Showcase: Ireland’s Creative Expo

Showcase 2012

On Wednesday, I visited Showcase, Ireland’s Creative Expo, which is a trade fair, featuring the best of Irish craft, gifts, fashion and interiors, organized by the Crafts Council of Ireland. The craft sector in Ireland is worth close to half a billion euro to the economy and employs just under six thousand people. The Crafts Council of Ireland is keen to develop new markets for Irish craft and Showcase is one way of doing so. Last year, at Showcase, visiting buyers from forty countries bought over €20 million worth of goods. It’s a large show and sadly I had just one short hour to hoof my way around all the stands. It was impossible in that short space of time to see everything. Below are some of the items that caught my eye as I whizzed around at a rate of knots.

Vivienne Martin necklace

Vivienne Martin jewellery

Jewellery designed by Vivienne Martin: Vivienne was highly commended in the Jewellery Category (that’s effectively joint second place). Vivienne graduated with a first class honours degree in textile design from the Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology in 2009. She uses a mix of synthetic ribbon, mesh and wire to fashion her innovative, intricate and striking designs. ( or

Woodbofin bird house

Bird house by Caimin Coyne of Woodbofin
: I think it was the proper-pitched slate roof that drew me to the Woodbofin birdhouses. Caimin is a native of Inisboffin, an island off the west coast of Ireland. In childhood, he learnt woodworking and boatbuilding skills from family members. The birdhouses are made from waterproof plywood and natural slate; they are finished with three coats of paint and are available in a choice of colours (

Carrickmacross lace

Carrickmacross Lace by Clare Salley: Who can forget all the hullabaloo surrounding last year’s royal wedding and the universal acclaim that greeted the dress designed for Kate Middleton by Sarah Burton from the house of Alexander McQueen. The Royal School of Needlework used Carrickmacross lace making techniques for the lace appliqué flowers on the dress (Carrickmacross is a town in County Monaghan in Ireland). So when I saw Clare Salley’s Carrickmacross lace stand I screeched to a halt. It could well be that the standard items Clare offers are not what you are looking for and if that is the case the good news is that Clare offers a bespoke service. (

Crochet hat

Crochet hat by Erin Knitwear: I stopped to chat to someone I knew who was visiting the Erin Knitwear stand. If I hadn’t, I might have missed the cute one hundred per cent wool hand crocheted hat, which is the best-selling item in their range. Erin knitwear has been on the go for forty years and the second generation of the Lane family is now running the business. (

I am sad that I didn’t have more time to explore Showcase or that I don’t have more space in this post to write about everyone I talked to. I hope to get back next year and to allow more time to do justice to Showcase.

Have a good weekend.


Filed under Craft

10 responses to “Showcase: Ireland’s Creative Expo

  1. well, what a treasure house, i can see why you were sad to only have an hour, But darling, did you pick up the wee hattie for me.. it is exactly what i want! I want it!!! thank you so much for engaging the shopper that lies dormant under my farmers outfit! c

  2. The hat is so cute and I think it would be perfect for farm life. I would love to have had more time at the fair; I know I missed lots.

  3. What a great fair. I would love to go one day.

  4. That sort of place, as you would know by now, can keep me well entertained for a very long time if I get the time for it! Lovely things, craftsmen and women laboring passionately over them, art-filled air to breathe. Yes indeedy.

  5. Thank you for showcasing this. You have such a good eye to spot beautifully made items and always include great photos of your finds.

  6. What a great craft show. Such talent and such a variety of displays. I love the crocheted hat – so pretty in all those lovely colours.

  7. Yup, the hat is cute. Thanks for your comment.

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