Stories

Stories

Snug as a bug

Snug as a bug

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: Irish food producers, Irish Furniture design, Makers, Wicklow craft

On our recent travels around the country visiting various crafters and mischief makers, we have become increasingly aware of pockets of creativity popping up all over Ireland. No longer confined to our major towns & cities, design companies with far reaching appeal are operating from idyllic rural locations. From Strandhill in Sligo, to Connemara and it's islands down to West Cork, along the southern coast through Waterford, and up into Kilkenny and Carlow, makers and designers, aided by a little known platform called 'the internet' are growing in numbers. 

One such area, is West Wicklow, Donard to be precise. Up the road from this scenic Wicklow village, is brand new furniture company Snug. Set up by locals Conor and Nell from their home in Snugboro, Snug produce affordable, beautifully made pieces of furniture. From milking stools to bedside lockers and writing desks, each piece is handcrafted in their enviable studio which looks out on the Wicklow mountains. The furniture Snug produce reflect Conor and Nell's personalities. Conor 'has a great knack for making things' whereas Nell has a colour obsession and an interest in all aspects of design. This furniture fills a very important gap in the Irish furniture/product design market, that being between cheap and cheerful flatpack to high end commission pieces. From a coat hook for €20 to a smart chest for €565, each snug piece is made with the same care and attention to detail. Since launching a little over a month ago, they are receiving high praise from customers and press alike. Feeling slightly surprised by their new found following, Nell and Conor are rather modest about their fledgling company but are taking this growth in their stride.

Having a complimentary business run by your best friends, Gavin and Linda down the road is pretty handy also. Hell's Kettle Farm prides itself on sensible food production, with an emphasis on providing their cattle and turkeys with the best possible environment in which to grow. Both business' are of a similar scale and share a similar appreciation for their craft. Therefore sharing ideas and experiences is invaluable (and sometimes you just need reassurance that what you're doing isn't mad.) This exchange and support between creatives is essential, and provides the maker/crafter/farmer/thinker with a confidence & determination to do something a little bit different in a place possibly a little off the beaten track.

Over the coming months and year's we are going to witness many more Donard's, Strandhill's and Inis Meain's popping up around the country. (Fingers crossed anyway, we can always hope)

To find out more about Snug, check out their fancy website. To get a closer look at their covetable product range, Irish Design Shop will be showacasing a selection of their pieces for the month of May in Drury street. 

For more on Hell's Kettle Farm, and their seasonal offerings, check out their equally fancy pants website for details.

 

 

 

Snug as a bug

Snug as a bug

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: Irish food producers, Irish Furniture design, Makers, Wicklow craft

On our recent travels around the country visiting various crafters and mischief makers, we have become increasingly aware of pockets of creativity popping up all over Ireland. No longer confined to our major towns & cities, design companies with far reaching appeal are operating from idyllic rural locations. From Strandhill in Sligo, to Connemara and it's islands down to West Cork, along the southern coast through Waterford, and up into Kilkenny and Carlow, makers and designers, aided by a little known platform called 'the internet' are growing in numbers. 

One such area, is West Wicklow, Donard to be precise. Up the road from this scenic Wicklow village, is brand new furniture company Snug. Set up by locals Conor and Nell from their home in Snugboro, Snug produce affordable, beautifully made pieces of furniture. From milking stools to bedside lockers and writing desks, each piece is handcrafted in their enviable studio which looks out on the Wicklow mountains. The furniture Snug produce reflect Conor and Nell's personalities. Conor 'has a great knack for making things' whereas Nell has a colour obsession and an interest in all aspects of design. This furniture fills a very important gap in the Irish furniture/product design market, that being between cheap and cheerful flatpack to high end commission pieces. From a coat hook for €20 to a smart chest for €565, each snug piece is made with the same care and attention to detail. Since launching a little over a month ago, they are receiving high praise from customers and press alike. Feeling slightly surprised by their new found following, Nell and Conor are rather modest about their fledgling company but are taking this growth in their stride.

