Design & Crafts Council of Ireland presents ‘Ó’ at Tent London 2015

Posted 04.08.15

Ó at Tent London, London Design Festival 2015
Superfolk / Foxford Woollen Mills & Aodh Furniture/ Adam Frew

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland presents ‘Ó’ at Tent London 2015

‘Ó', meaning ‘from’ in the Irish language, conveys the story of Ireland as a source of creative ideas and making, and explains how its craft heritage inspires new and contemporary design. The exhibition will feature beautifully designed products in stone, glass, ceramics, wood and textiles from over 20 designers who are passionate about materials and production and who possess a strong sense of place.

The new work which will be showcased in ‘Ó’ includes furniture from Snug, Aodh Furniture and Klimmek & Henderson; ceramics from Jack Doherty and Andrew Ludick; contemporary lighting from Mullan Lighting; stoneware products in Connemara Marble from Hennessy & Byrne; colourful glass from Catherine Keenan and textiles from Foxford Woollen Mills and 31 Chapel Lane.

A highlight of ‘Ó’ will be three live micro-production spaces within the exhibition throughout the four days of Tent, offering visitors a unique opportunity to meet the designer makers behind the products and watch these talented craftspeople demonstrate making techniques in weaving, ceramics and wood and print.

Mourne Textiles will be hand weaving their new range of monochrome tweeds on a traditional handloom brought over from their workshop in the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.  Master weaver, Karen Hay-Edie and her apprentices will demonstrate winding bobbins, throwing shuttles and the intricacies of production weaving by hand using their pure merino, custom spun yarn, produced in Donegal on the west coast of Ireland.

Ceramicist Adam Frew who is based in Portstewart in Co. Derry will work at a potter’s wheel, hand-crafting porcelain vessels inspired by traditional eastern forms. His work aims to capture the exuberance of the act of throwing so that energy and movement are communicated in his vessels which are all made from white porcelain.

Superfolk design and make simple, beautiful homewares for people who love the wild outdoors. Simplicity in the method of making is at the heart of their studio design process. As they design and make they move across a palette of tactile natural materials (wood, leather, paper, canvas, ceramics) and making techniques. Superfolk research, develop and make their own tools, jigs and moulds and focus on refining each element and stage of making until its essence is found. This approach to batch production allows them to accentuate their natural materials and simplified methods of making. For Tent London they will recreate the atmosphere and energy of their home studio – a space that is integral to the essence of their brand.

Curated by Steven McNamara, ‘Ó’ marks the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s fourth annual exhibition at London Design Festival. “In Ireland, design and craft have long since been interfused, driven by necessity and enabled by the landscape and her natural resources. These traditions of craftsmanship, respect for materials and a strong sense of place inspire a new and emerging design philosophy and attitude as fresh talent enters the sector,” says Brian McGee, Acting CEO of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. “We now have over 5,000 people working in the Irish craft sector, often located in the far off reaches of rural Ireland. This year at London Design Festival we wanted to bring the studios out of the countryside and into Tent London to share the designers’ creativity and passion for making with a wider audience.”

The exhibition at Tent London is one of a number of Irish design events in London this year as part of Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), a year-long initiative backed by the Irish Government promoting and celebrating Irish design in Ireland and internationally. During LDF, ID2015 will launch ‘The Souvenir Project’, a collection of contemporary souvenirs that explores the local context, championing creative collaborations between Irish designers and makers. This project, which has been specially commissioned by ID2015 and curated by Jonathan Legge of Makers & Brothers, will be presented at Rochelle School, Arnold Circus.  A selection of work from ‘The Souvenir Project’ will be dual sited and available to view at Tent London as part of ‘Ó’.

ID2015 is also partnering with London Design Festival in presenting ‘The Ogham Wall’ at the V&A. Designed by Grafton Architects in collaboration with Graphic Relief, and sponsored by Techrete, this ambitious landmark project for LDF2015 weaves narrative and culture with monumental design.

24th-27th September 2015

Hall G5, Ground Floor, Tent London, Old Truman Brewery, London E1

- Ends -

- July 2015 -

For further information and high res images, please contact:

Emma Kelly, Elevate PR,
+ 353 (0)1 662 5652

Katherine Sandford-Anderson | Sandford PR |
Leslie Curtis | Sandford PR |

All other media:
Cristina Belmonte | Sandford PR |


Designers and makers featured in ‘Ó’

To date, over 20 designers and makers are confirmed to have their latest work featured in the exhibition: 

1.    Mourne Textiles

2.    31 Chapel Lane

3.    Foxford Woollen Mills

4.    Andrew Ludick

5.    Aodh Furniture

6.    Snug

7.    Klimmek & Henderson

8.    Ceadogán

9.    Hennessy & Byrne

10.  Saturday Workshop

11.  Chaïm Factor

12.  Simon Doyle

13.  Mullan Lighting

14.  Eamon Tobin

15.  Helen O'Connell

16.  Jack Doherty

17.  Superfolk

18.  Adam Frew

19.  Tony Farrell

20.  Catherine Keenan

21.  Liz Nilsson

22.  Makers & Brothers

23.  Whackpack

24. Arran Street East

25. Donna Bates

26. Cillian Ó Súilleabháin

27. BTU Studio

28. Shane Holland Design Workshops

About the Curator
Steven McNamara is the founder of award-winning studio, ROJI. He is passionate about promoting good design and has spoken on panel discussions at international design events such as TENT London, Habitare AHEAD and OFFSET, and has collaborated with many organisations, amongst them the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2012. He led a multi-disciplinary collective to represent and promote Irish design on behalf of PIVOT Dublin at World Design Capital Helsinki 2012. He was the exhibition designer and co-curator in 2013 for 'Vernacular', the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s (DCCoI) debut at Tent London as part of London Design Festival. In 2014 Steven curated and designed ‘Weathering’, DCCoI's second show at Tent London. Steven was awarded Graduate Designer of the Year 2014 by the Institute of Designers of Ireland. He is also the current Exhibitions Officer for the Architectural Association of Ireland.

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), which is headquartered in Kilkenny, is the main champion of the craft and design industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. DCCoI’s activities are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has over 70 member organisations and over 3,000 registered clients.

About Irish Design 2015
Through a year-long programme of events and activities exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design both in Ireland and internationally, Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) aims to showcase the very best of Irish design in order to drive job creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness.  ID2015 is an island of Ireland initiative engaging the public, the design community and businesses, promoting Irish design in just about every form at home through events and exhibitions while also targeting the export market through trade missions and events in international capitals of design and commerce.   ID2015 is being convened by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), in collaboration with partner organisations, on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Enterprise Ireland.  Irish Design 2015 partners include Founding Partners - MCO Projects; Accommodation Partners - The Doyle Collection; Venue Partners - OPW; Exhibition Partners – DAA; Technology Partners – IBM; Transport Partners – Bus Éireann Expressway and Broadcast Partners - RTÉ. 

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