Kiera O’Donnell taking one of the arts and crafts workshops with Stage Beyond members.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a mum to seven children aged between 3 and 15yrs. I love spending the time with my family who are my life. I have a real passion for all things arts and crafts and I am always looking at different materials and thinking how I can use them to create something different and unique.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic background and inspiration?

My inspiration comes from my mum, Margaret Ashford. She was always making different things and from an early age I had a keen interest in arts and crafts. I love to make a wide range of crafts and having young children myself has allowed me to develop a growing passion for all forms of arts and crafts.

Q. Are you excited to be out working again while busy raising your family?

I am so excited to be able to get out to work, even with a busy family life, my husband and kids are so supportive of me embarking on this next venture in my life. It’s been a long time, but I am ready and looking forward to the opportunities which may arise in the future.

Kiera O’Donnell, Arts and Crafts facilitator.

Q. What are the benefits of teaching and for those taking part in arts and crafts?

Arts and crafts allows people to express their own individual ideas in various ways. I love watching how so many different ideas come alive for so many different reasons.  The sense of pride people get when they finish a session or project really resonates with me. I get a great sense of achievement that they have adapted to a class and delivered their own vision of the project.

Q. What have you enjoyed most about working with Stage Beyond?

Stage Beyond welcomed me into their group with the utmost respect. They all showed an eagerness and willingness to take part in the sessions as well as creating some wonderful pieces of art.

Having fun being creative at Stage Beyond arts and crafts workshops with Kiera O’Donnell.

Q. What is your favourite type of artwork?

It is quite difficult for me to select a favourite type of artwork, as I have been surrounded by it since I was a child. I love to express art through dance, drawings, even cutting my children’s hair. However, my absolute favourite is woodwork. I love creating, building and making things with wood. I get so excited when I get a new tool and the moment I look at, or produce a new piece of work I feel many things. I express my thoughts, dreams and a lot of emotion.

When I lost my daughter to stillbirth a lot of my time was exploring and trying to find ways to keep me close to her, whether it was making something for her grave or putting together a flower arrangement.  Through the workshops I have done so far I have incorporated meaning into the projects. I love to see people create something from the heart and this has a special meaning to them.

Getting arty making mosaic tiles.

Q. What was the feedback like from your recent workshops?

The feedback was amazing, I could see on the students’ faces the happiness they gained from what they had created. The stories behind their project just made me believe even more in my work.  It was very special and I was honoured to be asked to be a part of Stage Beyond. I have also been taking arts and craft sessions at the Culmore Community Hub, I absolutely love what I do and my confidence and self-belief has had the biggest boost, all thanks to the students of Stage Beyond and adults at the Culmore Hub.

If anyone would like to contact me to enquire about taking a session they are more than welcome to email Kiera_ashford@hotmail.com