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.
Artist Jacinta Nally captures beautiful images of the natural world through her camera lens. She engages with nature to create the most astonishing work that is reminiscent of the Japanese art of bonsai. I was wowed to say the least when I first saw Jacinta’s unique sculptural peat art. She composes miniature scenes using turf, moss, twigs and seeds and her careful attention to details gives her pieces a true aesthetics.
The use of raw natural elements, all sourced from the midlands, as an art media speaks to me due to its originality and earthiness. Some of Jacinta’s pieces are currently available from Handmade Design Studio. The piece shown here is titled “Angels are closer than you think”.
For me, June means going out to gather some of the fragrant creamy-white elder flowers to make some delicious and refreshing cordial. mixed with sparkling water and served in a KaroArt porcelain tumbler, how delightful is that ?
If you are going to an outdoor food, music or literary festival or simply going picnicking by the seaside, you might want to pack a cosy and warm hand-woven tweed blanket for comfort. How about the colourful ‘Carnival’ blanket by Studio Donegal ?
Invited to a wedding or a party ? Well then, the perfect and perfectly affordable acccessory to wear is the ‘Blush’ Palomar neckpiece together with the small teardrop earrings by Bláithín Ennis. Simply gorgeous! For a more casual look, wear the “Spring cycle’ or ‘Dublin castle flag’ necklace by ArtySmarty. Bound to be noticed.
There is a lot to celebrate this month starting with Mother’s day on Sunday 6th. Is she a great cook? A wonderful listener ? A fantastic singer ? Has she a beautiful mind ? Whoever your mum is, give her a glorious gift for her day this Sunday ! If you are looking for something special to give your mother, how about a delicate vintage pendant or a pair of earrings from Forgotten China ? A truly individual piece as well as a keepsake, no doubt.
We have to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day, naturally with all things Irish. The best of guaranteed Irish art and craft all designed and handmade in every corner of Ireland can be found right here, on your doorstep.
Finally, Easter falls before the end of March this year too and if you feel like springing into action while you are out on your Easter trail, you could pick up a can of Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan and give that tired piece of furniture a fresh new look. How about Provence, English Yellow or Henrietta?
It is hard to believe that Summer is over and September will be here soon. After a couple of rainy weeks and with the days getting shorter, we are easing ourselves into Autumn. Oh! The thought of it!
However, if you want the Summer to linger awhile, make sure you burn one of Bog Standard candles such as Rosie’s Lane (lavender, jasmine and red berries) Hedgerow (blackberries, blackcurrant and strawberry) to enjoy those fresh summery scents a little while longer.
If you are looking for a new and creative skill to learn or if you are passionate about up-cycling and craftwork, why not come to one of the many workshops on offer You can also find inspiration in the latest edition of Reloved magazine or flick through the Colour recipes book by Annie Sloan.
As the cooler mornings dawn, you could be eating your breakfast porridge or cereals from one of KaroArt stoneware patterned bowls. Cut your loaf of bread on one of the wooden board by Caulfield Country Boards. And for hot drinks there is no better choice than Claire Molly’s Equus mug and espresso cups to enjoy your tea or coffee.
Before you dash out the door, pin one of ArtySmarty’s brooches to your shirt or top. Et voilà! You’ll have the smart casual look.
All beautifully designed for you. All handmade. All Irish.
2015 is the year of Irish Design and there are many events organized nationally and internationally to celebrate the makers and designers of Ireland. I hope to feature some of these events throughout the year. It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the many talents available and be totally inspired!
Makers and designers are truly passionate about their art and craft and it really shows in the quality of the items they produce. The care and skill involved in creating a hand-crafted piece, together with the inspiration behind the design idea, make the whole process of creating it truly unique. The natural beauty of each piece; be it made of wood, metal, ceramic, fabric or paper, is everlasting. And of course with each designer comes a story, which means that it is connected and personal to him or her.
First stop: Showcase held in the RDS where top Irish makers and emerging designers exhibit their original hand-crafted products. It is a great forum for meeting the makers, talking about their designs and discovering their collections and their creative journey.
Showcase 2014 features the best of Irish design with products from over 400 exhibitors. Ideally you would need two or three days to go around and see it all. Although I had only one day to get to it this year I had done my homework before going and had pinpointed the people I absolutely wanted to meet.
It is always a real treat to attend the show as the choice and variety of Irish-made products is outstanding. I went to it on the opening day with fellow designer and fashionista Naomi who has a great eye for spotting the unusual and the quirky.
We stopped at the stands of some of the makers that I stock in Handmade Design Studio such as ArtySmarty creator Angela Cutlhill, Matt Jones, Sarah Mc Kenna, Orla Barry, Blaithin Ennis among others. I discovered their exciting and on trend new collections and cannot wait to receive them in the shop.
I also met some really interesting and friendly new craftmakers whom I had not metbefore and was truly inspired by their unique products.
The beautifully crafted, high quality items soon to be found in Handmade Design Studio are:
- Natural and colourful luxury soaps by Baressential
- Urban-inspired fine silk scarves by Katie Brown
- And much more …
If you are ever coming to Mullingar, come and have a peek!