Having a complimentary business run by your best friends, Gavin and Linda down the road is pretty handy also. Hell's Kettle Farm prides itself on sensible food production, with an emphasis on providing their cattle and turkeys with the best possible environment in which to grow. Both business' are of a similar scale and share a similar appreciation for their craft. Therefore sharing ideas and experiences is invaluable (and sometimes you just need reassurance that what you're doing isn't mad.) This exchange and support between creatives is essential, and provides the maker/crafter/farmer/thinker with a confidence & determination to do something a little bit different in a place possibly a little off the beaten track.

Over the coming months and year's we are going to witness many more Donard's, Strandhill's and Inis Meain's popping up around the country. (Fingers crossed anyway, we can always hope)

To find out more about Snug, check out their fancy website. To get a closer look at their covetable product range, Irish Design Shop will be showacasing a selection of their pieces for the month of May in Drury street. 

For more on Hell's Kettle Farm, and their seasonal offerings, check out their equally fancy pants website for details.

 

 

 

Saturday Workshop

Saturday Workshop

  Posted by Anne-Marie Neligan in: Makers, Saturday Workshop

Iseult O’ Clery and her father Edward run Saturday Workshop from a shed in their garden in Sandymount. The pair make beautifully simplistic childlike objects that are modern and functional. Each piece is precisely cut by their CNC router and then hand finished. I recently caught up with Iseult and Edward to find out more about life at Saturday Workshop.  

Tell us a little bit about both of your design backgrounds?

Iseult I am an architect, I studied in UCD and currently work in Dublin. I have always been making and designing things ever since I can remember, Saturday Workshop is a great outlet to do this on a smaller scale than Architecture. Its amazing that you can draw something in the morning and have fully finished product by the end of the day!

Edward I am a structural engineer. I studied architecture in UCD for a few years, then emigrated to Australia. After my return to Ireland, I worked with various engineering firms and then studied engineering at Edinburgh University.

What sparked the idea to set up Saturday Workshop?

Iseult I was on a team of designers curating the Irish Pavillion at the International World Design Capital Exhibition in Helsinki in 2012. One of the objects we brought over was a chair (designed by James McBennet) which was CNC cut. When I went to get it made with a company in Delgany I couldn't fit the plywood in my car so Dad drove instead. He was amazed by the technology and we started talking about getting our own machine...

Edward I have always made stuff. Making model boats, when I was young. Later, making real boats & furniture. The visit to Delgany with Iseult was a revelation. Seeing timber being cut so precisely, opened new possibilities.

Working with family isn't for everyone, how are ye finding it?

Edward We have different interests. Iseult likes to design. I like to make things.  It works out fine.

You mention on your website that you use a mix of old and new techniques, can you explain the process in some more detail?

Iseult We have a CNC machine which is essentially a computer controlled router. This means we draw CAD files and the machine cuts them very precisely. Having the machinery means that we can do a lot more without having access to a full workshop. All of the finishing is done by hand though. The things we make are inspired by the simplicity of traditional objects and toys that have disappeared a bit in modern society.

Edward I made models with balsa wood, boats with timber, canvas, and plywood – and also furniture. We are now doing the same thing. However, we can now make prototypes quickly, and continue into production.

You do commission work also, what sort of things have you been asked to do so far?

Iseult We have done quite a few wooden signs, a teepee pavillion for electric picnic, and most recently some objects for the wedding of Kate O'Dowd (BASH magazine editor). Its great to have different projects on the go and we are really open to doing collaborations.

What plans do Saturday Workshop have for the future?

Iseult We would like to do a lot more in Irish hardwoods, like our Beech Eggcups, its great to know that our materials are all sustainably sourced in Ireland. We are currently developing a few ideas for wooden toys, and looking forward to future collaborations.

Edward We both like to experiment with wood. There are endless possibilities. I saw a traditional Galway Hooker boat on exhibition in the new museum in Galway. Detailed construction plans are available. Maybe, a model or full-size one, could appear.

We have a selection of pieces from Saturday Workshop both in store and from our website

Follow Saturday Workshop on twitter. Or shop their Irish Design Shop collection HERE

Saturday Workshop

Saturday Workshop

  Posted by Anne-Marie Neligan in: Makers, Saturday Workshop

Iseult O’ Clery and her father Edward run Saturday Workshop from a shed in their garden in Sandymount. The pair make beautifully simplistic childlike objects that are modern and functional. Each piece is precisely cut by their CNC router and then hand finished. I recently caught up with Iseult and Edward to find out more about life at Saturday Workshop.  

