There is something very nice about choosing a beautiful thing, whether large or small, for the home. It could be a single piece of glass for a sideboard, framed textile art for a wall, or a luxurious rug for a living room floor. Either way, Irish artists, designers and artisans are the obvious first port of call.
In Wexford, Ceadogán Rugmakers, created in 1981, presents the work of Irish designers including Zoe Choy-O’Byrne, who found her opening there in 2016 thanks to a collaborative project with the company and the National College of Art and Design. Since then, she has graduated in textiles and surface design, and traveled to New York to work with a digital fabric printing studio.
Back in Ireland, Choy-O’Byrne is back in Ceadogán and, along with five other designers working with the company, has just added new pieces to its collection.
Influenced by her time in New York, her creations explore the theme of movement, inspired by the “sky train” that stood right outside her window.
“The carpets observe the shadows and the calming vibrations caused by the passing trains. They capture a sense of playful movement and an energy of discovery, ”she says.
Ceadogán himself started out as a hearth rug company under Tom Ceadogán. Today it is managed by Denis Kenny who, after having been a fisherman, teacher and pig breeder, undertook an apprenticeship at Ceadogán and acquired the company in 1989.
New horizons in textiles
Irish textile artist Laura Conneely, based in Rathfarnham, Dublin, specializes in creating textile artwork of Irish landscapes and wildflowers. She says her work is inspired by her love of the countryside which was instilled in her from an early age in Connemara. After 20 years in the business industry, with some time for her three children, she returned to art school as a mature student in her 40s.
“I decided to take my chances and try something completely different,” she says. “I spent the most stimulating and enjoyable two years studying creative textiles.” After graduating, she built up a body of work and started a small business in early 2020.
With the onset of Covid-19, plans to sell his work in domestic markets were put on hold. With the help of an online voucher, she has set up a website and hopes to enter the foreign and domestic markets when the lockdown is lifted.
Blown away by the glass designs
In Kilkenny, Jerpoint Glass Studio, created by Keith and Kathleen Leadbetter, has been designing and producing handcrafted glass for over 40 years. The couple’s son, Rory, has become a master glassblower while their daughter Róisín designs the pieces.
The entire range is handcrafted in their studio in Stoneyford and aims to combine beauty and function to create high quality contemporary Irish glass. A new line, the Monochrome collection, has just been released and includes tableware like jugs, beakers and a new tulip-shaped wine glass in subtle shades of olive, copper and smoke.
“I’m at a point in my business where I have the skills to explore new designs and ideas,” says Rory Leadbetter. “I’m now focusing on refining the finish of a piece that I think really shows up with the Monochrome collection.
Create beautiful things for the house? Let us know at [email protected]