Meet The Best Collectors’ Pieces Nominees


Voting is live for the inaugural Image Interiors & Living Design Awards. Need a little more information? All the nominees are introduced here, but over the next few days, we’ll be posting interviews with our shortlist. In the fifth part of the series, here’s the Best Collectors’ Pieces Nominees…

Meet Derek Wilson
Designer and maker Derek Wilson originally completed a multitude of studies in design, ranging from ceramics to sculpture. He explains how he has always been drawn to paintings and different art movements, “I am inspired by the landscape, Belfast, the docks and the harbour – that industrial landscape. I’ve always been more drawn to muted colours.”

Collectors' Pieces

Porcelain tumblers

Derek is adamant that there is value in both functional pieces and sculptural objects. “They both inspire each other, a lot of the sculptural work will inspire the tableware or production pieces, so there is this nice balance, If I was coming in and just producing cups every day I’d probably go insane.”

Collectors' Pieces

A collection of porcelain vessels

Derek explains that when it comes to tableware there is one particular material he turns to over and over. “Porcelain is such a beautiful material but you are also very restrained, as there is only so much that you can do with it. It has a tendency to warp and crack, so it is a challenging material in some ways.” Functionality is fundamental when creating homewares. “You have to think about the use. When it is a cup you have to think about the liquid and how it is held… all the tactile qualities. But when it is a sculpture, I drop that sense of functionality, so it gives freedom.”

Collectors' Pieces

Unglazed bowl

Meet Róisín de Buitléar
Róisín de Buitléar, a glass artist and educator, has worked in design for the last 30 years. “Irish design’s over arching theme is its connection to place and local materials. As a maker I am in control of the whole process, from concept, design and production. That is a privileged position, and allows me to continually challenge all areas of that process.”

Collectors' Pieces

Chanter – wind and percussive sound objects

For Róisín, good design is simplicity that exists without explanations and describes components of her style as “simplicity of line and the ethereal beauty of the material exposed”. Róisín explains how the narrative is extremely important in the creative process. “In telling stories I share my culture and the beauty of the material. I draw first with paper, hundreds of quick sketches, then depending on the project, I prototype in another material, and then refine in the actual material until I am happy with the result.”

Collectors' Pieces

Clog an Aingil – percussive object

A memorable experience was combining glass and sound. “The most recent live performance of glass and sound in collaboration with Liam O’ Maonlaoí, Peter O’ Toole and Síle Denvir was both terrifying and exhilarating. As the concert progressed, creative process unfolded with hundreds of people witnessing that, I felt privileged and inspired to have created that potential.”

Collectors' Pieces

Breath (Philip Lauterbach)

Meet Sara Flynn
Sara began her studies in the late 1980s, specialising in ceramics. “I absolutely love having clay as my material and the opportunity to understand the possibilities it offers.”

Collectors' Pieces

Camber vessels

Sara gives an insight into her creative process. “I am totally tied into process and material, how it responds and the variety of qualities it has are fundamental to my work. I start by throwing forms on the wheel and it is what comes next that is of greatest interest. Pushing, cutting, bending the clay at different stages as it firms-up and dries to become harder, the possibilities are endless. I am drawn to forms that explore volume and silhouettes. In essence, the process is largely about play and exploration of material.”

Collectors' Pieces

Esker vessels

Sara admits that her work is subconsciously influenced by her surroundings.  “In the same way that many makers from hot climates often employ bright vivid colours, I recognise that the colours and tones that I use are in some way related to the climate here. Otherwise, I have a private studio which offers clear thinking and solitude and that informs the work more than anything else.”

Meet Andrew Ludick
Andrew Ludick is based in Kilkenny and his work has evolved towards forms that illustrates the natural properties of clay and the processes he use to create them. He employs techniques such as coiling and pinching clay.

Collectors' Pieces


Andrew’s eye-catching decorations are influenced by native American and African indigenous art and music, as well as artists and musicians like Paul Klee, John Ffrench, Peter Bruegel, Lester Young and Thelonious Monk.

Collectors' Pieces

Large green seed head bowl 

Once the shape has been formed Andrew decorates with patterns that feel natural to the shape. “A piece for decoration is often either seen as a blank canvas to draw shapes on or an interesting form to compliment with patterns. The final pieces are covered in a clear transparent glaze, which serves to deepen the colours and to seal the clay so it can be used for functional purposes.”

Collectors' Pieces

Red and orange fern jug

To vote for your favourite nominee in each category, click here.

Love this? Share it!

What do you think? Add a comment here

Follow us
Read next
Tableware nominees
Meet the Best Tableware Nominees

Voting is now live for the inaugural Image Interiors & Living Design Awards. Need a…