February 16th, 2013 | No Comments »
 

Showcase 2013 Part 1
I try to visit Showcase every year and there is always a vast array of good quality products on display, everything from furniture, glass, ceramics, and home wares to jewellery, knitwear and skincare: all or most of which is designed and made here in Ireland.

Irish Linen House
Irish Linen House

 

The first place I checked out was the Creative Island; this section is growing year on year. I didn’t get to speak to all of those on the island but made a point of seeking out those who were interior design or homeware based craftspeople. There were some familiar faces along with some new businesses which had made it onto the Island. One of the start-ups which I have followed develop from the Enterprise Zone two years ago now: is Irish Linen House, the team of Mary and Greg Whelan who design and make tableware from quality Irish sourced linen have really established themselves with a growing range which now includes a specific set which was inspired by The Gathering. The theme of this collection is an Oak Tree, though launched for The Gathering celebrations I could see this as making its way into many a household as a family heirloom, it would make a great wedding present for anyone not

just those with an Irish connection, or with an Irish heritage.

Irish Linen House
Irish Linen House

The product range comprises of table runners, placemats and napkins. The product range through its versatility of design takes the market beyond individual homes to the wider home accessory market and gift market and from hospitality to corporate dining suites and embassies.

 

Irish Linen House

Irish Linen House

All their table runners placemats and napkins can be personalized with family crests or personal inscriptions and also provide the perfect gift. The Irish Linen House has gone from strength to strength and is now exporting internationally, all over the USA, Canada and South America as well as Europe.


Klickity

Klickity


Another creative force which I had met in the past were the girls at Klickity, I really like the new products which they have added to the range of products they now design and make. I loved the fruit holder and the small test tube vase.


Klickity

Klickity


Klickity

Klickity

Nicholas Mosse

Nicholas Mosse

Nicholas Mosse Pottery were launching a new pattern, Clover which contained lovely shades of blue and green.


Nicholas Mosse Pottery

Nicholas Mosse Pottery

Paddy McCormack works with iron, he designs and manufactures candle holders which come in a range of sizes and styles. Paddy works in his forge; which is based in West Cork every day, he’s dedicated to his craft.

Paddy McCormac

Paddy McCormack

Paddy McCormac

Paddy McCormack


Locker 13 are based in the Malthouse Design Centre, the operation is mainly centred around two designers Shane Wilson and Karl Medcalf thought they do collaborate with other craftspeople. Their stand was manned by a young Italian lady Dora, who is working with them at the moment. They have a quirky and vibrant range of stock; I particularly liked their Comfort Lamp, they also make a Comfort Jug. Another item I particularly liked was a handheld blackboard which comes with its own white/chalk pencil; it is about the same size as the iPad and so is right on trend at the moment.


Locker 13

Locker 13

Locker 13

Locker 13


Potter Colm De Ris was exhibiting on the Creative Island again this year, I really liked his creations last year and I can say the same again this year. I didn’t get a chance to speak with Colm or his parents who man his stand with him this year as I was limited for time this year when compared to previous years when I have visited Showcase.


Colm De Ris

Colm De Ris

Colm De Ris

Colm De Ris


Candles were featured on the Creative Island also two craftspeople were displaying candles the first I spoke to was Alison from Brooke & Shoals who are based in Wicklow and the second was from County Down: a business called Bog Standard whose range includes candles, scented sachets, soaps and creams along with scented fresheners.


Bog Standard

Bog Standard

Bog Standard

Bog Standard

Bog Standard

Bog StandardBrooke Shoals

Brooke Shoals

Brooke Shoals



I did predict last year that I saw great potential in the designs of Cillian Johnston and how right I was, last year he was located in the Enterprise Zone upstairs with his range of lamps which combine timber and Aran knit inserts. This year there he was on the Creative Island with a new and larger range of products which include designs in the area of hooks which are based on his previous designs featuring timber and knitted elements. Not only that but the new range includes; fun and funky fabric which is made into cushions and also matching lamp shades.

