Irish designers and makers prepare to unveil their latest collections at London Design Festival 2016

Posted 15.09.16

Irish furniture, lighting, textiles, ceramics, homewares and prints to be presented to discerning audiences at internationally renowned design showcase

Mullan Lighting Mourne Textiles ZELOUF+BELL
100% Design London Design Fair Decorex International

Leading Irish designers and makers are preparing to unveil their latest product ranges to international buyers this month at high-profile events during London Design Festival (LDF), including Tent London, Decorex International and 100% Design.

One of the most popular trade events at LDF is Tent London which attracts an influential audience of over 25,000 retail buyers, architects, interior designers, press, designers and design-savvy public (weekend only) keen to see and specify the very latest furniture, lighting, textiles, materials and conceptual installations from around the world. Marking the 10th anniversary of Tent London, 2016 sees the launch of London Design Fair, the new umbrella brand that includes both Tent London and Super Brands London, alongside a host of international trade showcases.

In recent years, Tent London has seen a significant Irish design presence, with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) presenting a number of high-profile group exhibitions, including Vernacular in 2013, Weathering in 2014 and Ó in 2015. DCCoI has worked with the organisers of this year’s show, which takes place at Old Truman Brewery, 22 – 25 September, to enable several Irish designers and makers to exhibit individually, signaling a positive coming of age for these talented creatives. Irish designers exhibiting at this year’s trade fair include:

  • Shane Holland Design (Hall T3-A, Stand 2) presenting the latest range of contemporary lighting designed and made in Shane’s Co. Meath workshop
  • Mourne Textiles (Hall T3-A, Stand 8) who return to London once again to exhibit their iconic collection of textiles handwoven at the foot of the Mourne Mountains
  • Jando Design (Hall T3-A, Stand 9), a fresh new print design brand from Ireland focused on witty prints and cards produced in their Dublin-based studio
  • Déanta (Hall T1, Stand E10) exhibiting contemporary furniture and lighting designed by renowned Irish architect Andrew Clancy
  • Arran Street East (Hall T1, F30), the artisan producer of simple, hand-thrown and hand-made homewares in characterful colours inspired by the nearby Dublin Fruit and Vegetable Market, will introduce two new products to the range at LDF: The Breadboards and The Pegs
  • Ceadogán (Hall T3-A, Stand 1) presenting their handtufted collection of rugs and wall hangings in luxurious yarns designed and produced in their Co. Wexford workshop
  • Leo Scarff Design (Hall T1, Stand D18) participating in London Design Festival once again to unveil the studio’s latest lighting and furniture range designed in Leo’s Co. Leitrim studio  Gordon Byrne Designs (Hall T1, Stand D18) announcing the formation of studioGBD alongside their old colleagues at Leo Scarff Design
  • Matt Jones Woodturner (Hall T1, Stand E21) presenting his collection of hand-turned homewares designed and made in Co. Sligo, who will be featured as part of the Etsy exhibition at London Design Fair, following his selection as the winner of Etsy’s Best Irish Maker Award for 2016 by the online global craft marketplace.
  • PaperPetShop (Hall T3-A, Stand 5) will bring their finest paper craft templates and kits to this year’s London Design Fair
  • Stephen O'Briain Furniture (Hall 23A, Stand 3) will present his beautifully simple hand-planed furniture pieces 

Elsewhere at LDF, Decorex International, billed as the industry’s most prestigious interiors trade event, returns to Syon Park 18 – 21 September. Decorex will feature award-winning Irish furniture brand Zelouf + Bell (Stand D55) who are renowned for the considered choice of materials, cutting-edge design and exquisite craftsmanship of their contemporary furniture. The sculptural glasswork of Edmond Byrne will also be exhibited at Decorex as part of The New Craftsmen stand (F1-F5). The London Design Fair and Decorex have partnered for 2016, allowing trade visitors entry to both shows. The industrial-style designs of Mullan Lighting will exhibit (Stand L523, L312) as part of 100% Design (21 – 24 September), the UK’s largest trade event for architects and designers, at Olympia London.

London audiences will have seen the work of many of the Irish exhibitors such as Ceadogán, Mourne Textiles, Mullan Lighting and Arran Street East earlier this year when iconic London retailer Heal’s worked in partnership with DCCoI on curating Design Ireland at Heal’s, the largest retail presentation of Irish-made design in London in decades. The initiative emerged as a direct result of successive exhibitions of Irish design and craft at London Design Festival, reflecting the influence of the annual festival and its potential commercial benefits for the Irish design and craft sector.

