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

In April, we placed a focus on ceramics and spent this month showcasing some of the new studios and inspiring new collections of some of Design Ireland’s most successful and innovative brands.

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We spoke to ceramicist Elaine Fallon, founder of Brookwood Pottery about her move from a studio at the end of her garden to a larger premises in Santry, North Dublin. Elaine crowdfunded in order to move to her new premises and now offers a range of workshops combining pottery with other disciplines such as yoga and flower arranging for adults, as well as activities for children.

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We took a visit to the new studio and shop space of Karoart. Located in the Dublin suburb of Harold’s Cross, founder Karolina’s new shop space allows her to showcase her work which is made in the large studio space behind the shop.

Her new range includes items in a more subtle colour palette than we typically associate with her brand - it’s a grown-up range which includes dinner plates, planters, mugs, bird baths and bowls in new colours including a toffee brown called Spice, a paler shade called Fudge and a soft grey called Ash.

With her larger manufacturing space, Karolina now has the capacity to host workshops too and offers a wide variety of classes to suit all levels of experience.

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During the month of April we took a look at the new Cityscape | Dublin range of ceramics by Arran Street East. Inspired by the colours of Ireland’s capital city, the range sits alongside their Markets collection of products which was inspired by the colours found at the fruit and vegetable markets near their studios in the heart of Dublin.

The new Cityscape | Dublin collection includes evocative colour names such as Blue Slate, Black Steel, Copper Green, Portland Stone, Sandstone and Terracotta and items in the collection include mugs, tealight holders, jugs in various sizes, teapots and sugar bowls.

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Jerpoint Glass Studio celebrates 40 years in business next year, and, in April, we caught up with co-founder Kathleen Leadbetter who, alongside her husband, Keith, founded the studio in 1979. Jerpoint is known for its trademark coloured glass items which include classic wine glasses, tumblers and jugs - made using the same method of glass production that has been used for over 2,000 years.

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At Irish Country Magazine’s Irish Made Summit, Design Ireland’s Jando Design founders Julie and Owen appeared as guest speakers to talk about being awarded Overall Winners of the magazine’s Irish Made Awards last summer.

Elements of Action, the Dublin-based design practice of another husband-and-wife team - Esther Gerrard and Ed Coveney - was awarded a prize worth €10,000 when they won the Perfect Pitch session at the event. The prize includes an advertising and digital package valued at €3,500 with Irish Country Magazine as well as a WebPort Global package with Bank of Ireland valued at €6,500.

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In April, Design Ireland fashion designer Emma Manley was awarded Favourite Irish Designer at the VIP Fashion Awards and Dublin candle company Rathborne Candles 1488 featured in a Future Proof article in the Irish Times business pages.

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It’s not every day one gets a visit from a former US President, but while visiting the country for the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, former US President Bill Clinton visited the House of Ireland shop on Dublin’s Nassau Street which stocks many Design Ireland designers and makers including John Hanly, Irelands Eye knitwear and jewellery brands including Alan Ardiff, Garrett Mallon, Martina Hamilton, Enibas and Maureen Lynch.

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

In May we look forward to bringing you an interview with jewellery designer Chupi who has just celebrated the fifth birthday of her eponymous jewellery brand, as well as bringing you more news about the very best of Irish design from Design Ireland.

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