Until quite recently I worked weekends which meant I often missed interesting events as more often than not they were scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays when the majority of folk were off work.
Tag Archives: Craft
Note: Apologies for the poor quality of some of the images, I am not sure what I did wrong!
I love craft in its very many incarnations: so, it was as sure as the tide going in and out that I would go to see an exhibition at the RHA (Royal Hibernian Academy), put together by the Craft Council of Ireland, to showcase the work of Ireland’s top makers.
It might seem slightly bonkers, given that I had driven for nearly two hours, to pull in for a coffee break just a few miles short of my destination. But that’s exactly what I did on my recent trip to Kilkenny city when I stopped in the pretty village of Bennettsbridge which is only four miles from the city.
It is so very seldom that I walk into any sort of retail space and think to myself wow this is just so right. But I did when I went to see Makers & Brothers pop-up shop the weekend before last. Makers & Brothers is such a good name because it so perfectly describes the enterprise. Mark and Jonathan Legge are the brothers: the makers are a selection of craftspeople and designers whose products the brothers sell.
We live in a highly mechanized and technologically driven age where the degree of separation between us and those who make most of the things that we use on a daily basis seems as vast as the count of numbers to infinity. Distant industrialized manufacturing is a relatively new fangled thing: craft in contrast is almost as old as the oceans and is deeply embedded into the community where a craftsperson works.
This is the last of the pre-Christmas shopping posts. I won’t go through the whole preamble again but will just say, as a quick reminder, that the emphasis in this series of posts is on: craft, home/handmade items, and independent shops. If you are entering the final run up to Christmas with some present shopping left to do, it would of course be lovely to stumble on a shop where you could scoop up diverse items to match all the gaps on your list. The Irish Design Shop, which carries a large range of items spanning different craft disciplines, is that sort of shop. Below are a few of the items they stock that caught my eye.
This is the first in a series of posts showcasing items that I think would make very acceptable Christmas gifts. The emphasis in the series is on: craft, homemade/handmade items, and independent shops. My hope is that wherever you live in the world that the images might inspire you (if you don’t do so already) to check out locally made beautiful items that are far removed from the madding mass-produced crowd.
I love jewellery. It’s not that I trip the light fantastic to high-end jewellery shops or high street chains to stock up on baskets of bling but rather that I am passionate about beautiful hand crafted pieces. I love looking at them in awe-struck wonder and appreciating the workmanship even if they are totally beyond my means. It is of course important that the skills that go into crafting these wonders tumble-down the generations, so as a lover of hand crafted jewellery I was pleased to learn that one of Ireland’s foremost practitioners of the art Deirdre O’Donnell is setting up a jewellery school in Dublin in 2012.
I find that holidays or trips away are quickly forgotten once I return home and re-immerse myself into daily routine. Even so, I am not a great souvenir buyer, particularly of the kind found in emporiums dedicated to flogging a mass of tat to tourists. Occasionally I happen on something that speaks to me and that I know will evoke happy memories of a time spend in a distant or maybe not so distant but different place.
One such thing is the enamel tree that I bought on my recent visit to Bath. It’s by an artist called Janine Partington who lives close to Bath and I found it in a shop/gallery in the Upper Town. I have put it at eye level in front of some books on one of my bookcases so I can see it every time I pass by; come December I plan to move it and use it as part of the Christmas decorations. At £45 it was a tad more expensive than a stick of rock or an ‘I love Bath t-shirt’ but it is a handcrafted piece that will last a lifetime.
What are your favourite holiday souvenirs?