A blog to show where the inspiration comes from and to promote further inspiration
I went to visit Birr in Offaly last week and felt ashamed that I hadn’t been before - as it was beautiful and is an easy day trip from Dublin. The town was so well managed and proud of its history it reminded me of my time working for the National Trust in the UK. The town is full of elegant georgian buildings - well preserved, proud and had a really good mix of things to do and great restaurants and cafes. The weather was great and I spent a few hours in Birr Castle gardens - almost by myself. It was really lovely - well worth a visit. I also recommend ‘Emma’s’ on the Main Street for a delicious lunch.
Posted 1 week ago
I am working on some new ideas today for future fabrics and thought I might share some initial concepts.
The most popular designs for homewares seem to be florals and stripes. Since I have launched my business, often people tell me that a lack of florals is remarkable and part of my ‘brand’. Perhaps to remain distincive I’ll have to avoid drawing vegetation but today I feel like giving it a whirl.
The two ideas I am working on today are potato flowers and cabbages. The idea behind my designs is that they should be modern and distinctly ‘irish’. By this summer I’ll have sheep, shamrocks, cottages dancers and traditional boats on the go so of late I keep turning to nature for fresh inspiration.
While potatoes are very ‘irish’ they are quite ugly but the flowers are very attractive. Most people won’t recognise these flowers and maybe as the flowers of vegtables they will be considered different to your standard everyday flower patterns and therefore distinctive. Cabbages are very like roses to look at and so remarkably like flowers.
Would these ideas fit in? What do you think? (My nicest ideas lately have all been about tomatoes which are not thematic at all. )
Posted 3 weeks ago
I went up to Buncrana last week to visit my customer Mary McGonagle in the Jewel Casket. The Inis Owen peninsula was really beautiful - very big skies and clean fresh air. Buncrana was unspoiled and Mary’s shop well worth a visit.
Posted 1 month ago
There are lots of new creative spaces popping up all over the city which is great - as new uses have to be found for all the vacant buildings. I am doing a course in April with Print Block: a studio space set up in an old office block in Dublin 8 specifically for printing textiles. I have signed up for a weekend intermediate course in screenprinting and need to prepare a design beforehand.
The screens won’t be very big so I have to come up with something where an allover print is not necessary. I usually design all over prints so this is a change in style for me.
Also we should only use one colour. So I have been thinking of napkins which could be small and printed on one side only and incorporating text so that there is some character. It seems very hard to me to do anything in one colour without text and to make it intriguing. Text adds so much when you print in one colour.
The ideas I am working on are about irish phrases related to food which might make nice napkin ideas.
Is ias na muca ciúine a itheann and mhín means ‘It is the quiet pig that eats the grain’
“marbh le tae agus marbh gan é” means “dead with tea and dead with no tea” and “is maith and t-anlann an t-ocras” ‘hunger is a good sauce”.
The last of these phrases is one my mother uses frequently so it is the most meaningful to me.
I think the concept with the pear is the most attractive one so far - or has the most potential. The other two need some work balancing design and colour.
If I did these, I think I would use rasberry coloured ink on a natural linen background.
Anyway - there is more work to be done. It is so miserably wet today I didn’t feel like doing what I should be doing - (I should always be doing ‘sales’).
Print block can be contacted at http://printblock.tumblr.com/
Posted 1 month ago
Kilkenny Nassau Street gave my work a bit of prominence at the weekend. Two of my aprons and the matching tea towels have been stocked there since the beginning of March
Dancing into the UK’s Sunday Express March 17th 2013
I hope you had a good St. Patrick’s Day!
A few photos from the bookbinding factory today. The last of the A6 notebooks were finished in time for St.Patrick’s Day. The machinery and noise are quite exciting!
Posted 2 months ago