Nicola Gates grew up in rural Fermanagh where she developed a love of nature and making, concerns that are some of guiding principles of her company Olla Nua to this day. While studying Textile Design at the National College of Art and Design her love of making found the perfect outlet in weaving having discovered a natural affinity with the process from her first time at the loom. This strong relationship with the process still informs her work, in Olla Nua which she founded in 2015. Her practice focuses on natural sustainable materials and interweaves traditional craft with contemporary design to create unique woolen goods. Nicola weaves small batches of fabrics on her Swedish floor loom powered by hand and foot. The hand of the maker is involved from start to finish and results in a finished product of exceptional quality. Her designs are sensitive to the materials used reflecting her fascination by the natural properties of the yarns.
You can read all about Nicola's inspirations and processes here in our Makers Stories section.