This week we’re wearing green with pride as Saint Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. We recently featured Eileen Gray, the Irish designer who created the iconic Bibendum Chair, but we thought we’d take it one step further by giving a shout out to all the talented makers and creators who continue to contribute inspiring work to the design industry. Join us as we celebrate Irish contemporary home design and decor with a round up of 9 designers from the land of Eire.
1. Andrew Ludwick
Delicate yet spritely, Andrew Ludwick’s ceramics are a feast for the eyes with their colorful prints and playful patterns. His work is influenced by native American and indigenous African art and music. As an avid fan of both music and art, drawing inspiration from quirky ceramicist John Ffrench, and the soulful tunes of Lester Young and Thelonious Monk.
Based in Ireland, Ludwick begins his creations by illustrating the natural properties of the clay which involves coiling and pinching the clay in order to create different shapes, turning them into bowls and vases. He uses a coil building process until the forms take shape on their own. He tops off his designs with decorative shapes and artful patterns, until they are finally glazed. He shares a pottery studio and shop with his wife Rose Marie Durr in Kilkenny.
2. Cillian Ó Súilleabháin
Cillian Ó Súilleabháin exhibits his skill as a designer and furniture-maker with geometric designs that exude modernity. Although Súilleabháin began his career as a mechanical engineer, he retained his curiosity for the aesthetics of form and function. This led him to take an apprenticeship as a cabinet-maker under Spencer & Woods, propelling him into the design industry. He honed his unique skills and developed a sense of style, setting up his own studio Cillian Ó Súilleabháin Furniture in 2011.
3. Claire-Anne O’Brien
Creating intricate designs that combine textile and sculpture, Claire Anne O’ Brien designs fabrics that exhibit three-dimensional qualities, using them for interiors in the form of rugs, stools and even modular seating. With roots in Ireland, she currently lives in London as a textile designer and lecturer at Bath Spa University.
Her designs seem to radiate with constant movement, standing out as a statement piece for the home. But even with her advanced knowledge of textiles, she remains faithful to traditional textile techniques such as weaving, knotting and basketry, that allow her to explore unique properties of knit to create beautiful masterpieces.
4. Cóilín Ó Dubhghaill
Cóilín Ó Dubhghaill is another designer who creates intriguing sculptural bowls and tulipieres. His exposure to international design through his work in India, the Philippines, and the UK brings a touch of story into his designs. His strong experience in crafting and metalwork is apparent in the solid lines and firm structures of his tulipieres (that’s a tulip holder). It’s no surprise that his designs are sought after internationally with exhibits in museums like the National Museum of Ireland, focusing on the exploration of vessel forms in an almost scientific way.
5. Joe Hogan
It’s amazing to see traditional basket making thrive even in an increasingly modernized world. Creating award winning baskets since 1978, Joe Hogan is a renowned basket maker from Ireland specializing in both traditional and artistic basket types. It’s worth noting that he also makes indigenous Irish baskets such as the creel.
His baskets boast of high quality handiwork that will leave you in wonder, as all are made to order. Made with natural willow, all baskets are a guarantee for strength and timelessness.
6. Joseph Walsh
Nature is a powerful force, inspiring designers like Joseph Walsh to explore the ever changing relationship between the form of objects and the constant change of the environments. He creates stunning designs with a range of materials giving them a life of their own. Working with wood for the last 15 years, Joseph Walsh and his team deliver one of a kind and limited edition designs that are enigmatic and thought provoking.
Here, the pattern of erosion is revealed by showcasing a layered fluid pattern that emphasizes the energy of material removal. The table stands in victory despite representing the weathering of environments.
Simplicity of forms are greatly reflected in the works of Notion, a design studio founded by Ian Walton and Marcel Twohig. Their designs feature an insightful interpretation of everyday objects. Recently launching their first collection for their product brand, Collection 01 is a series of five objects connected by complementing designs.
Our favorite has to be the Waterford Lamp which showcases a light bulb inside a hand blown glass shade in the shape of a bottle. It blends the perfect combination of clarity and eccentricity. Even their Hammock Table takes a subtle table function and turns it into a question of why not.
8. Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh
If you’re into quick but sturdy fixes, you have to know Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh’s venture. She’s the creator of Sugru, a colorful moldable glue that can stick to almost any surface or object and turns into a strong flexible rubber overnight. Born from the desire to reduce the sheer enormity of manufacturing and focus on fixing and repairing, she came up with the idea of Sugru while studying for her MA in Product Design. Sugru allows people to fix things and redesign objects to better fit individual needs. We’ve recently spoken to Jane about her journey, you can check out the interview here.
It was a long journey before Sugru made its way into retail, but the effort paid off in the end. Apart from their success in the UK, they’ve expanded well into the USA.
9. Terrybaun Pottery
Like our most prized possessions passed down from generations, Terrybaun Pottery has been practicing the craft of clay throwing since the 1950s. For thirty-three years, it was led by Grattan Freyer and Madeleine Giraudeau. Terrybaun Pottery is now owned by Giraudeau’s nephew Henri Hedou and partner Fiona Hedou. Since they fired their first kiln, they have perfected the skill of infusing a marbling effect to their creations that serve as an identifying trademark.
Every piece of pottery produced offers you a piece of their history. With products that mix traditional techniques with constant innovation, their mugs, plates and even candle holders have you wanting a collection of your own.
We’re excited to see more of their fantastic work that’s sure to captivate home decor lovers and collectors alike. Are you familiar with these designers? Let us know whose work you liked the most in the comments.
If you’re interested in more guides on designers we’ve featured, why not check out these contemporary Brazilian designers?