Monday, December 13, 2010

Launch of new Craft Fair at Galway City Museum

Sinead and I enjoy a glass of festive cheer at the Galway City Museum's new Craft Fair, which was officially launched on Saturday 11th December by Galway City Arts Officer, James Harrold.

Some of my embroidered journals are for sale at the Museum.

One of my 'Stone walls, tall grasses and moon' series of silk wall-hangings.

Another wall-hanging beside Joanna McGlynn's wonderful bird series.

Some more of my embroidered journals included in the mix of products on offer. Lisa Ryder's digitally printed cushions are also in this photo.
Thanks to Mairead Cunningham for the great photos of the event.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Groundworks Studios launch new craft space at Galway City Museum on Saturday 11th December

Embroidered wool hot water bottles by Caroline Moran

Knitted wool hats and gloves by BreegeWalsh.

Digitally printed cushions and scarves by Lisa Ryder.

Embroidered birds by Joanna McGlynn.

Embroidered and printed wall-art by Ester Kiely.

These are just some of the products now on sale at the new craft space at Galway City Museum, Spanish Arch, Galway. You are invited to come to the official opening by James Harald (Galway City Arts Officer) at 3pm on Saturday 11th December. It is a special celebration too as Groundworks Studios is officially 1 year old in December! And what a year it has been. Here are just some of the successes of the group:

 Following an exciting launch exhibition at Groundworks Studios in December 2010, the group quickly transformed the space to accommodate 15 full time studio members.
 Further fund-raising secured shared equipment such as a kiln, textile-printing equipment, studio furniture, etc.
 “Random Shuffle”, an exhibition of textile, ceramic and mixed media artwork took place in an unoccupied retail space in Abbeygate Street in July.
 Participation in Heritage Week with “Open Week’ at the Studios.
 A series of workshops in ceramics, textiles and creativity was launched in September, which brought members of the public into Groundworks Studios to learn new skills. For further information on ongoing workshops contact Emer on 087 4172029.
 Participation in Galway Culture Night in collaboration with other artists at Niland House Gallery, Merchants Road.
 In October, Groundworks Studios participated in the SCCUL Enterprise Awards at the Ballybane Enterprise Centre. Here the group’s display of work attracted a lot of admiring attention.
 In November the group launched “Open Studio” every Thursday from 12 until 6pm until December 16th.
 Individuals within the group have also been involved in the Crafts Council of Ireland’s Future Makers and CraftEd Programmes, Showcase Ireland, features in magazines such as House and Home and Galway Now, interviews on Galway Bay FM and involvement in other group exhibitions at home and abroad.

You can follow the group’s activities on Facebook or at If you would like to support the group in its future plans please contact Emer on 087 4172029 to become a “Friend of GroundWorks Studios”.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Crafts Exhibition at Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

I'm off to Castlebar on Saturday 27th November, with a whole new batch of embroidered journals, textile wall-art and other goodies for the annual craft fair at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar. This is always a great event organised by Alex and Brendan. The Arts Centre has a nice coffee-shop and it's a busy venue on the main street. I enjoy meeting customers who come to visit year after year and it's great to catch up with other craftspeople and see what they are working on. I often come home with a few Christmas purchases of my own as there is a great selection of ceramics, woodwork, jewellery, textiles and lots more on offer. If you are in the area, pop in and say hello as we get ready to enter into the Christmas season!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Printing Photos onto Fabric Workshop on Inisheer

An invitation to the Aran Islands is not one to refuse! So, when Mary McCarthy of "Mna le Cheile" asked me to come to Inisheer to demonstrate printing photos onto fabric, I didn't have to think twice.

But being November, with storms and rough seas forecast during the week, I was afraid that Winter was going to put a stop to my excitement.

However, although Saturday was was calm enough at sea and the ferry was running.

The workshop went very quickly as we wanted to try a good few techniques including:
  • Miracle Fabric Sheets from CJenkins }
  • EQ Printables from the Electric Quilt Company } both recommended for inkjet printers
  • Tshirt transfer paper from Tesco ironed onto fabric
  • Image Maker solution painted onto a photocopy and transferred to fabric
  • Acrylic Medium painted onto a photocopy and transferred to fabric
  • Printing directly onto our own fabric cut to A4 and ironed onto Freezer Paper to stabilise it before printing with laser/inkjet.
This photo shows the paper being removed from the Imagemaker print.

This photo shows the result of a tshirt transfer print.

Jenny and Cormac seem pleased with the result of the Imagemaker transfer.

Images of Inisheer hanging up to dry!
Each of these techniques has its own advantages and disadvantages. Results can vary depending on the printer, the brand of product used, the fabric used, etc. Colour and light-fastness will depend on the number of washes, the detergent used, etc.
But this workshop was a 'hands-on' introduction to the possibilities of incorporating printed photographs, drawings, documents, etc. into your own work to personalise it further.