Tell us a little bit about both of your design backgrounds?

Iseult I am an architect, I studied in UCD and currently work in Dublin. I have always been making and designing things ever since I can remember, Saturday Workshop is a great outlet to do this on a smaller scale than Architecture. Its amazing that you can draw something in the morning and have fully finished product by the end of the day!

Edward I am a structural engineer. I studied architecture in UCD for a few years, then emigrated to Australia. After my return to Ireland, I worked with various engineering firms and then studied engineering at Edinburgh University.

What sparked the idea to set up Saturday Workshop?

Iseult I was on a team of designers curating the Irish Pavillion at the International World Design Capital Exhibition in Helsinki in 2012. One of the objects we brought over was a chair (designed by James McBennet) which was CNC cut. When I went to get it made with a company in Delgany I couldn't fit the plywood in my car so Dad drove instead. He was amazed by the technology and we started talking about getting our own machine...

Edward I have always made stuff. Making model boats, when I was young. Later, making real boats & furniture. The visit to Delgany with Iseult was a revelation. Seeing timber being cut so precisely, opened new possibilities.

Working with family isn't for everyone, how are ye finding it?

Edward We have different interests. Iseult likes to design. I like to make things.  It works out fine.

You mention on your website that you use a mix of old and new techniques, can you explain the process in some more detail?

Iseult We have a CNC machine which is essentially a computer controlled router. This means we draw CAD files and the machine cuts them very precisely. Having the machinery means that we can do a lot more without having access to a full workshop. All of the finishing is done by hand though. The things we make are inspired by the simplicity of traditional objects and toys that have disappeared a bit in modern society.

Edward I made models with balsa wood, boats with timber, canvas, and plywood – and also furniture. We are now doing the same thing. However, we can now make prototypes quickly, and continue into production.

You do commission work also, what sort of things have you been asked to do so far?

Iseult We have done quite a few wooden signs, a teepee pavillion for electric picnic, and most recently some objects for the wedding of Kate O'Dowd (BASH magazine editor). Its great to have different projects on the go and we are really open to doing collaborations.

What plans do Saturday Workshop have for the future?

Iseult We would like to do a lot more in Irish hardwoods, like our Beech Eggcups, its great to know that our materials are all sustainably sourced in Ireland. We are currently developing a few ideas for wooden toys, and looking forward to future collaborations.

Edward We both like to experiment with wood. There are endless possibilities. I saw a traditional Galway Hooker boat on exhibition in the new museum in Galway. Detailed construction plans are available. Maybe, a model or full-size one, could appear.

We have a selection of pieces from Saturday Workshop both in store and from our website

Follow Saturday Workshop on twitter. Or shop their Irish Design Shop collection HERE

Luncheonette

Luncheonette

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: dublin, Dublin cafe, food, ireland

Chicken a là King, curry chips and sausage rolls, the canteen staples we all remember fondly in NCAD. To say a transformation has taken place in the heart of the college is an understatement. Past pupil & visual artist Jennie Moran considered her toughest challenge to be altering students tastes when establishing her newly opened Luncheonette, but, “it turns out there is no love lost for sausage rolls OR chicken curry”.

Luncheonette offers customers colourful, seasonal and comforting food at affordable prices which changes daily. Expect such delights as: Flatbread and thyme braised mushrooms, sumac barley, lemon ricotta for €3, lemon and almond cake for €2, and tea or coffee for one and two euro. Captivated by the food and atmosphere of Luncheonette, we asked Jennie to tell us a little about her project:

“Last year I got wind that NCAD had lost its canteen. This was a bad scene – like taking a kitchen out of a house. I know how tough days can be in those studios and how vital it is to be able to wander over, covered in plaster and be fed or handed tea. So - irate, I decided to operate a Wednesday soup stand in the college. One such lunchtime, I was handing soup to the director of the college and heard the words "I should reopen that canteen" come out of my mouth. And, remarkably, here I am.”

