The Irish are coming to London, with 20 designer-makers showcasing at Heal’s this month. It’s being hailed as the biggest retail presentation of Irish-made design in the capital for decades, and features some of the country’s best furniture, lighting, ceramics, textiles and glass designers.
Highlights include monochrome scarves and cushions by Mourne Textiles, a family business set up in 1940 in a workshop at the foot of the Mourne mountains by Norwegian design pioneer Gerd Hay-Edie; as well as wares from Joe Hogan, who has been making baskets since 1978 from willow grown at Loch na Fooey, where he is based.
Newcomers include potter Arran Street East, whose hand-thrown pieces are inspired by Dublin’s Markets Area; and Superfolk, who make simple tableware, such as ash and oak trivets.
'Design Ireland' is born of past exhibitions organised by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) at Tent London during London Design Festival.
After being decimated by Ireland’s financial collapse, the country’s designer-makers are now thriving, with DCCoI’s registered clients increasing from 1,701 in 2009 to 3,214 in 2016.
'We are experiencing a period of great creativity and innovation in Irish design businesses, and we are producing world leaders,' says Karen Hennessy, chief executive of DCCoI, which has worked with Heal’s on the event. 'We are a resourceful nation, and after years of austerity and recession we are ready to take on the world and shine a spotlight on Ireland’s creative talent.'