Meet the Maker Dorinda McCormack, Hand Weaver

Posted 15.12.22

Meet the Maker Dorinda McCormack, Hand Weaver

Dorinda McCormack is a hand weaver with an eye for detail, specialising in creating vintage-style handbags and purses using fabric that is truly unique. Each piece is designed to be a part of your everyday life, adding a touch of colour and distinction to your day. Located in Newbliss, Co. Monaghan - once the heart of a thriving linen weaving community - Dorinda uses her background in design and textiles, to creates her fabrics combining contemporary colour palettes and much-loved vintage styles. She sustains traditional skills in a modern context, always with an eye to everyday use.

What's a typical day in the studio like for you?
I work full time as a teacher so the majority of my creative work takes part in the evenings, weekends and holiday time. I generally weave the bulk of my fabrics in the summertime and then spend the Autumn and Winter evenings cutting and sewing the bags.

What do you like most about your work?
New colours or patterns that catch my eye will often result in a new spurt of weaving - it's such fun putting ideas into action! I love putting the final touches on the bags and setting them up for photography.

What do you like least about your work?  
Having to put it down due to time constraints - often at a very interesting or tricky stage!

What's your favourite craft item in your home?
My wedding dress - I managed to knit it in secret under my husband's nose. It's the most detailed work I've ever done and I loved the challenge of it.

What other maker in your discipline do you most look up to?
Liz Christy - also from Co. Monaghan. She gave me great encouragement and also taught me to have confidence in myself and my work.

What advice would you give someone who is considering this craft career?  
Go with your gut instinct - make what you love and it will always resonate with somebody.

What's your favourite time of the day?
I take about 20 minutes when I get home from work to have a cup of tea and think about what needs to be worked on in the studio. I might look online at new pattern and colours or research new fabrics.

How do you switch off?
I love to knit or do cross stitch so I'll do a bit of that. Listening to audio books while doing housework also helps.

How do you start your day?
A cup of coffee, by myself before the children get up.

What's the first thing you do when you leave the studio?
Set out the work for the next day on the bench or write myself a note of things that need to be altered. It always reminds me of the story of The Elves and The Shoemaker.

Favourite book?
Anything by Terry Pratchett.

Favourite film?
The Godfather - all of them to be honest.

Best concert you have ever been to?
We went to the remembering John Lennon concert in the National Concert Hall and Moncrieff in particular was spectacular.

Favourite meal?
Breakfast - Eggs Benedict. I save it for when I'm away somewhere.

Music when you're working?

What do you listen to?
Audiobooks and podcasts. I try to challenge myself here and listen to things I mightn't sit to read.

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