In the third part of our Future Focus series where we meet the Future Makers winners, we speak to textile artist Aoife Mullane who won a residency support of €1,000 for her ethereal textile masterpieces. Graduating from NCAD, this young designer hit the ground running with her brand Amullanedesign; exhibiting at 2015’s Brown Thomas Create, and creating an elegant interior for Oslo Beauty Salon Dublin.
How would you describe your style?
Innovative, authentic, luxurious, unique, creative, contemporary, bespoke and above all – Irish designed. They have a true hand-rendered feeling – speckles of disorderly metallic and areas of dye embellish the surface of my designs. These little imperfections are what set my fabrics apart.
What does winning a Future Makers award mean to you?
Winning a Future Makers award makes you feel like all your hard work and long hours have been worthwhile. It is great to be recognised by the Design Crafts Council of Ireland. Winning such a prestigious award like this gives me a tremendous pedestal to continue creating and designing in Ireland.
How did you begin your journey into textiles?
When I was accepted into NCAD I decided to specialise in printed textiles. With my mom owning a boutique for more than 10 years, this choice came quite naturally to me. However, I decided to specialise in prints for interiors, as opposed to fashion. The print that I designed for a mid century chair is what really got my work noticed.
In November of last year, I traveled to London to compete in the Society of Dyers and Colourists International competition against 12 other countries for my use of colour within textiles. To my delight I was announced the overall winner. Since then, architects and interior designers have expressed interested in using my work within commercial and residential spaces alike. It was then that I decided to really go for it, and A.mullanedesign was born.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I am fortunate enough to be able to say I am working in my dream job. I am excited by the prospect of what the next couple of years will hold. I would love to grow A.mullanedesign into a brand of textiles that everybody lusts after. I hope to continue to expand my market further afield internationally whilst keeping the authentic hand rendered charm.
What’s your favourite material to work with?
My fabric choices are based on quality and are all 100 per cent natural fibres where possible; silk, linen, wool and cotton. I have spent time sourcing unusual and interesting base fabrics for printing so the end result stands out from anything else on the market.
Have you any core values when it comes to design?
When it comes to design I like to think of simplicity versus complexity. I love areas of intricate detail contrasted by large areas of breathing space – this gives you room to appreciate. For this reason, my textiles are really suited to a contemporary space – the textiles are the feature and the surroundings compliment them like a frame. I have chosen a colour palette that works well together and bolsters other natural materials; wood, stone, slate and copper.
What do you think sets you apart from other designers in Ireland at the moment?
My process is very traditional. It all begins in my sketchbook. I am inspired every day by my natural surroundings and I use a very traditional method of screen printing. However, I think the results are contemporary, unique and special. I like meeting with the client and discussing the colour, print and fabric options – this means that no two pieces are exactly alike, making them unique. I think people want Irish design and they like to know they are supporting Irish creatives.
Photos courtesy of amullanedesign.com