 

 

Cillian Johnston
Cillian Johnston

 

Cillian Johnston
Cillian Johnston

 

Cillian Johnston
Cillian Johnston


I really wanted to speak with Pauline McLynn but she had a que of people lined up to speak with her so I headed off up to the Enterprise Zone (this section is included in Showcase part 2) when I returned downstairs the que had subsided somewhat and I joined the one woman ahead of me. Pauline was really in selling mode. Well Pauline being Pauline before long all four of us were chatting; like old friends, the English gentleman who was acquiring some of the knitted tea cosies designed and hand finished by Pauline was unaware of who she was and the whole concept behind “The Go On! Tea Company”. As it turned out the gentleman was the owner of a tableware company in the UK called “Plate Tableware”, based in Fulham and as it turned out Pauline knew the area. It really is such a small world after all. Pauline sources all the wool used in the designs from Donegal and she designs the colourways: she then has a small army of ladies in Lucan who knit the Go On! Tea cosies and she hand finishes and embellishes each one herself. While chatting with Pauline I received the phone call from my son to say he was ready to be picked up and so time had caught up with me and that was the end of my visit this year to Showcase.


 

Go On Tea Company
Go On Tea Company

 

Go On Tea Company

Go On Tea Company

showcase01
gathering

During the conversion with Barry Seaman from Plate Tableware he mentioned that he attends a different show each year, apart from being located so near to the design centre in London.


In recent times visiting Sweden and Paris but this was his first time to Showcase and he was impressed by the quality and range of products on display from the Irish craftspeople taking part in Showcase. Good quality design will always find a market and I was really inspired by this year’s Showcase.


Watch out for Part 2 which will cover the Enterprise Zone.

Websites for those featured above
www.irishlinenhouse.com
www.klickity.ie
www.nicholasmosse.com
www.paddymccormack.com
www.locker13.ie
www.colmderis.com
www.bogstandard.ie
www.cillianjohnston.ie
http://thegoonteacompany.com/

http://www.platetableware.co.uk/index.html








Posted in Show All
November 22nd, 2012 | No Comments »

I recently took part in a fundraising event, a Girls Night in aid of our local kickboxing club here in Leixlip, Bushido Martial Arts.  I’m putting this Thank You on my blog here as some of those who donated prizes for the raffle and spot prizes are from the craft community and I’d like to acknowledge their support at this time.188170_123204071162492_33158429_n-girls-night1

For the best part the event was organised through Facebook and I have included our Thank You post here.


capture-girls-nightI’d like to give a special thanks to Mary & Greg Whelan from Irish Linen House for the lovely gift of their Christmas Table Runner.  I have mentioned Greg and Mary here before as I first met them a number of years ago when they first launched their range of table ware at Showcase and it’s wonderful to see how they have grown and flourished in the meantime. Their range can be viewed online and are stocked as far a field as Canada and the US, as well as here in Ireland.  For more information check the website Irish Linen House.


If you are buying gifts this holiday season please try to shop local, if you can’t buy local then please buy Irish!







March 3rd, 2012 | No Comments »

Showcase was held in the RDS Dublin from Sunday last 22nd January ran up to 25th January.  The show was officially opened by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.  I have in the past met up with some friends from the blogging world and also met old friends but this year they all had other plans and I was there on my own.  I thoroughly enjoyed my day and yes I was there all day, but I could have returned a second day to get to chat with all the craftspeople that were there displaying the craft items which the make and produce.

I caught up with some craftspeople that I had met with in past years and also met some craftspeople for the first time.  Like my visit last year I also met some craftspeople who were exhibiting for the first time, these were representing some the local County Enterprise Boards and were located up on the balcony. 

 

During the day I made my way to the press room/media lounge and told them that I blog, I was welcomed into the media lounge and the staff there had tea, coffee, sandwiches and biscuits on hand as well as a seat and time to catch a few minutes to put together a list of the exhibitors I had spoken to as I made my way around the show.  The staff then took my list and forwarded me some promo photos for use in the blog.  So all in all it was a day well spent.

