their own memories and marks and Ciara then created a virtual patchwork tablecloth, stitching together all of the memories. This patchwork tablecloth is displayed below.

Join in!

We invite families to join us in creating their own memories at the table. You can choose any fabric that you might decorate a table with: a tablecloth, table-runner, place mat or napkin.

In this video presentation, Ciara shows you different techniques that you can use to decorate table fabrics. There is something for every age group from stitch work to fabric crayon technique.

Check out the box below where you will find a guide for materials you might like to use.

Why not create a patchwork of memories? You might like to post the fabric to an older family relative so that they can decorate it with their own marks and memories.

Share your Creation

If you would like to share your final creation with us, take a photograph and send it to emma@helium.ie. If you like, you can add a few words about the memories you chose. Include the first names of everyone who helped to decorate the fabric.

We will share all your creations here in the ‘Share Your Creations’ gallery below.

If you have any queries or would like to learn more about the project email emma@helium.ie

Patchwork tablecloth by Dublin Open Studio families

Artwork by Anna, Ciara, Donal, Frederique, Lisa, Luke, Monica, Ola, Sadhbh, Saoirse and Zoe. Check out the individual creations in the ‘Share Your Creations’ gallery below.

At the Table No One Grows Old is produced by Helium Arts in partnership with Age & Opportunity, Bealtaine At Home 2020, and is funded by the Arts Council.




Here is a guide for materials that you might like to use. You can also get creative and use what you have at home!

  • Any fabric you would use to decorate a table: A tablecloth, table-runner, place mat, napkin
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Sewing needles
  • Thread
  • Thimble
  • Fabric scissors
  • Wool
  • Fabric patches
  • Craft decorations: sequins, beads, craft jewellery
  • Non-toxic fabric glue
  • Fabric crayons
  • Fabric paint

Share Your Creations

Artwork by Anna, Dublin Open Studio
Artwork by artist Ciara Harrison
Artwork by Donal, Dublin Open Studio
Artwork by Frederique, Dublin Open Studio
Artwork by Lisa, Dublin Open Studio
Artwork by Luke, Dublin Open Studio
Artwork by Monica, project manager with Bealtaine Festival
Artwork by Ola, Dublin Open Studio
Artwork by Sadhbh, Dublin Open Studio
Artwork by Saoirse, Dublin Open Studio
Artwork by Zoe, Dublin Open Studio

About the artist

Ciara Harrison is Helium’s Creative Health Programme artist in Dublin. Since graduating with a B. Des. in Textile Design (2011) and an MA in Design History and Material Culture (2016) Ciara has focused her artistic practice in socially-engaged and participatory art with themes centring around hospitality, education and the preservation of skills and knowledge. She endeavours to create social change through collaboration with individuals, communities and institutions in the creation of participatory art.  She is particularly interested in creative interventions in non-formal art settings, creating projects where tea, biscuits, play, craft and other domestic processes act as prompts for collaborative curiosity, conversations and exchanges of ideas.

Working as an Artist in Residence with the Waterford Healing Arts Trust (2017), Ciara further developed her interests in facilitation, partnership building, outreach, access and reflection. The residency centred on the development and management of a large-scale, participatory arts project entitled Wild Thing (you make my heart sing).  Ciara’s socially engaged projects are supported by the Arts Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.  She is a member of Visual Artists Ireland.