Stories

Stories

Seamair Óg

Seamair Óg

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: custom, Irish folklore, Irish plants, Shamrock

 

An emblem of Ireland, over the centuries the shamrock has become a symbol of the fertile Emerald Isle, adorning all manner of objects from jewellery to tea towels. Legend has it St. Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the mystery of the holy trinity to the Irish. However, it did not become customary to wear the shamrock on St. Patrick's day until as late as 1681. The development of the shamrock as a national emblem came later, in the eighteenth century as a sense of nationalism developed. The United Irishmen, formed in the 1770's adopted green uniforms and used the shamrock as a nationalist symbol on their regalia. As the struggle for Independence raged on, the shamrock became the subject of many sentimental songs and poems in addition to appearing on stone carvings, costumes and book covers. Steeped in folklore and mythology, the shamrock is a universal symbol of Irishness. To many however, it has become a somewhat twee and dated symbol unrepresentative of modern Ireland. 

"It would be a great pity to forget that the shamrock is in essence, the seamair óg, the young clover, symbol of prosperity and good fortune, and the ancient emblem of Ireland's rich green pastures" - Niall Mac Coitir

Love it or loathe it, this impressive little plant will be spotted in all it's incarnations this week from cheap paraphernalia  to the traditional sprig of shamrock worn on a lapel. If you are interested in finding out more about the shamrock, the folklore, myth and legend surrounding the many varieties, Niall Mac Coitir's book Irish Wild Plants (myths legends and folklore) is a must read. 

Seamair Óg

Seamair Óg

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: custom, Irish folklore, Irish plants, Shamrock

 

An emblem of Ireland, over the centuries the shamrock has become a symbol of the fertile Emerald Isle, adorning all manner of objects from jewellery to tea towels. Legend has it St. Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the mystery of the holy trinity to the Irish. However, it did not become customary to wear the shamrock on St. Patrick's day until as late as 1681. The development of the shamrock as a national emblem came later, in the eighteenth century as a sense of nationalism developed. The United Irishmen, formed in the 1770's adopted green uniforms and used the shamrock as a nationalist symbol on their regalia. As the struggle for Independence raged on, the shamrock became the subject of many sentimental songs and poems in addition to appearing on stone carvings, costumes and book covers. Steeped in folklore and mythology, the shamrock is a universal symbol of Irishness. To many however, it has become a somewhat twee and dated symbol unrepresentative of modern Ireland. 

"It would be a great pity to forget that the shamrock is in essence, the seamair óg, the young clover, symbol of prosperity and good fortune, and the ancient emblem of Ireland's rich green pastures" - Niall Mac Coitir

Love it or loathe it, this impressive little plant will be spotted in all it's incarnations this week from cheap paraphernalia  to the traditional sprig of shamrock worn on a lapel. If you are interested in finding out more about the shamrock, the folklore, myth and legend surrounding the many varieties, Niall Mac Coitir's book Irish Wild Plants (myths legends and folklore) is a must read. 

A starry eyed Alex

A starry eyed Alex

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: 2016 Calendar, Alex Synge, Astrology, Christmas gift

Three years ago we had a chat with our good friend Alex Synge about the idea of producing an annual wall calendar for Irish Design Shop. After a bit of playing around with what we might do we shelved the idea until last year when we produced our first calendar with The Project Twins. This 2015 calendar was so popular, that we decided to make it an annual project, and enlist the talents of a leading Irish designer, illustrator or artist to come up with the artwork and theme. 

So finally, this January we sat down with Alex again and started to plan a calendar for 2016, and we think it has been worth the wait. The concept behind this Calendar of Constellations was all Alex's idea. His amateur interest in the night sky has turned into a project which reaches far beyond any of our expectations.

The calendar comprises 13 beautiful lithographic prints of the constellations. Printed one colour, silver ink on black stock, each month includes informative descriptions of what might be on view in the night skies above Ireland at that time. These 300mm square prints are perforated to be kept long after the month has passed. We have enlisted our framer Conor to create a bespoke limed ash frame to fit the perforated images perfectly. Also, a limited edition tote bag has been produced which will be available to purchase along with the calendar and handmade frames from Thursday November 5th. 

 

 

A starry eyed Alex

A starry eyed Alex

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: 2016 Calendar, Alex Synge, Astrology, Christmas gift

Three years ago we had a chat with our good friend Alex Synge about the idea of producing an annual wall calendar for Irish Design Shop. After a bit of playing around with what we might do we shelved the idea until last year when we produced our first calendar with The Project Twins. This 2015 calendar was so popular, that we decided to make it an annual project, and enlist the talents of a leading Irish designer, illustrator or artist to come up with the artwork and theme. 

So finally, this January we sat down with Alex again and started to plan a calendar for 2016, and we think it has been worth the wait. The concept behind this Calendar of Constellations was all Alex's idea. His amateur interest in the night sky has turned into a project which reaches far beyond any of our expectations.

The calendar comprises 13 beautiful lithographic prints of the constellations. Printed one colour, silver ink on black stock, each month includes informative descriptions of what might be on view in the night skies above Ireland at that time. These 300mm square prints are perforated to be kept long after the month has passed. We have enlisted our framer Conor to create a bespoke limed ash frame to fit the perforated images perfectly. Also, a limited edition tote bag has been produced which will be available to purchase along with the calendar and handmade frames from Thursday November 5th. 

