For the Love of Irish Craft

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I love craft, all craft (just in case you’ve failed to notice) and I’m more than happy to peruse craft fairs and events for hours on end.  I love seeing the creativity and ingenuity of other craftspeople.  We all gravitate towards certain shapes, forms and colours, often without even realising it and it’s great to see what others do.

I love blue, in all of it’s many shades and tend to prefer smooth, rounded forms rather than straight, angular ones.  I have a love of free form and am often rather smitten by items that seem almost naive, maybe ‘simple’ is a better choice of word.  So I’m always amazed when I find myself drawn to something different to my usual tastes.

At this time of year, it’s almost impossible not to hear about a Christmas Craft Fair somewhere and the magazine has provided the most perfect excuse ever, to visit as many as possible 🙂

It was my first time visiting The National Crafts & Design Fair at the RDS which was on from the 2nd – 6th December.  It was an absolutely shocking day weather wise, but undeterred the lovely Du, drove us up to Dublin for the day in the wind and pouring rain.

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With over 500 designers and exhibitors, it’s certainly vast as the free Christmas Gift Guide will prove, with it’s whopping 96 pages.  There’s everything from food to fine art with a range of prices to suit most peoples pockets.

Tickets cost €10 for adults which would make it a bit of an expensive day, if like us you were travelling quite a distance to get there.  We had been given a couple of free passes and had to pop to Ikea for a couple of items too, so we managed to kill two birds with one stone.  Unfortunately, we did manage to hit every possible toll too 😦

We took our time weaving up and down the stalls and even managed to pick up a few Christmas Gifts whilst we were at it.

Some of our favourites included

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ArooDesigns look at their lovely felted bags.

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These beautiful bird feeders were among the wares up for sale from Mary Neeson Ceramics

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It goes without saying that these fantastic sheep caught my eye on the Red Rufus Sock Animal stand.  Pop along and have a look at the dogs, they’re great too.

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There was lots of lovely, lovely tweed items for sale on the Studio Donegal  stand, but I thought these Christmas Trees were too cute to pass up as were the little mug rugs at the top of the page.

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The eco printed textiles from Nicola Brown were stunning (the website is currently being updated).

Docpot are also worth a mention as I bought a couple of gifts on their stand.  They had some lovely ceramics for sale, but I forgot to take a photo, sorry.

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We also spotted Olann Hats who make the most lovely, vintage inspired hats.

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Tucked away in the Serpentine Hall was the RDS National Craft Awards Prizewinners Exhibition, which included some fantastic pieces.  My absolute favourite was this piece called ‘Wobble’, by Eamon Tobin entered in the Emerging Maker Basketry Category.

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I also loved this, but the signs were a little confusing, so I hope I’m right in saying it’s from Honor Fitzsimons and that it was entered in the Constructed Textiles Emerging Maker Category.  It’s called A Stone in Between.

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There was one thing that absolutely made my visit though and that was meeting Beth Moran, super weaver and one of the three craftspeople from RTE Juniors program Makers, if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

If you want to know more, you’ll be pleased to know that the Christmas Gift Guide is available to download here, so you can still visit even now.

Happy Crafting!

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2 thoughts on “For the Love of Irish Craft

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