LookWest.ie invited Galway/Sligo based blogger Amie Brennan of Floralesque.com to roundup some of her favourite designer-makers from across the West of Ireland for our 2016 Gift Guide. Housed in beautiful studios overlooking the Atlantic, designer makers and crafts people along the Wild Atlantic Way produce some of Ireland’s most iconic design and craft inspired by their local landscape, heritage and community.
When it comes to Christmas Shopping sometimes it feels like there is so much choice out there and I think that especially at this time of the year it is important to buy local. There are so many amazing Irish Designers and makers that there are an abundance of choice. Today I wanted to share some of my top picks for this Christmas from designers and makes in the West of Ireland.
- Martina Hamilton
First in the list is the award winning jeweller Martina Hamilton. She has been creating beautiful jewellery for over 25 years and her work never fails to impress. The Shore Collection is her latest launch and the pieces are both elegant and meaningful and would make the most beautiful Christmas gift.
2. Graham Reid Design
Graham Reid is a glassblower who makes unique and eye-catching sea bead necklaces, mobiles and also Christmas Gifts. What I enjoy about his work is that all of his pieces are different due to the flame-working technique that he uses. His Christmas ornaments would make the most beautiful stocking fillers and if you wanted to take it one step further – he also offers classes to make your own beads.
3. Atlantic Equipment Project
Ashleigh Smith creates high quality, long wearing bags with a beautiful aesthetic from her design studio in Strandhill, County Sligo. These bags would be the perfect gift for someone who likes to be outdoors and wants carry-equipment that will be both functional and also stylish.
4. Rowan Beg Scented Soy Candles
Candles always add such a fantastic atmosphere to a home and I for one always love to receive a candle as a present. The Rowan Beg candles are made from Soy and contain no chemicals and will burn clean producing no soot or residue. They are beautifully presented and would make the perfect stocking filler. Each candle is made in the Rowan Beg Design Studios in Renvyle, Co. Galway.
5. Katie and Maud
When looking for the perfect gift for someone I always find that inspirational prints are always a good option. Katie + Maud create some of the most stunning prints which are inspired by mindfulness meditation and well-being from their studio in County Sligo.
6. Lisa Ryder Designs
Lisa creates absolutely show stopping, luxury handbags from her studio in Newport, Co. Mayo. The vibrancy of her prints are beautiful and would make a truly unique gift and one that the person would treasure for years to come.
7. Ogham Wish
Ogham writing is traditionally known as Ireland’s Ancient Script. From their studio in Knockcroghery, Co. Roscommon, Ogham Wish create hand painted Ogham lettering on paper; they would make the most heartfelt traditional gift and for those buying for international friends and family – the perfect keepsake of Ireland.
8. Emily Jean
For those that love the art of Millinery – Emily Jean has some of the most beautiful pieces. She is based in Galway and creates both millinery masterpieces and delicate ready-to-wear jewellery. Many of her pieces have an understated elegance surrounding them so would make the perfect gift for that stylish person in your life.
9. Aine Knitwear
When the nights turn darker and there is a chill in the air – there is nothing nicer than curling up in a cosy piece of knitwear. And Aine knitwear certainly will make the most beautiful gift for someone this Christmas that they will wear right though the cold season for many years to come.
10. Living Ginger Designs
Living Ginger Designs creates some of the most beautiful ceramic pieces. Their Flora collection is my favourite collection from them and they are created using impressed flora details which creates unique pieces and would make a beautiful gift. They are stunning enough to stand alone as a decorative piece but also functional to be able to hold fresh flowers.
So now there are no excuses. Shop local. Shop often. Make a small makers dreams come true. #xmaswest