 

 

Names Jewellery

Names Jewellery

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: design, grandmother, handmade, Irish Design

Myself and Laura have shared a jewellery studio pretty much since graduating from NCAD way back when. Our styles have always been incredibly different, but in the past year we noticed similarities appearing, be it shapes we were interested in, scale and making techniques. So the idea to work collaboratively just sort of happened early this year. Working from our Drury street studio (above the shop), we spent months brainstorming and prototyping ideas, our aim being to produce an affordable, yet very special range of jewellery which incorporated traditional jewellery making skills. The result is our inaugural 16 piece collection under the label Names. All items are hand formed in brass and plated in hard wearing 18ct rose or yellow gold. 

As this is a very personal project, a labour of love, we have named every piece in the collection after a woman in each of our families, from our mothers to our great grand mothers. A short profile on each of these women is included on the new website. All items are available to purchase online and direct form our Drury street shop. 

Photographer: Al Higgins    Model: Áine Tubridy 

Names Jewellery

Names Jewellery

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: design, grandmother, handmade, Irish Design

Myself and Laura have shared a jewellery studio pretty much since graduating from NCAD way back when. Our styles have always been incredibly different, but in the past year we noticed similarities appearing, be it shapes we were interested in, scale and making techniques. So the idea to work collaboratively just sort of happened early this year. Working from our Drury street studio (above the shop), we spent months brainstorming and prototyping ideas, our aim being to produce an affordable, yet very special range of jewellery which incorporated traditional jewellery making skills. The result is our inaugural 16 piece collection under the label Names. All items are hand formed in brass and plated in hard wearing 18ct rose or yellow gold. 

As this is a very personal project, a labour of love, we have named every piece in the collection after a woman in each of our families, from our mothers to our great grand mothers. A short profile on each of these women is included on the new website. All items are available to purchase online and direct form our Drury street shop. 

Photographer: Al Higgins    Model: Áine Tubridy 

Al Higgins Photography

Al Higgins Photography

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: al higgins, design, dublin, irish

A couple of weeks ago we packed up half of the shop and dragged it across the river to Al Higgin's studio, to photograph our newest products as well as this year's Christmas offerings, which we'll keep to ourselves for now!

  

This was our first photo shoot with Al, having been recommended to us by our last photographer Philip White. We had seen some of his work before, including the beautiful shots he took for Bean and Goose chocolate, and Teeling Whiskey as well as his portrait of the guys in Designgoat.  Clare spent the morning with Al, arranging these beautiful displays and drinking strong coffee. We are so happy with how they turned out we wanted to share them with you.

You can see more of Al's work on his website or his instagram page

 

Al Higgins Photography

Al Higgins Photography

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: al higgins, design, dublin, irish

A couple of weeks ago we packed up half of the shop and dragged it across the river to Al Higgin's studio, to photograph our newest products as well as this year's Christmas offerings, which we'll keep to ourselves for now!

  

This was our first photo shoot with Al, having been recommended to us by our last photographer Philip White. We had seen some of his work before, including the beautiful shots he took for Bean and Goose chocolate, and Teeling Whiskey as well as his portrait of the guys in Designgoat.  Clare spent the morning with Al, arranging these beautiful displays and drinking strong coffee. We are so happy with how they turned out we wanted to share them with you.

You can see more of Al's work on his website or his instagram page

 

Up North

Up North

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: adam frew, August, bearded candle makers, Belfast

We had the rare opportunity to travel up north last week, to speak to the members of Craft NI in the Ulster Museum, as part of their programme for craft month. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the talented, up and coming designers and makers in Northern Ireland, as well as catching up with our stockist Catherine Keenan who also spoke about her experience as a glass artist. The programme for this August comprises of over 130 events including exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations and talks. It's a great reason to get out and explore the area in and around Belfast.

Taking the opportunity that evening after the talk to explore Belfast's "Cathedral Quarter", we found it was packed with a great selection of bars and restaurants, there is a vibrant, creative feel to the area. Michael from the Bearded Candle Makers had given us an epic list of places to visit and we managed to see a few; Established for coffee, The Spaniard for a drink and Made in Belfast for food. We also happened across a great bar called The Duke of York and had some amazing food in Hadskis.

If only we had been able to hang around for the weekend we would have made it our mission to visit St. George's market, where many designers and makers showcase their products. Our own selection from Northern Ireland in the shop includes Adam Frew's porcelain, Catherine Keenan's glass jewellery, Gail Kelly's lino print greeting cards and unique scents from the Bearded Candle Makers.

Up North

Up North

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: adam frew, August, bearded candle makers, Belfast

We had the rare opportunity to travel up north last week, to speak to the members of Craft NI in the Ulster Museum, as part of their programme for craft month. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the talented, up and coming designers and makers in Northern Ireland, as well as catching up with our stockist Catherine Keenan who also spoke about her experience as a glass artist. The programme for this August comprises of over 130 events including exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations and talks. It's a great reason to get out and explore the area in and around Belfast.

Taking the opportunity that evening after the talk to explore Belfast's "Cathedral Quarter", we found it was packed with a great selection of bars and restaurants, there is a vibrant, creative feel to the area. Michael from the Bearded Candle Makers had given us an epic list of places to visit and we managed to see a few; Established for coffee, The Spaniard for a drink and Made in Belfast for food. We also happened across a great bar called The Duke of York and had some amazing food in Hadskis.

If only we had been able to hang around for the weekend we would have made it our mission to visit St. George's market, where many designers and makers showcase their products. Our own selection from Northern Ireland in the shop includes Adam Frew's porcelain, Catherine Keenan's glass jewellery, Gail Kelly's lino print greeting cards and unique scents from the Bearded Candle Makers.