Kilkenny Shop's Scéal 2019 project culminates this September with a celebration of up-and-coming Irish design.
Kilkenny Shop has long been the place to go when looking for contemporary Irish design – from Nicholas Mosse’s beautiful sponge pottery and the colourful art of Eoin O’Connor, to the snuggly blankets of Foxford, Avoca and McNutt, you really get to see the breadth of craftsmanship on our little isle.
Now, Kilkenny is taking this support a step further, with their second “Scéal: A Story of Irish Design” project in association with Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, focusing on up-and-coming designers from around the country. Throughout the month of September, they are hosting a fashion and jewellery pop-up in their Nassau Street flagship shop. It is the culmination of the From Bench to Business initiative – a months-long mentorship programme for four graduates from the 2019 class of DCCoI’s Jewellery and Goldsmithing course in Co Kilkenny.
Priding themselves on championing Irish design in a contemporary retail space, Kilkenny’s jewellery buyer Una Heelan selected David McCauley, Eve Doyle, Jodie White and Mark Newman from an exciting pool of students for the four-month mentorship.
Walking the finalists through range development, pricing, visual merchandising and marketing, the project culminates this September with a display in Kilkenny’s flagship Nassau Street shop and the opportunity to win a €1,000 bursary. Voting is open to the public too, so check out the finalist below and then vote for your favourite.
It was on a weekend jewellery course in Dublin that Derry man David McCauley initially stumbled across the delicate craft that would become his career. Soon afterwards, he attended the Thomas School of Jewellery in Derry before being accepted to the DCCoI’s two-year course.
David’s curved, nature-inspired work combines silver and gold and his talent saw him commissioned to create the trophy for the 2019 Talamh Smart Agricultural Awards.
Having graduated from the National College of Art and Design in 2009 where she specialised in metalwork and jewellery, Eve Doyle realised that her passion was in bespoke jewellery design. Returning to the DCCoI’s course, Eve’s new creations are delicate and almost sculptural in their design, and she admits she enjoys pushing metal to its limits. “By using various angles and intersecting planes, and experimenting with different finishes and textures, I can breathe life into my jewellery in a contemporary and fresh way,” she explains.
Beginning in the famed Grennan Mill Craft School in Thomastown, Co Kikenny, Jodie White’s career in metalwork has taken her to Cork and on to Brooklyn, New York before returning home for the DCCoI’s course. Wanting to create pieces that were both geometric and organic, Jodie pushed herself to develop more complex designs. The result is an interlinked collection that appears both natural and new.
Another NCAD graduate, Mark Newman won the Boodles Design Competition while a student and has gone on to develop collections for Newbridge Silverware and Solvar. He was also invited to be Artist in Residence at the Glasgow School of Art in 2016. As part of the DCCoI’s course, Mark was selected as one of the recipients of the 2018 Future Makers Award & Supports programme for his work using repetitive, grid-like patterns that seem to have their own electric force.
You can vote for your favourite collection here and the winner will be announced on September 29.
There’s lots more happening as part of “Scéal” too. Pop into the Nassau Street shop and you’ll also find a fashion pop-up shop happening this September, featuring contemporary knitwear designer Pearl Reddington, illustrator duo Jill & Gill, sustainable fashion brand Reuben Avenue, milliner Jennifer Kelly of Beaded Gem chic womens’ fashionwear designer Sookyoung Song.
To celebrate "Scéal", Kilkenny are offering a €20 voucher with any purchase over €100 for the month of September to spend in store or online. Check out kilkenny.com for more, for visit one of their 17 shops nationwide.