March Digest: The Best of Irish Design and Craft this Month

Photo of March Digest: The Best of Irish Design and Craft this Month

In March, at the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards in Galway, Design Ireland jewellery designer Helena Malone was awarded the accolade of Jewellery Designer of the Year 2018. Helena is known for her beautiful jewellery employing precious metals such as gold and silver as well as gemstones and pearls. Her range includes the Celestial Sphere collection, her pearl rings inspired by the Zodiac and her Savage Beauty collection.

Photo of March Digest: The Best of Irish Design and Craft this Month

A new season accessories edit in Irish Country Magazine included the jewellery of Design Ireland’s Christina Goldston. Christina draws on her years of experience as a gemologist with some of the world’s most prestigious companies including Tiffany & Co., Appleby and Boodles to create her beautiful range of jewellery which incorporates semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls and crystals.

Photo of March Digest: The Best of Irish Design and Craft this Month

In an article entitled Non-naff ways to go green & buy Irish this St. Patrick's Day at image.ie, Design Ireland members came into their own for their slow-made, handcrafted items. Featured brands included Waters + Wild, Liadain Aiken, Kathryn Davey, Jando Design, Arran Street East, Irish Design Shop, Field Apothecary, Bold Bunny and Superfolk.

Photo of March Digest: The Best of Irish Design and Craft this Month

The OPTIMISE Design Ireland programme in conjunction with IEDR (IE Domain Registry) and the Local Enterprise Offices is now fully underway. Since the inception of the new programme in August 2017, over 40 businesses have had undergone a digital health check in order to enhance their digital presence and their competitiveness in the e-commerce space. It is expected that 100 of Design Ireland’s members will participate in the OPTIMISE Design Ireland programme by the end of this year.

Businesses taking part in the OPTIMISE programme are also eligible for the “Trading Online Voucher”, a match funding grant, via their Local Enterprise Office. Research shows that businesses who have engaged with the Trading Online Voucher Scheme report that their sales have grown on average by 21%, and companies that are growing are employing 1.4 more people to manage their online presence.  Importantly, three in five are exporting for the first time. 

Design Ireland businesses which have already taken part in the programme include jewellery brand Chupi, fashion designer Alison Conneely, KaroArt ceramics and handmade soft toy brand Red Rufus. 

Photo of March Digest: The Best of Irish Design and Craft this Month

During March, fashion designer Helen Steele spoke to presenter Ciara O'Doherty on the Irish language production for TG4, Snáithe, which explores fashion in Ireland. Helen showed the presenter around her vibrant and explosive Co. Monaghan studio and revealed her technique for fabric print production. The programme showcased Helen's love of utilising bold, bright colours in her silk garments which have been worn by stars such as Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan and singers Jessie J, Rita Ora and Iggy Azalea.

Photo of March Digest: The Best of Irish Design and Craft this Month

In Stories on the Design Ireland website, the month of March saw a focus on jewellery designers Declan Killen, Sabine Lenz of Enibas and Áine Breen of Liwu whose subtle, meaningful jewellery was chosen for inclusion in the gift bags presented to 24 Oscar nominees at the 90th Academy Awards on March 4th this year.

Photo of March Digest: The Best of Irish Design and Craft this Month

In our Mother’s Day gift guide we featured Jennifer Rothwell’s Hummingbird scarf, Danu Ceramic’s delightful clay and gold dishes which can be used as receptacles or hung as wall decorations, the understated and elegant Names bangle at Irish Design Shop and one of Susannagh Grogan’s delightful new season silk neck scarves, among other examples of beautiful Irish gifts such as scarves by STABLE of Ireland. 

Photo of March Digest: The Best of Irish Design and Craft this Month

For April, we look forward to focusing on some key design items for the home for spring as well as bringing you interviews with some of Ireland’s leading ceramicists and potters.

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