CRAFT & DESIGN 2016 – Celebrating Irish Craft at Brown Thomas

Posted 07.04.16

On Tuesday 12th April, Brown Thomas, in collaboration with the Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCoI), will launch CRAFT & DESIGN 2016, a special celebration of some of the very best craftspeople in Ireland today. The five-week showcase will feature exciting Irish designed and made products from some of the finest home-grown talent in a dedicated space on Level 3 of the iconic Grafton Street store.

The retail pop-up will feature the work of 12 new and established designers and makers across an extensive range of home and gifting items including prints, ceramics, candles, glass and wooden furniture. A series of “Meet The Maker” events and live demonstrations will take place over the 5-week long initiative, offering visitors to Brown Thomas a unique opportunity to learn more about the designer, their inspiration and their creative process.

As part of the initiative Brown Thomas is delighted to welcome the work of five new craftspeople to the store including exquisite porcelain prints by Stephen Farnan Studio, unique ceramics by Ian Carty and by Arran Street East, traditional handmade soaps by Clarke’s of Dublin and “make-it yourself” wooden stools by Whackpack Furniture. Exclusive to Brown Thomas, Slated will present Blue Bangor slate tableware dated from c. 1916 to celebrate the centenary along with Caulfield Country Boards who have specially created boards based on designs from the early 1900s.

Kathy Murray, Buying Director at Brown Thomas commented: “We are delighted to showcase the very best home grown talent in Irish craft. This initiative continues the Brown Thomas tradition of showcasing the very best of Irish design and craftsmanship.”

The 12 designers and makers featuring in CRAFT & DESIGN 2016 are:

  • Stephen Farnan Studio
  • Ian Carty
  • Arran Street East
  • Clarke’s of Dublin
  • Whackpack Furniture
  • Foxford Woollen Mills
  • Slated
  • Caulfield Country Boards
  • Jerpoint Glass Studio
  • Cloon Keen Atelier
  • Rathbornes
  • Max Benjamin

Speaking about this exciting initiative, Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council Ireland said: “We are delighted to be once again collaborating with Brown Thomas, Ireland’s premier luxury retailer, in presenting the work of talented Irish designers and makers to the store’s discerning customers. Everything featured has been Designed & Made in Ireland, reflecting the quality, craftsmanship and innovation for which Ireland is achieving a growing reputation internationally.”

CRAFT & DESIGN 2016 runs at Brown Thomas Dublin and online at from Tuesday 12th April until Sunday 15th May. Full details of the “Meet The Maker” events can be seen here.

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For further information, please contact Maeve O’Higgins at Brown Thomas / 01-6056638

Meet the Makers:

Stephen Farnan Studio - Stephen Farnan is a potter by trade, having studied ceramics and glass at the Royal College of Art, London, and Fine Art at Ulster University Belfast. Every element of his framed porcelain landscapes are conceived, designed and made in his Belfast studio along with colouring map prints.

Ian Carty – Ian Carty creates beautiful ceramic art vessels. Ian experiments with materials and firing conditions and explorations into surface texture and colour, resulting in unique pieces which celebrate the complex and beautiful interactions of clay, glaze and smoke.

Arran Street East – Arran Street East is a studio producing work for people who love simple, handmade, functional and beautiful objects. Inspired by where they work, in the Markets Area of Dublin, their pots are hand-thrown and glazed in natural colours from the Dublin Fruit and Vegetable Market – cabbage, potato, parsnip, lemon, pomegranate and pink grapefruit.

Clarke’s of Dublin - Designed and manufactured by Suzanne Clarke, Clarke’s of Dublin create an award-winning range of luxurious handmade soaps. They pride themselves on harnessing the best of local Irish ingredients and skilfully blending these with the very best olive, coconut and essential oils to produce solid bars of luxury soap.

Whackpack Furniture – Based in Monaghan, product designer Benny Magennis is the force behind Whackpack Furniture, a range of contemporary, heritage, handcrafted and wonderfully simple furniture, that is flat packed and satisfyingly ‘whacked’ together by its lucky new owner. Their designs are a fusion of traditional Japanese woodworking technique and Irish bodging.

Foxford Woollen Mills - Founded in 1892, Foxford Woollen Mills is situated on the River Moy in the heart of Co. Mayo and is one of the last working mills in Ireland. Employing over forty people, Foxford Woollen Mills creates beautiful luxurious throws and blankets making for treasured possessions for years to come. To celebrate the centenary, Foxford Woollen Mills have designed a replica of the blanket that they presented to Michael Collins to mark his appointment to Commander in Chief of the Irish Army in 1922.

Slated - Tara and Ed Hammond began Slated when Ed, a trained roofer, created a table runner from slate for a dinner party with friends. Using 150-year old methods and skills, each piece from the Slated Range is meticulously handcrafted to enhance the originality and natural elegance of the collection. Due to the natural integrity and durability of the stone, each Slated piece is utterly unique, dependable and enduring, lasting for many generations.

Caulfield Country Boards – The progeny of John Caulfield Joinery in Co. Meath, Pearse and Louise combine their food and joinery backgrounds to create functional yet beautiful solid wood cutting boards.

Jerpoint Glass Studio - Jerpoint Glass Studio is a family business making glass in Kilkenny for over thirty years and hand blowing in the same fashion as it was 2000 years ago. They offer gallery-style pieces as well as a range of tableware. Their glassware has featured in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, as well as numerous BBC period dramas.

Cloon Keen Atelier - Founded in 2002 by Margaret Mangan and Julian Checkley, Cloon Keen Atelier is an award-winning artisan perfumer based in Galway. Candles are produced in small batches, hand-poured in their Galway workshop. Every wick is straightened by hand, wax is hand-poured and labels are adhered to the boxes individually by hand.

Rathbornes - Rathbornes was founded in Dublin in 1488 making it the world’s oldest candle company. Rathbornes’ indulgent and luxurious candles are handcrafted with many of the same skilled methods they have used since the fifteenth century. Using smooth beeswax and complex, essential oil blends, a Rathbornes candle releases the most sumptuous of fragrance.

Max Benjamin - Max Benjamin is run by brothers Mark and David Van den Bergh who have been producing high quality candles since the early 1990s. The collection has grown from the original Oberg range of hand poured pillar candles into what is now an international brand that creates luxurious natural wax candles, fragrance diffusers and a hand and body care range.

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