Here are 6 women to watch in Irish design and craft

Following a season of graduate exhibitions and with the Design Awards nearing, we shine a light on the ladies who we believe are championing Irish design.

It's been a busy few weeks, finishing off the September/October issue of Image Interiors & Living, which is packed full of talented Irish craftspeople and makers. Between our New Irish Design feature, revealing the shortlist for the 2019 Design Awards and perusing the graduate shows for the cream of the crop, we've been surrounded by incredible talent.

After combing through what seemed like a never-ending list of designers and makers, we stumbled upon more talent and skill than ever before and were particularly struck by the number of women going above and beyond for their craft.

Here are just a taster of the talented women who captured our attention.


Related: This Irish graduate is an interior designer for America’s top women-focused co-working space

Anya Paine, Textiles

Nominated as Emerging Irish Talent at this year's Design Awards, Anya's architectural textiles are inspired by contemporary buildings, focusing on simple cleans and flowing patterns.  Also part of our Grads to Watch feature, Anya’s graduate presentation Tactile Forms is a collection of clean-lined textiles, made with organic cotton and cruelty-free wool. @anyapaine 

Babs Belshaw, Pottery

Babs creates porcelain forms with a luxurious edge. Having studied at the Cardiff School of Art and Design and completing the DCCOI Ceramic Skills and Design course, she now works from her studio in Coleraine.

Nominated this year for a Design Awards for Best Tableware, she impressed the judges with her tactile designs. Babs is inspired by her home life near the coast and the rich and rugged landscapes along the Atlantic ocean.


Portrait: Aisling McCoy

Alison Rodgers, Ceramicist

Artist, maker and facilitator of creative healing workshops, Alison focuses on women’s issues specifically associated with mental health, trauma and concepts of recovery. She recently completed her MFA in design in the University of Ulster.

From delicate, quirky ceramics to haunted sculptural pieces, Alison was the recipient of a Future Makers Award.

Miss Ash Tray, Printmaker


Working primarily as a screen printer, NCAD graduate Ash creates vibrant artworks filled with personality. She takes inspiration from her everyday surroundings, building her own semi-satirical world filled with colour. Ash prints her designs on tote bags which, along with a range of prints, are available to purchase online.



Katie Spiers, Sculptor

Graduating from NCAD this year with a degree in Fine Art, Katie Spiers is one to keep a close eye on. Following her graduate collection, The Cry of the Curlew, she is now working on expanding her skills in figurative glass sculpting.  @katiespiersart 




Annemarie Reinhold, Metalsmith

Inspired by the natural world Annemarie creates sculptural and wearable pieces. Her work captures the movement and beauty of the constant flux in nature. No surprise that she's nominated as Emerging Irish Talent of this year's Design Awards. Annemarie also won the Newbridge Silverware Design Competition in 2014 in 2016 won a Future Maker Award. Needless to say, we'll definitely be seeing a lot more of her.


Read more: Come celebrate Irish design and craft with us at the Image Interiors & Living Design Awards 2019

Read more: The Pitch is back. Is this your year to win up to €100,000 for your business?

Read more: Look Inside: Niamh O'Sullivan's home office in Co Kildare

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