The work of Irish designers and makers has been attracting growing attention internationally in recent years, particularly during 2015 as part of Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), a year-long initiative backed by the Irish government exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design through a programme of signature events and activities across the island of Ireland and around the world.

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Arran Street East
Hall T1, F30
The Arran Street East studio, based in the busy Markets Area of Dublin, designs and produces homewares for people who enjoy functional, modern design. The Arran Street East range is hand-thrown and glazed in natural colours from the Dublin Fruit and Vegetable Market – cabbage, potato, parsnip, lemon, pomegranate and pink grapefruit. Their pots and mugs are designed in two complementary shapes, inward- and outward-sloping with strong lines and crisp handles, with the aim of bringing clean, architectural lines to a traditional craft in order to produce functional objects that can be used every day in the home. Arran Street East takes time to design things that work, blending modern technology and traditional processes to produce functional products for everyday life.

Hall T3-A, Stand 1
Denis Kenny, owner/maker at Ceadogán, started making rugs in 1989. For the past 25 years he has been committed to the craft of rugmaking, and during that time has amassed a lifetime of experience in working with wools and silks. As a small enterprise, Ceadogán Rugs is focused, highly skilled, very experienced and dedicated to pairing the traditional values of remarkable craftsmanship and contemporary design. In collaborating with a variety of designers, Ceadogán strive for innovation and originality. It is Denis’ meticulous care and attention to detail which truly distinguishes a Ceadogán rug. Ceadogán has worked on a number of collaborations in recent years, including projects with ceramicist Andrew Ludick and fashion designer Helen Cody.

Hall T1, Stand E10
Inspired by the heritage of making on the island of Ireland, Déanta is committed to making beautiful objects that are of their time and yet informed by tradition. Déanta take the time to find the inherent nature of materials, the integrity of processes and the unique abilities of craftspeople and translate these into objects of purpose and character.

Jando Design
Hall T3-A, Stand 9
Formed in March 2015, Jando Design is the work of Julie and Owen Mc Loughlin. From their studio on the banks of the River Liffey in Dublin they skillfully blend a combination of both physical and digital disciplines to create their unique range of contemporary prints and greeting cards. Their distinctive body of work is both exciting and modern with a strong emphasis placed on kineticism and the playful use of colour. Their “Landmark” & “Dublin Town” collections capture the vibrancy and diversity of our magnificent isle while at the same time celebrating its heritage, culture and landmark architecture. In addition to creating wall art, they also design and produce greeting cards, tote bags, notebooks and ceramic mugs which they ship to customers all over the world. Protecting the environment is extremely important to Julie and Owen. They use only high-quality, recycled paper and card which is made of environmentally friendly, wood-free ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free) pulp. All of their prints are packaged in biodegradable cellophane sleeves which are made from plant cellulose that is naturally 100% compostable.

Leo Scarff Design
Hall T1, Stand D18 / /
Leo Scarff is a designer, curator and design lecturer from Dublin who for many years has produced simple, functional products that focus on the combination of digital fabrication and hand-finishing techniques. He works with several specialist Irish and northern Irish companies who produce the necessary components before assembly and hand-finishing at his studios. Making its debut on the UK market is the new 'Island' collection of sofas and ottomans for Irish Design Brand, Hiberform. ‘Island’ is a collection of sculptural, rounded sofas made of two layered elements – seat pad and backrest, one hovering over the other. Each element can be upholstered in different fabrics or colours and are connected by steel legs either in polished stainless or powder coated steel finish. Scarff designed the backrests to be big enough to place a laptop on them so making the sofas great for breakout area use as well as foyers etc. An ottoman is also available to compliment the collection.

Hall T1, Stand D18
Established in 2002, Gordon Byrne Design was set up as a multi-disciplinary design firm to deliver creative commercial interiors solutions and the development of new furniture/objects. Gordon Byrne Design constantly explores new furniture ideas, creating prototype pieces for exhibitions at home and abroad. The studio’s objectives are to contribute to contemporary design with pieces that reflect a creative and innovative spirit utilising simple use of materials, and for and to re-interpret existing forms/materials and cultural icons, re-contextualising them to create new furniture pieces.

Matt Jones Woodturner
Hall T1, Stand E21
Matt Jones designs beautiful handmade wooden items for the home. Matt only uses ethically sourced Irish wood such as fallen beech, walnut, ash and oak trees to make his collection of handmade salad bowls, salt mills, pepper grinders, commissioned items and sculptural art pieces. He works from his workshop based in Co. Sligo, the West of Ireland, surrounded by hills, woods and the wild Atlantic sea. This dramatic landscape plays a major part in Matt’s work.

