The Made Local is a campaign organised by the Design and Craft Council of Ireland. It was launched at the end of July by An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and actor/writer Amy Huberman. This initiative which I am proud to participate in as a craft shop owner recognizes the exceptional talents that Ireland has to offer of craftspeople throughout Ireland.
They make high-quality and sustainable pieces that show pure craftsmanship and skill and these items will be cherished for years to come. Behind each piece , there is a story and an authentic artisan who puts his/her heart and soul into their work.
Support the makers and the local shops for a truly unique experience: it only takes one person to start a trend.
One possible upside of the recession is a renewed interest in all things handmade and homemade. As a maker and designer, I think it is great to see people taking up craft, be it needle crafts like knitting, stitching, sewing or crochet or other textile crafts like felting or weaving. Others again that are making a come-back are soap-making, gardening and baking.
Making something yourself from scratch is not only very satisfying but it is relaxing and a lot of fun. It also means that you are being creative using your own sense of style and imagination. Inspiration comes from many sources whether it is from the natural world, travelling, art, architecture or fashion. But I also think that it has a deeper significance as well in that drawing on such sources of inspiration says something about our values and our identity. It points to the originality of the individual who creates a piece of craft and taps into the genuine personal meaning we give to the things we make.
The renewed interest in craft connects us to the values of community too as many crafts can be practised in groups and clubs and in classes making it as much a social experience as it is a form of personal expression.
I am always delighted to welcome established and aspiring crafters to drop into Handmade Design Studio to chat about and share crafty, creative ideas. See you soon!