 

The craftspeople I spoke to on the day included Tara Hammond of Slated, Pat Lawless from Lawless Furniture, Cillìan Johnston of Cillìan Johnston Furniture, Gary Marcham from Goose Island Workshop and Bog Buddies, Imelda and Matt of Matt Jones Woodturner; all of these craftspeople were in the Enterprise Zone on the balcony and supported by their local Enterprise Boards.

 

tara-hammond-slated1

 

I was impressed with the quality of the woodturning which was carried out by Matt Jones, in particular I liked the “Keepsake Rattles”. While chatting to Imelda I asked if I could photograph a stool which was on display, Imelda mentioned that the Nationwide crew had been in earlier and Mary had sat on the stool.  It was featured on Nationwide the following week.  This is a new business and is very much a family business, based in Sligo - with Matt carrying out the creative part of the business and Imelda dealing with the marketing, where her passion is visible is just chatting with her.  This is one to watch and I can see great things happening with this couple in the next year, they might even make it to the Creative Island.

 

matt-jones-woodturner

Also on the Balcony was Cillìan Johnston of Cillìan Johnston Furniture who was displaying his range of lamps.  The lamps are Contemporary Irish in design, incorporating Irish Oak and woollen knitted sleeve in Aran Cable stitches just like Aran Jumpers, Aran Beag is the name of this range of lamps.

 

Lawless Furniture are based in Kerry, the styles are contemporary and I was given an insight into how the furniture is crafted by Pat, who mentioned that his company is the most westerly furniture maker in Europe.  Pat also mentioned that the company take part in music festivals around Ireland and the UK where they give demonstrations during the festival on making furniture.

 

lawless-furniture

Another Kerry based craftsman is Gary Marcham from Goose Island Workshop, who uses green timber in the manufacture of his Windsor stools and chairs.  The chairs though of a similar design and style all looked as though they had their own personality.  I’d love one of those chairs in my bedroom, I could picture it draped in a lovely woollen blanket or throw.

 

I also caught up with some old friends who were located on Creative Island and met some craftspeople for the first time: Greg and Mary Whelan of Irish Linen House, Garvan De Bruir of De Bruir, Donagh Quigley of The Handmade Soap Company, Liz Fingleton and Kate Cronin of Klickity. Another craftsperson who impressed me was Richard Heffernan at Little Red Woodworks.

 

Greg and Mary of the Irish Linen House have had an amazing last twelve months; I spoke to them last year when they were a newly formed business.  What a difference twelve months can make, they had been on trade missions with their Irish Linen tableware to the United States.  The designs are embroidered onto Irish Linen with patterns drawn from Celtic Folklore though Greg now also has a range of contemporary designs in a range of colours. 

 

Liz Fingleton and Kate Cronin of Klickity were another business that I wanted to catch up with again this year.  Their designs have something for every budget.  Designs range from Light fittings to clocks and even cardboard picture frames which you can customise.

klickityklickity-clockklip-klickity 

Richard Heffernan at Little Red Woodworks had the most amazing sculptures on display, with materials used incorporating metals and timber.  He mentioned that his break came about as a result of some of his shelving being in the background of a television programme. 

 

Donagh Quigley of The Handmade Soap Company, was another craftsperson I had spoken with last year.  I just love the branding and packaging that brings the range together.

 

Garvan De Bruir of De Bruir, was very inventive this year with a secret panel in this exhibition space where he could pop in to eat his lunch and store his personal belongings.  I know Garvan for a few years now and he invited me along to visit his workshop in Kildare which is not too far from where I’m based.  So that is something that I’m planning to do before next year’s Showcase.  Garvan was displaying his range of leather work this year.

garvan-de-bruirdebruirde-bruirAlso on Creative Island was a potter, Colm De Rìs Irish Pottery. I was drawn to this stand and met with Colm’s parents who were manning the stand and I returned later to chat with Colm.  The range of work on display was very eye catching. The range was a mix of Green and Blue high gloss pottery.  Though Colm did have another piece on display on the Creative Island – he took me to see and touch this piece.  There was something organic about this piece; called Solstice Flow Bowl, it was a piece of art as well as a functional piece.    

