Louth craft makers in the national spotlight at six-day RDS fair
A Carlingford designer who turns local legends into beautiful textiles, a Drogheda-based silk artist and a candlemaker from Ardee, are among the Louth makers who will be showcasing their work at Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair in Dublin's RDS from December 5th-10th.
Gifted celebrates the best over 600 Irish designers and makers from fashion to jewellery and beyond.
Record-breaking crowds of over 45,000 are expected to generate more than €1m per day in sales at this year’s largest-ever six-day fair.
The Brown Bull of Cooley inspired Carlingford based Bernadette McCullagh of Dúinn Designs to turn the legends and iconic symbols of Ireland on their heads.
The designs that emerged have become the basis for her vibrant and vividly patterned range of scarves, aprons, tea towels and household textiles.
"My daughter ignited the flame when she came home from school all excited with the tale of the Brown Bull, which is close to our doorstep," said Bernadette.
"It got me thinking about Ireland's great myths and stories. From that an illustration of the Brown Bull was born and that simply pattern started Dúinn Designs."
Blackrock-based artist Adrienne M. Finnerty, who has just returned from humanitarian work in Africa alongside her mother and her son, is another Louth exhibitor.
Incessant traveller Adrienne recently spent a month-in Africa where she and her family helped build schools and orphanages in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
“My work is an emotional response to life in paint on canvas," said Adrienne.
Representing Drogheda at Gifted is Mel Bradley Silks whose unique collection of scarves and wraps allows the wearer to play with textures and styles.
Emma's So Natural handcrafted Eco-Soy Candles will be flying the flag for Ardee and another talented local exhibitor is handbag maker Cathy Prendergast from Dundalk.
Gifted is a celebration of the best Irish designers and makers – people who are truly gifted.
Formerly known as the National Crafts and Design Fair, Gifted includes top cutting-edge designers and makers in Irish fashion, ceramics and glass, jewellery, art and photography, children’s gifts and presents inspired by nature.
The event also includes a Spectacular Christmas Food Emporium featuring over 120 artisan food producers, taste-tempting visitors with the best of the season’s fare.
The growth in Ireland’s vibrant design sector means that Gifted has been expanded by an extra day to become a six-day unique Christmas shopping experience.
“Giving a Gifted gift to your loved ones this Christmas means that they will be receiving a special item straight from the maker,” said organiser Patrick O’Sullivan.
“We have the top cutting-edge designers and makers in Irish fashion, ceramics and glass, jewellery, art and photography, children’s gifts and presents inspired by nature.”
Gifted offers Ireland’s largest Christmas gift shopping experience with prices starting from as little as €5.
In addition, there will be 10% off everything at the Fair on the opening day, Tuesday, December 5.
Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair takes place at the RDS Main Hall from December 5-10 from 10am each day. Full details and booking can be found at www.giftedfair.ie