A homely atmosphere is achieved in Luncheonette’s basement space with communal wooden tables, quirky lampshades which incorporate recycled plastic containers and china tea cups. Fresh vegetables are visible from the counter where tempting baked goods are on display along with the days specials.                          

Questioned on the most popular dishes, Jennie explains: “The most popular additions to the menu are those that come from students. Today we served Inam from textiles Iraqi Biryani with lamb and peas.” 

Hungry members of the public are welcome in Luncheonette, it is not just an eatery for NCAD staff and students. Hours of trading are 8.30am-3.45pm, Monday to Friday. Plans are afoot for some special weekend hospitality around the NCAD Degree exhibition in June. But don't leave it till then to sample the culinary delights Luncheonette has to offer. We’re looking forward to a second visit and checking out their new drinking glasses made from beer bottles, cut and finished by Andy in glass. 

Follow Luncheonette on facebook or twitter.

Finally, thanks so much to Kaethe Burt-O'Dea for allowing us to use her beautiful photos of Luncheonette. Check out Kaethe's website for information on the many collaborative projects she is involved in.

 

Luncheonette

Luncheonette

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: dublin, Dublin cafe, food, ireland

Chicken a là King, curry chips and sausage rolls, the canteen staples we all remember fondly in NCAD. To say a transformation has taken place in the heart of the college is an understatement. Past pupil & visual artist Jennie Moran considered her toughest challenge to be altering students tastes when establishing her newly opened Luncheonette, but, “it turns out there is no love lost for sausage rolls OR chicken curry”.

Luncheonette offers customers colourful, seasonal and comforting food at affordable prices which changes daily. Expect such delights as: Flatbread and thyme braised mushrooms, sumac barley, lemon ricotta for €3, lemon and almond cake for €2, and tea or coffee for one and two euro. Captivated by the food and atmosphere of Luncheonette, we asked Jennie to tell us a little about her project:

“Last year I got wind that NCAD had lost its canteen. This was a bad scene – like taking a kitchen out of a house. I know how tough days can be in those studios and how vital it is to be able to wander over, covered in plaster and be fed or handed tea. So - irate, I decided to operate a Wednesday soup stand in the college. One such lunchtime, I was handing soup to the director of the college and heard the words "I should reopen that canteen" come out of my mouth. And, remarkably, here I am.”

A homely atmosphere is achieved in Luncheonette’s basement space with communal wooden tables, quirky lampshades which incorporate recycled plastic containers and china tea cups. Fresh vegetables are visible from the counter where tempting baked goods are on display along with the days specials.                          

Questioned on the most popular dishes, Jennie explains: “The most popular additions to the menu are those that come from students. Today we served Inam from textiles Iraqi Biryani with lamb and peas.” 

Hungry members of the public are welcome in Luncheonette, it is not just an eatery for NCAD staff and students. Hours of trading are 8.30am-3.45pm, Monday to Friday. Plans are afoot for some special weekend hospitality around the NCAD Degree exhibition in June. But don't leave it till then to sample the culinary delights Luncheonette has to offer. We’re looking forward to a second visit and checking out their new drinking glasses made from beer bottles, cut and finished by Andy in glass. 

Follow Luncheonette on facebook or twitter.

Finally, thanks so much to Kaethe Burt-O'Dea for allowing us to use her beautiful photos of Luncheonette. Check out Kaethe's website for information on the many collaborative projects she is involved in.

 

12 Months in Dublin

12 Months in Dublin

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: dublin, ireland, video

 

To celebrate our national holiday, a beautiful video made up of shots of Dublin taken over one full year........

  


12 Months in Dublin

12 Months in Dublin

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: dublin, ireland, video

 

To celebrate our national holiday, a beautiful video made up of shots of Dublin taken over one full year........

  


City Assembly House

City Assembly House

  Posted by Anne-Marie Neligan in: City Assembly Building, dublin, Georgian, Georgian Society

Dublin’s Creative Quarter has fast become one of the most fashionable and frequented areas of Dublin city. Nestled among the independent cafes, boutiques and restaurants, in the shadows of Powerscourt Townhouse, sits the City Assembly House. Located on the corner of South William Street and Coppinger Row, the City Assembly House boasts an exciting and dynamic history. Now the headquarters for the Irish Georgian Society, we met up with the society's Executive Director, Donough Cahill to learn some more about this fascinating building.

