As you may be aware I fully believe in supporting local designers and buying handmade gifts. For that reason I thought that I would do a Christmas Gift Guide – Irish Made Gifts. I think that it is important to support those around you – we are so lucky in Ireland to have such a wealth of talent on our doorstep and there is literally something for everyone’s taste. Be warned this will certainly be one of the longer Christmas Gift Guides as I just adore looking at Irish craftwork!
First up has to be Colm Brennan Woodturning – these creations are so stunning and intricate and I adore seeing the complexity of the designs and the finished product. Colm is based in Sligo and you can actually go in and see him turning in his workshop which is something that not every artist offers. He specializes in segmented woodturning and the some of the vases can be made up of 1,000 individual pieces all cut and then joined togeather before they are turned. The patience and skill involved is just amazing and you can tell that he loves the craft. You can contact him via his Facebook page or by calling out to his workshop. Here are just two amazing examples of his work:
Next up is Ian Carty Ceramics – specifically his horsehair pottery. Horsehair pottery is made Horsehair pottery is made by using hair from the tail and mane of a horse. It is fired using a special technique with fine lines are created with the hair from the mane of the horse, and thick lines are created from the hair of the tail. After the pot is fired, it is rock polished; no paint or glaze is used. This is just such an amazing technique – and he is the only person that I have seen doing this technique. He can be contacted via Facebook, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or calling out to his workshop.
A craft that you don’t see too often is someone having the craft of being a Blacksmith. Bramble Cottage Forge is keeping this amazing skill alive. Where this skill is slowly disappearing – I find it so inspiring for someone to be striving to keep this craft alive and relevant. It really saddens me that some of the skills that would have been used generations ago are fading into myth and legend and this Kilkenny based craftsman really is leading the way with bringing the skill back. Check out Derek’s Facebook page and his shop as well to buy a very unique as well as Irish Handmade Gift.
Karolina Grudniewska is a self-taught ceramicist, the designer and the maker of KaroArt ceramics and her pieces are both well made and beautiful. She does a selection of bowls, cups, planters etc. and I love the feminine touch that she adds to them. She has an Etsy shop where you can purchase her fabulous pieces and I love her Facebook page! I think that anyone would love to receive a piece of her work.
There really are so many talented craftspeople in Ireland from one end of the country to the other. This little gift guide really is just the tip of the iceberg. Will you be buying local this Christmas?