Local 3D Carrickmacross Lace artist Martha Hughes was honoured at the 2012 RDS national crafts competition last week, when she claimed 1st prize in the lace category and an engraved medal.

Not only that, but in addition, she received the Eleanor De La Branchardiere award.

Martha said that she was "thrilled, overjoued and excited" to have her work acknowledged in this way.

Her award winning "Summertime" was a white and green 3D piece featuring roses, stems and foliage in a slim vase. The artist felt that it combined tradition and modernity.

After a life-changing experince Martha rediscovered her passion for lace making and was inspired to take her work to the next level, moving the craft in a new and exciting direction.

Her work has captured the imagination of a host of internationally renowned artists, most recently reigning Designer of the Year Natalie B. Coleman, who collaborated with Martha on her wedding dress.

Martha is originally from Mayo but having moved to Carrickmacross in 1973, she now lives in Creevy.

She is married to Martin, a former member of An Garda Siochana, and they have three sons Keith, Derek and Barry.

Having won numerous awards and participated in many exhibitions, Martha's work forms part of various private collections too.

Her most recent piece is available for viewing during the RDS Horse Show from August 15th -19th and the craft exhibition is included in the admission price.

"Summertime" will then go on the road as part of the RDS National Craft Travelling Exhibition.

(This article first appeared in The Northern Standard, 16 Aug. 2012 by Veronica Corr. Pic. Pat Byrne)