Unoccupied since 2010, the Georgian Society took over the building in 2013 and with the help of Dublin City Council have been busy restoring the building to its original state. The ground floor, stairwell and first floor reception rooms were all completed in the first phase. Period fireplaces were installed and intricate cornicing have been lovingly restored. Donough's tour offers a wealth of knowledge on Georgian Dublin as well as providing us with a few entertaining tidbits. He told us how on first acquiring the building the entrance hall was still fitted with an ill-matched 1950's linoleum floor from when the building functioned as the Civic Museum. Beneath the lino they found an original Portland stone floor. Unfortunately the stone floor was in disrepair and had to be replaced. However, some good came of the retro lino floor and it can be now seen in the Damson Diner on South William Street... something to watch out for the next time you pop in for a cocktail!

The real highlight in this building is the exhibition room. As a result of the Georgian Society stripping back the plaster work in preparation for their next stage of renovations layers of stone work, pebble-dashed plaster and even slapdash cement rendering lie exposed. Each layer appears to tell a story and we were a little disappointed to hear this shabby chic gem will soon be covered up.

We visited the City Assembly Building during the exhibition of Susan Wood's remarkable photographs from the film sets of 1960's iconic movies Leo the Last, Easy Rider and Modesty Blaise. The exhibition in association with the Jameson Film Festival runs until February 22nd. Very aware of the City Assembly's prime location in the heart of creative Dublin, the Georgian Society are opening up the building for a variety of exhibitions, talks and tours. We highly recommend you pop-in for a look for yourself. The building can also be viewed by appointment when there aren't any exhibitions running.  


A full listing of future events can be found on the Irish Georgian Society website www.igs.ie

 

Post compiled by Anne-Marie Neligan & Katie Gilligan

City Assembly House

City Assembly House

  Posted by Anne-Marie Neligan in: City Assembly Building, dublin, Georgian, Georgian Society

Dublin’s Creative Quarter has fast become one of the most fashionable and frequented areas of Dublin city. Nestled among the independent cafes, boutiques and restaurants, in the shadows of Powerscourt Townhouse, sits the City Assembly House. Located on the corner of South William Street and Coppinger Row, the City Assembly House boasts an exciting and dynamic history. Now the headquarters for the Irish Georgian Society, we met up with the society's Executive Director, Donough Cahill to learn some more about this fascinating building.

Unoccupied since 2010, the Georgian Society took over the building in 2013 and with the help of Dublin City Council have been busy restoring the building to its original state. The ground floor, stairwell and first floor reception rooms were all completed in the first phase. Period fireplaces were installed and intricate cornicing have been lovingly restored. Donough's tour offers a wealth of knowledge on Georgian Dublin as well as providing us with a few entertaining tidbits. He told us how on first acquiring the building the entrance hall was still fitted with an ill-matched 1950's linoleum floor from when the building functioned as the Civic Museum. Beneath the lino they found an original Portland stone floor. Unfortunately the stone floor was in disrepair and had to be replaced. However, some good came of the retro lino floor and it can be now seen in the Damson Diner on South William Street... something to watch out for the next time you pop in for a cocktail!

The real highlight in this building is the exhibition room. As a result of the Georgian Society stripping back the plaster work in preparation for their next stage of renovations layers of stone work, pebble-dashed plaster and even slapdash cement rendering lie exposed. Each layer appears to tell a story and we were a little disappointed to hear this shabby chic gem will soon be covered up.

We visited the City Assembly Building during the exhibition of Susan Wood's remarkable photographs from the film sets of 1960's iconic movies Leo the Last, Easy Rider and Modesty Blaise. The exhibition in association with the Jameson Film Festival runs until February 22nd. Very aware of the City Assembly's prime location in the heart of creative Dublin, the Georgian Society are opening up the building for a variety of exhibitions, talks and tours. We highly recommend you pop-in for a look for yourself. The building can also be viewed by appointment when there aren't any exhibitions running.  


A full listing of future events can be found on the Irish Georgian Society website www.igs.ie

 

Post compiled by Anne-Marie Neligan & Katie Gilligan