A more experienced and well travelled craftsperson was Cyril Cullen www.cyrilcullen.wordpress.com Cyril joined the conversation with Colm and had a brought along a book to show Colm.  The book was researched by his daughter Margot and traces his life and work as a designer of knitwear the book is called Knot Sure – The life and work of Irish Fashion Designer, Cyril Cullen. A proud father Cyril showed us photos from within the pages of projects he had worked on one of which was based in Africa.  Cyril also has a range of Porcelain.  There was a obvious respect for Cyril by Colm who mentioned that he was a great Irish craftsman.

I could have spend a second day to speak to other inspirational craftspeople by time caught up with me.

   

Contact details of those I spoke to at this year’s Showcase are;

Tara Hammond of Slated, www.slated.ie

Pat Lawless from Lawless Furniture, www.lawlessfurniture.com

Cillìan Johnston of Cillìan Johnston Furniture, www.cillianjohnson.com or www.cjfurniture.ie,

Bog Buddies, www.bogbuddies.com

 

Gary Marcham from Goose Island Workshop, www.gooseislandworkshop.ie

Matt Jones Woodturner, www.mattjoneswoodturner.com

 

 

I was also impressed with Sasha Sykes of Farm21, www.farm21.co.uk,

Cillian O’Suilleabhain, www.cosfurniture.ie,

Petal Pots, www.kilgraneyhouse.com/gallery.htm

  

Those on the Creative Island:

Greg Whelan www.irishlinenhouse.com,  

Garvan De Bruir www.debruir.com plus www.aviationluggage.com,

Colm De Rìs Irish Pottery www.colmderis.com  

Donagh Quigley of The Handmade Soap Company www.thehandmadesoapcompany.ie,  

Liz Fingleton of Klickity www.klickity.ie  

Other craftspeople Richie at Little Red Woodworks, www.littleredwoodworks.com

Cyril Cullen www.cyrilcullen.wordpress.com

 

February 5th, 2011 | No Comments »

I visited Showcase recently at the RDS in Dublin and spent the best part of the afternoon chatting to the craftspeople who were exhibiting.  I had arrived earlier in the day and had tea and a good catch up with Lorna from Garrendenny Lane.  Meeting at Showcase is becoming a regular event for both Lorna and myself, last year a group of bloggers met – but this year it was just the two of us,  as events beyond our control meant the Paula from Mabel & Violet and Angela from Livingroom were not able to make the get together.
 There were some newly launched enterprises along with more established craftspeople exhibiting and displaying their crafts.
Some of my favourites from the show are listed below, they are just a small sample of the vast range of crafts available and on display.
A big feature of the show this year was jewellery, with plenty of variety from Button & Co.

ci2011_buttonco_01

to By Yvonne.

by20yvonne_jpg_tmp1

Slated
Based in Wicklow, this family business offer a range of handcrafted products made from slate.

img_5996-slated

img_6163-slated

Jerpoint Glass
An old favourite of mine, I just love the range of glass and tableware the Jerpoint Glass manufacture.

cylinder-vase

Klickity
Klickity Design who are based in Dublin were the winners of the Best New Product 2011 award in the Tabletop and Interiors category.

klickity20dublin20city

3d-lampshade-2

Garvan De Bruir
I didn’t get a chance to speak to Garvan, each time I passed by his stand he was busy with a que of clients waiting to speak to him.  Garvan had a range of his leather work on show.

de-bruir

411de-bruir

Karen Morgan Porcelain
Karen works from her own premises in Kilkenny, her pottery has a simplicity and fluidity to it and was displayed in the current trend setting colours of cream/off white along with pastel shades of blue and green.

karen20morgan20porcelain20arrangement

Irish Linen House

Greg and Mary Whelan from Irish Linen House, were at the Fingal Enterprise Board catchment area and were displaying a range of individually designed and made table runners.  Greg sources all the materials in Ireland, fine Irish linen is the main material used.  The patterns and designs are both traditional and contemporary in their style.

irish-linen-house

The balcony was where the County Enterprise Boards had craftspeople from around the country, some of which were start-ups in innovative areas. 
I really enjoyed the show, the Craft industry is thriving in Ireland.

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