In Ireland something of a mini revolution is taking place. The creative and design industry is beginning to find a growing audience of buyers looking for something different outside of the obvious.
Being Irish means something, especially to anyone who has a cultural connection to Ireland. It's a sense of ancestry and home, even if you have never visited the country - you can still feel it.
So it's understandable that this is reflected in the types of Irish products that sell the most. However, there is also a different Ireland. The influence our creativity has had on popular culture cannot be diminished.
- Think of writers like Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, Brendan Behan & Frank McCourt;
- Musicians like Luke Kelly, Van Morrison, Christy Moore & Phil Lynott;
- Actors like Maureen O'Hara, Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Day-Lewis & Richard Harris.
All of these people, and so many more were, and are, blessed with creativity.
From the ancient etchings of the Ogham language to intricate modern carvings of wood furniture - creativity is unmistakably an Irish trait. It's in our blood.
Please note that US of Ireland has ceased operations but these featured Irish artists can be found online.
USofIreland is a website that brings together independent makers across the island of Ireland under one roof, and offers these makers and artists a platform to showcase and sell their products to a wider audience outside of Ireland.
Their aim as makers living and working in Ireland today, is to show our cousins around the world that we more than hold our own in the creativity stakes. Don't rule us out!
We have picked out 5 makers on our website we believe are very much 'Ones To Watch'.
Whilst it does feel slightly like choosing a favorite child, every maker on the website has their own story to tell. Here are just 5 we picked:
Preoccupied with color, John Nolan is an artist based in Dublin. His exuberant style combines bold outlines with bright exotic shades. His interpretation of various motifs transmits a positive upbeat feeling to his viewers. His motifs include Fish, Flowers, People, Birds, Still Life, Abstract, Collage & Landscapes.
Tracy is immensely proud of being Irish and is fluent in her native Irish language. Her aim is to intertwine this pride with imagination to create beautiful jewelry designs that reflect Ireland artistic and mythological heritage. Clever design, quality materials and craftsmanship are the cornerstones of Tracy's creations.
Siobhain designs and makes a range of ceramic vases, bottles and giftware, which are carefully hand decorated to evoke a sense of simplicity and serenity. Inspired by the abstract line and patterns found in the lush natural landscape surrounding her studio in Rathcormac, Co Cork.
Teenager Conor Lynch is a woodturner based in rural Co Offaly. He started woodturning at the age of eleven after seeing a demonstration. After turning twelve, he bought a lathe with his confirmation money. Largely self-taught, he is now considered one of Irelands emerging makers working in turned wood.
Scribble & Stone
Scribble & Stone is a contemporary and unique Irish fashion label based in Dublin. The "Scribble" in the title refers to their love of illustration and to the quirky graphics and scribbles across tags and packaging. The "stone" refers to gemstones which are an important component in many of their pieces. This combination creates truly unique fusion jewelry pieces.
James Galvin, the Chairman and Co-Founder of USofIreland, has generously donated a $100 shopping spree on their wonderful website, for one of Irish American Mom’s readers. And so, in essence you can pick your own prize. The winner will be free to spend $100 on the item or items of their choosing from the vast array of unique and beautiful works of art available from USofIreland.
To enter our giveaway just click here. The terms and conditions are outline on the entry form.
The competition is open until midnight October 31st, 2014.
A winner will be chosen randomly and notified by e-mail.
Best of luck to all our entrants and a big thank you to USofIreland for sponsoring this fantastic prize for Irish American Mom’s readers.
November 2nd, 2014 - I'm delighted to announce we have a winner. Susan from Virginia is the lucky recipient of a $100 gift voucher to spend on beautiful Irish crafts. Susan, I hope you get some lovely gifts for Christmas for your friends and family, or why not spoil yourself and buy something special just for you.
And thanks to everyone for supporting this little giveaway. And of course, a big thank you to USofIreland for sponsoring this wonderful prize.
US of Ireland is no longer in business.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
Disclosure of Material Connection: Irish American Mom does not have any business relationship with USofIreland and did not receive cash payment for publishing this guest post. The purpose of this giveaway is to help spread the word about Irish artists. Thank you to all who support Irish and Irish American crafts people and their wonderful enterprises.
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