The best of Irish at the craft fair
When choosing gifts this Christmas, it’s worth considering buying pieces that were handmade in Ireland
Jane Walsh’s Athlone-based Button Studio makes fun jewellery from clear resin and reclaimed buttons in a huge array of colours.
The recent National Craft and Design fair at the RDS was proof that Ireland is bursting at the seams with talented craftspeople- jewellery makers, artists, ceramicists and fashion designers. Here are just ten of the stand-out exhibitors at the fair.
1. Kilkenny-based Marie-Thérese Walker turned heads at the craft fair with a show-stopping gold pendant she made for a client with butterflys, peridot , amethysts and seed pearls - the colours of Suffragette jewellery. Butterflys figure largely in her work . Her hammered silver and 18ct gold “butterfly landed” necklaces are to die for and cost around €225. She says she is the only goldsmith in Ireland certified to work with fair trade gold. See mtwjewellery.com
2. Award winning fashion designer Jennifer Rothwell’s modern and slightly edgy autumn/winter collection features a black capelet, (€290) with intricate collar detail. Also check out her long red pleated cowl neck dress, (€395). jrothwell.net
3. Laura Feeney of mygrandmotherscloset.com redesigns vintage jewellery to give it a modern twist. Her blue vintage Venetian someroso glass beaded necklaces are delicately beautiful and cost around €60.
4. Emer O’Sullivan’s whimsical ceramics feature trees , birds and heart motifs. She produces everthing from cute ceramic hair slides (€8) and bird and heart brooches, (€12), to soap dishes (€25) , milk jugs, (€35) , sugar bowl and spoon (€25), and framed tiles (€75) . see emerosullivanceramics.com
5.Clover Rua’s very recognisable prints and designs showcase familiar aspects of the Dublin landscape such as the Poolbeg chimneys, v Dublin pubs, Georgian doors and old Dublin Street lamps. They sell prints (from €10), notebooks (€4) and greeting cards (€3) through etsy.com. Free A4 print on orders over €30
6. Jane Walsh’s Athlone-based Button Studio makes fun jewellery from clear resin and reclaimed buttons in a huge array of colours. Each piece comes with a handmade pillow box with a button . See buttonstudio.ie.
7. Eimear Brennan’s vividly coloured fairy prints and original pen and ink drawings are truly mesmerising. The Fairy Gathering, a limited edition print costs from €40. See eimearbrennan.com
8. Cork-based Molly Ellis of Ewe Sir specialises in animal prints and wildlife art that is both beautiful and affordable. This vintage inspired blue tit art print costs €30. etsy.com
9 Forgotten China proves that vintage crockery is not just for afternoon tea. It can also be used as candle holders, turned into pendant lights, cake stands and broken bits can be crafted as jewellery. Pendants cost around €55.see forgottenchina.ie,
10 Tipperary-based Thomas Wollen and his partner Grainne Watts caused a stir at the craft fair with their raku-fired ceramic sting rays, manta rays, herons , egrets and tropical fish wall plaques . Priced from around €200. see artupstairswexford.com