This week I’m wearing green with pride since Saint Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. However, I want to go one step further by giving a shout out to all the inspiring and talented Irish designers contributing to the industry. Join me as I round up 9 contemporary home design and decor designers from the land of Eire.
1. Andrew Ludwick
Andrew Ludwick’s delicate yet spritely ceramics are a feast for the eyes with their colorful prints and playful patterns.
His work draws from native American and indigenous African art and music. Ludwic is an avid fan of music and art, and takes inspiration from quirky ceramicist John Ffrench, and the soulful tunes of Lester Young and Thelonious Monk.
Ireland-based Ludwick begins his creations by illustrating the natural properties of the clay. This involves coiling and pinching the clay to create different shapes, then turning them into bowls and vases. He uses a coil building process until the forms take shape on their own. Next, 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 O Suilleabhain
Cillian O Suilleabhain exhibits his skill as a designer and furniture-maker with geometric designs that exude modernity.
Although Suilleabhain 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. Suilleabhain honed his unique skills and developed a sense of style, setting up his own studio, Cillian O Suilleabhain Furniture, in 2011.
3. Claire-Anne O’Brien
Claire Anne O’ Brien creates intricate designs that combine textile and sculpture. Notably, she designs fabrics that exhibit three-dimensional qualities in the form of rugs, stools and even modular seating.
O’Brien’s designs seem to radiate with constant movement, standing out as statement pieces for the home. But despite her advanced knowledge of textiles, she remains faithful to traditional textile techniques. For instance, she incorporates weaving, knotting and basketry into her designs, allowing her to explore unique properties of knit to create beautiful masterpieces.
4. Coilin O Dubhghaill
Coilin O 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 uniqueness to his work.
Dubhghaill’s strong experience in crafting and metalwork is apparent in the solid lines and firm structures of his tulipieres (tulip holder). His work focuses on the exploration of vessel forms in an almost scientific way. Unsurprisingly, Dubhghaill’s designs are sought after internationally, with exhibits in museums like the National Museum of Ireland.
5. Joe Hogan
It’s amazing to see traditional basket making thrive even in an increasingly modernized world. Irish designer Joe Hogan has been creating award winning baskets since 1978, and specializes in both traditional and artistic baskets. He also makes indigenous Irish baskets, such as the creel!
Hogan’s baskets boast of high quality handiwork that will leave you in wonder. All baskets are made with natural willow, and guarantee strength and timelessness.
6. Joseph Walsh
Nature is a powerful force. As such, it’s no surprise that designers like Joseph Walsh are drawn to exploring the ever changing relationship between the forms of objects and their transient surroundings.
Walsh creates stunning designs with a range of materials. He and his team have been working with wood for 15 years to deliver one of a kind and limited edition designs that are enigmatic and thought provoking.
Here, a layered, fluid pattern evokes an eroded look. The table stands as though in victory, despite enduring a turbulent environment.
Simplicity of form is 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.
My favorite piece has to be the Waterford Lamp which showcases a light bulb inside a hand blown bottle-shaped glass shade. The lamp melds together a perfect combination of clarity and eccentricity. Even their Hammock Table adds a twist and turns the piece 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 trek before Sugru made its way into retail, but the effort paid off in the end. Apart from their success in the UK, they’ve now 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 50s. They have perfected the skill of infusing a trademark marbling effect to their creations since they fired their first kiln. The pottery house was led by Grattan Freyer and Madeleine Giraudeau for 33 years. Terrybaun Pottery is now owned by Giraudeau’s nephew Henri Hedou and partner Fiona Hedou.
Every Terrybaun Pottery piece offers you a nugget of their history. Their traditionally crafted yet innovatively designed mugs, plates and even candle holders have you wanting a collection of your own.
Are you familiar with Irish designers? Let us know whose work you like the most in the comments below!