Cream of Irish Design

By Lorna Sixsmith

Allsort stools, tables and footstools by Locker 12 are striking pieces of furniture made from offcuts from Dublin manufacturers and other scrap materials - a wonderful way to recycle materials into something that is not only extremely useful but also a statement in any interior.

2011 is the Year of Irish Craft and it is wonderful to see so many designers and crafters receiving more press coverage and acknowlegements of their talents this year.  From an national and international perspective, we all need to play a part in getting rid of the notion that Irish craft is just made up of leprachaun-type souvenirs but that the Cream of Irish Design is the culmination of what talented, creative designers can produce – beautiful one-off pieces, contemporary furniture, stylish lighting, pieces that carry a story  and yet are usable within the family home.

I visited the ID & A Show in the RDS on Friday 13th May and thoroughly enjoyed talking to the various designers and seeing their products on display. What was particularly lovely was the way each designer had pieces spread across the balcony and all complemented each other’s work.  Here was evidence of design sitting in harmony with each other but also a harmonious and supportive relationship between designers.

Sasha Sykes – Farm 21 –

I have long been a fan of Sasha’s work – admiring her rosebud lamps and straw cubes.  Last year she produced beautiful pieces of antique cutlery encased in resin named ‘Family Silver.  Sasha launched a number of new pieces at the show but the piéce de resistance had to be the Screen specially commissioned for the National Museum. Encasing the beauty of what is found on a woodland floor, it is designed to be viewed from different perspectives. The lower level is darker, symbolising what is embedded in the forest floor rising to what is at eye level and above us.

Jennifer Slattery – Jennifer Slattery Textiles –

Palm by Klickity - an innovative, fun, vivid, colourful and environmentally friendly ceiling light. €49.95 online at

Jennifer had a number of different textiles on display. From a beautifully upholstered antique chair named ‘Gossip Chair’ with beautifully detailed red buttoning to elaborate cushions to table runners and napkins.  The simplicity and beauty of antique plates and cutlery are digitally printed or embroidered onto the napkins and runners and are perfect for making a meal very special.  These would make very special wedding gifts.

Locker 13 –

Locker 13 is the collaboration of designers Karl Medcalf and Shane Wilson and their goal is to design original, unique and beautiful furniture. Their Allsort stools and footstools were dotted along the balcony – quirky, elegant, different, individual and unique. They are created from off cuts of various materials, all sourced from manufacturers in Dublin.  Materials include acrylic, plywood, softwood spindles, lino, felt, hardboard and fabrics. Note the slot that can be used as a handle or as a handy place to stash the daily newspaper.

Klickity –

Klickity is the brainchild of Kate Cronin and Liz Fingleton, their aim is to design and produce beautiful products that have minimum impact on the environment. They are either recycled from other products or are recyclable. Their Palm Light shade won ’Best New Product’ at Showcase this January and they have just launched their new clock, made from the same sustainable plastic materials.  Both will be available in the same variety of vivid colours and can also be purchased online at Affordable design that is innovative and fun.

Jenny Walsh Design –

Jenny Walsh has built a wonderful reputation for designing eye-catching furniture that is different in terms of its shape, colour and form. Often quirky, her pieces possess energy and movement. Jenny designs one-off pieces to commission as well as a range of limited edition furniture. I have long been an admirer of her Creature Comforts sideboard and My City coffee table. Her Isometric book shelf and Perspective book cases are just as striking and unusual.

Shane Tubrid Furniture by Design –

Shane’s furniture designs are collectable, one of a kind furniture and limited edition pieces.  One of my favourite pieces at the RDS was the ash and walnut writing desk, very similar to a traditional writing desk with its little sections and with straight lines to the left side which was very masculine. But the right side was very feminine with its curved sides and very striking too – a very unusual piece that would be a statement in any home office or library.

Sarah McEvoy Glass –

Sarah is an artist specialising in the medium of glass. Graduating from NCAD in 2010, her work received the RDS Graduate Craft Award along First prize in the Glass category.  Her work is subtle yet striking.  Definitely one to watch!

Visit Lorna’s blog at for more on the Cream of Irish Design. You can purchase Klickity’s lights and new clock at and don’t forget to follow GarrendennyLane on facebook too for all the latest design news.

Comments are closed.