Westport-based Jo Anne Butler has carved quite a name for herself in craft circles alongside her partner, Gearóid Muldowney. As Superfolk, they are now one of Ireland’s most in-demand design brands. Here, she shares her inspirations, favourite haunts and how she’d spend her ideal day.
The influential designer who most inspires me is the late Patrick Scott, who trod his own path and moved across disciplines and materials with seeming ease. He made work of simplicity, beauty, integrity and value that always catches me right in the heart. His work creates a balance of quiet introspection and outward connection in a way we can only aspire to with Superfolk.
My favourite place to eat is Pudding Row in Easkey, Co Sligo. It is relaxed, friendly, and has the very best range of breads baked on site – I only wish Easkey were closer to us so I could go there every weekend for their breads.
I love visiting Scotland on holiday. The Scots are evolving a brilliant infrastructure for sustainable tourism, one that Ireland can look to. We stayed at the Lazy Duck Hostel in the Cairngorms, whose Woodman’s Hut – an off-grid, self-catering log cabin with a rainwater shower and wood-burning stove – has won design awards.
On my ideal day off, I’d go snorkelling on the Blueway along Achill Island’s Keem Beach. I grew up in Mayo, and, after years living in cities, I live in Mayo again. I feel right at home and love exploring the wild, open landscapes, feeling connected to the natural world, weather, seasons, wildlife.
A recent favourite buy was a range of Heath Ceramics tableware. We had factory seconds shipped direct from California. They are simple, beautiful, hard- working, and we use them every day.
The design shop I most admire is the new Coffeewerk + Press on Cross Street in Galway. It stocks a collection of beautiful, tactile design and homeware products, great coffee, books and prints. facebook.com/coffeewerkandpress
Right now we are working on developing ideas and launch plans for new product ranges to be launched this autumn (including a candle holder, a hanging mobile and a vase) – oh, and welcoming our new baby into the world.