The American Friends

....of Ulster University Inc.

Richard Kennedy Degenhardt Belleek Collectors’ Scholarships

Richard Kennedy Degenhardt
Richard K. DegenHardt
(1924 - 2000)

The Richard K. Degenhardt Belleek Collectors’ Scholarships were established in 2001 in memory of the late founder of the Belleek Collectors’ International Society, Richard Kennedy Degenhardt. The scholarships are a tribute to his definitive knowledge of Belleek Parian China, which remains renowned among collectors worldwide today.

These international scholarships, each of one year’s duration, are awarded annually to a small number of outstanding students of the Ulster University engaged in study in the fields of Ceramics and Celtic Studies at either undergraduate or graduate level.

The Scholarships give recipients financial assistance in order to undertake further specialised research in their areas of expertise, for example by attending courses abroad, visiting prestigious exhibitions or to fund travel and living costs for periods of research. Some of the resulting research has been published, or used as a foundation for Scholars to progress their studies to PhD level.

The scholarships are funded through the generosity of many individuals and groups, including Belleek collectors world-wide, international Belleek Chapters, special friends and family of Richard K. Degenhardt, the Belleek Pottery and the Belleek Collectors’ International Society.

Richard K Degenhardt Belleek Collectors Scholarship Winners

The Richard K. Degenhardt Belleek Collectors’ Scholars 2019

Zara McLaughlin (Ceramics)

Zara launched her business, Zara Ceramics, in late 2018. She creates functional pieces, often mugs and plates, using colour pallets which aim to capture the essence of a beach trip to the North Coast of Northern Ireland. In contrast, her sculptural work centres around the physical built environment, based on architecture observed from the places she has visited. She intends to use the scholarship funding to purchase materials for her studio space, enabling her to work with more expensive materials such as Parian and Porcelain. Zara would also like to develop her skill set further by attending two slip casting workshops, one in Ireland and one in England. She also plans to use part of the funding for online marketing purposes and for travel expenses associated with building her business.

David Samuel (Ceramics)

David’s sculptural pieces are created using a combination of 3D scanning, 3D printing, traditional mould making and hand-building techniques. Using this technology allows for accurate rapid prototypes and combines traditional ceramic making with industrial practices. David uses 3D scans of his own head and shoulders to create a bust for 3D printing. This print is then moulded and used for hand-built sculptures which layers objects from his childhood and turns them into unique sculptures that are filled with memory and intrigue. He will use the scholarship funding to attend two courses in London which will enable him to move 2D design into 3D design for use with 3D printing.

Ksenia Kudenko (Celtic Studies)

For her PhD project, Ksenia’s work has focussed on a Middle Irish tale Tochmarc Moméra, ‘The Wooing of Moméra’, a text that has not been dealt with since 1855. She has produced an edition of the tale, accompanied by an English translation, and a study of the text’s aesthetic, historical and political significance. By highlighting various aspects of Irish kingship, twelfth-century ecclesiastical reform, as well as Irish manuscript production, her project makes the history and culture of early Ireland more relevant to modern readers and draws attention to important components of medieval Irish learning. Ksenia will use the scholarship funding to prepare her thesis for future publication, including covering her research trips to Dublin, where the manuscript copy of Tochmarc Moméra is kept at Trinity College Dublin. It will also enable Ksenia to participate in several Celtic Studies conferences.

David Samuel Ceramics Scholar 2019 Ceramics Scholar 2019 David Samuel with some of his work on display at the End of Year Show June 2019

Full List of Scholarship Winners

A total of 48 Ulster University students have benefitted from Richard K. Degenhardt Belleek Collector's Scholarships since they were established in 2001.

Roll of Honour
Year Ceramics Scholars Celtic Studies Scholars
2002 Tina Byrne Mary McCaul
2003 Jill Warrington Donal Mac Ruairí
2004 Fiona Fleming Julie Gallagher
2005 Rachel Buchanan Marion Deane
2006 Naomi Fitzpatrick
Derek Wilson
Sophia Geraghty
2007 Kerrie Ahern
Rebecca Simpson
Seán Ó Maolagáin
2008 Ashling O’Hea
Conor McLean
Colm Duffin
2009 Helen Moore Sarah McMonagle
2010 Claire Muckian Aodh Mac Gairbheá
2011 Andrew Cooke Conal McShane
Patrick Tierney
2012 Julie Scott
Rhiannon Ewing-James
Tony Mac Ruairí
2013 Kerrie Hanna
Christopher Banks
Póilín Uí Ghallachóir
2014 Ms Wendy Ward Ms Caitlin Ni Bhroin
Ms Patricia Carr
2015 Ms Rosemary Purvis
Ms Lisa Allan
Mr Michael Casey
2016 Mr David McComiskey
Ms Eliza Bliss
Mr Duane Long
2017 Grace Press
Joshua Lyness
Seanan Mac Aoidh
2018 Annita McKee
Tamara Rose Doherty
Lauren O'Neill
2019 Zara McLaughlin
David Samuel
Ksenia Kudenko

The Ulster University is extremely grateful to all the donors who have contributed so generously to the Scholarship fund. These prestigious awards enhance students’ opportunities for educational and personal development, and encourage creative thinking and learning.



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