Hall T3-A, Stand 5
PaperPetShop provides the finest paper craft templates available on the Internet, having gone through countless iterations and design changes to get to this stage.
The joy these paper craft templates have brought to people’s lives has already made PaperPetShop a success in founder and owner Brian Mc Swiney’s mind. Brian plans to develop PapePetShop to provide pre-cut and creased kits, to incorporate the making of these paper pets in education, promoting mindfullness and patience, and bringing quality time to families.

Mourne Textiles
Hall T3-A, Stand 8
Irish heritage brand Mourne Textiles is a family business started in the 1940s in a workshop at the foot of the beautiful Mourne mountains in Co.Down by Norwegian design pioneer Gerd Hay-Edie, using traditional weaving techniques on custom-made handlooms. Gerd’s name became a staple in mid-century British design through long collaborations with Robin Day for Hille & Co. and Terence Conran. Gerd’s daughter Karen Hay-Edie and grandson Mario Sierra are building on the legacy of Mourne
Textiles for the 21st century. They continue to design and source much of their yarn from Donegal and custom-dye to match the heritage pieces and iconic designs that sprang from the company’s Irish-Scandinavian roots.

Shane Holland Design Workshops
Hall T3-A, Stand 2
Based in Duleek, Co.Meath, Shane Holland designs and produces furniture and light fittings from a wide range of materials, including timber, metals and acrylics. Holland uses recycled materials where possible, and has recently begun to incorporate found objects into his work, such as the bottles used in his Riesling and Borscht chandeliers, and the cast iron weights used in his 686 table. The ethos of Shane Holland Design is to create functional and sculptural products that are elegant and built to last. He has an open approach to design, always experimenting with mixed materials and techniques leading to an extensive and constantly evolving collection of pieces.

Stephen O'Briain Furniture
Hall 23A, Stand 3
Stephen O’Briain’s furniture is distinguished by sensuous hand-planed curves, simplified lines and meticulously detailed joints. Trained as a fine art painter, Stephen first became interested in the possibilities of furniture design after seeing the work of Russian Master craftsman, James Krenov. The transition from paint to wood made all the easier by a tradition of woodworking in the family that stretches back three generations. Working almost exclusively in solid timber, both native and imported, Stephen’s work over the last few years has taken on an increasingly organic quality. In the design of a piece of furniture, his instinct is to find a balance between the function of that piece and its sculptural form. Underlying the strikingly beautiful simplicity of all Stephen’s work is a mastery of the complexities of good design and a genuine love of his materials.



Decorex, Stand D55
Studio furniture makers ZELOUF+BELL and their team of master craftsmen have been making museum-quality furniture to commission in their workshop in rural Ireland since 1992. Their award-winning work is in private collections, public offices, embassy residences, churches and museums, at home and abroad. The alliance of Belfast-born Michael Bell and New Yorker Susan Zelouf may seem a collision of cultures and characters, instead a kind of alchemy occurs, engendering extraordinary pieces grounded in practicality, a dialogue between art, history and design.

Edmond Byrne
Decorex (The New Craftsmen, Stand F1-F5)
Edmond Byrne’s sculptural glass work addresses themes associated with the body, and with neurobiology in particular. In his current work, he explores colour, texture and form to make glass vessels that aim to induce an emotional response in the viewer. He sees vessels as manifestations of emotions and strives to create objects that represent these emotions as closely as possible through clustering processes and careful selection of colour. Production begins with the building of fabric moulds dipped in slip clay to create textured surfaces. The molten glass is then blown in to
the mould, picking up its texture and form. Each mould is unique and can only be used once.

100% DESIGN, OLYMPIA LONDON, 21 – 24 September

Mullan Lighting
100% Design (Stand L523, L312)
The Mullan story is one of rejuvenation. Based in a remote area in Co. Monaghan on the border with Northern Ireland, Mullan village (meaning The Mill) was a bustling rural centre with over 80 people employed in the Border brand shoe factory until it closed in the 1970s. Mullan shoe factory along with the local village of 18 workers' houses soon fell into disrepair and lay abandoned for almost 25 years. In 2008 Mullan Lighting was established in the old shoe factory and quickly brought life back to the building and the village. Mullan Lighting now have an ever-expanding team of designers and craftspeople creating beautiful pieces for a range of discerning customers.

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