Those attending the workshop came from different backgrounds in weaving, felting, patchwork, photography, costume design, etc. So hopefully everyone went away having learned something new to apply to their own work in the future.
As for me......
  • I learned a lot, as usual when I teach a workshop.
  • I received a warm welcome on a rainy night with delicious homemade soup and brown-bread.
  • I slept cosily under Mary and Pat's thatched roof in their lovely home.
  • I woke to a beautiful November morning on Inisheer looking out at the Atlantic.
  • I reminded myself of how magical Inisheer is at any time of year.

A big thanks to Mary for inviting me and to everyone at the class for such a lovely welcome. Go raibh mile maith agaibh!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Open Days at Groundworks Studios every Thursday until 16th December

Here are some photos of my embroidered journals and 'Mo Ghra Thu' blocks on display at the Open Day at Groundworks Studios on Thursday 11th November from 12-6pm (and every Thursday until December 16th). In the photo you can also see ceramics by Roisin Gregory and embroidered brooches by Caroline Moran.
These are just some of the textile, ceramic, fashion, interior and jewellery products made for sale by members of Groundworks Studios. If you are in Galway on Thursdays make your way to Lyrr Building 3, Mervue Business Park (entrance on Monivea Road if you are driving or through the pedestrian access opposite Renault Garage on the Tuam Road). This is a chance to meet the makers and see a selection of work being produced.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Creative Jounalling Class at Mohill Family Resource Centre, Leitrim

These are just some of the pages created by those attending the workshops on 'Creative Journalling' at Mohill Family Resource Centre. In our first class we looked at simple tricks to overcome the fear of starting to write, draw, collage or paint onto a brand-new white page. Then we used a variety of sources to try to find 'jump-off' or 'starting' points to express something on paper. The journals are meant to be a safe place to learn to explore ideas. Refining those ideas will come later.....for now it's all about learning to have fun and lose yourself in the process without worrying about the outcome. The course runs for 3 weeks, so hopefully we'll see some more pages from this group soon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mo ghra thu (I love you) series

Some new 'Mo ghra thu (I love you)' pieces destined for Kaleidoscope in Westport and the Cork Textiles Network stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show in the RDS.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Embroidered Journals for GroundWorks Studios

Some new journals on their way to the GroundWorks stand at the Ballybane Enterprise Centre on Thursday 21st October. As a new Enterprise set up in 2009/2010 in the Mervue and Ballybane area, GroundWorks Studios is one of a number of new businesses being considered for Enterprise Awards in the area. This is a great opportunity for the group to inform the public and the local business community about what has been achieved in the first year and future plans for the group.
GroundWorks Studios will open to the public with artworks for sale every Thursday from mid-November until Christmas. I will have some work available for sale at these open days. More info to come.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Journals in jewel-colours!

A new batch of A6 Journals are off to Kaleidoscope, the new craft gallery in Westport, These have been made in a variety of jewel colours, with mixed textures of chenille, wool, silk and cotton, vintage buttons and beads, variegated threads and some words printed on fabrics and 'salvaged' from a beautiful old book of sheet music from around 1890-1920.
I hope to make some more journals soon in anticipation of the opening of my new on-line shop (watch this space!). A big thank you to Aga, creator of beautiful yarns and knitted shawls (see who took the time recently to walk me through the experience of setting up shop on

Mo ghra thu (I love you) series of work

I'm working on making a new series of 'Mo ghra thu (I love you) 8x8 blocks. I'm changing the colour of the text in the background, the thread I'm sketching with and the border covering the deep frame. The one above is on its way to a new craft shop on Bridge Street in Westport. See for more info on this lovely shop/gallery of contemporary Irish Art and Craft.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Seeing Red" an exhibition of work by Cork Textiles Network currently showing at the Bishopstown Library, Cork until 29th October

These 4 pieces are stretched over "fat 8's" (8 x 8 inch deep frames). The theme for the Cork Textiles Network exhibition is "Seeing Red". I wanted to play with thread-sketching with a black and white background and free-machine embroidery in red thread. I printed the words 'mo ghra thu' (I love you) as a background on white cotton. Adding wadding to the back, I free-machine quilted my drawings and patterns on top. I added a red border to cover the deep frame.
One of these sold on the opening night, so that was nice!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Courses in pottery, textiles and creativity at GroundWorks Studios

GroundWorks Studios are offering a range of courses in pottery, weaving, textile printing, patchwork, feltmaking, creative embroidery and creative journalling. For a full list of classes and information on how to apply see Courses start the week of 4th October.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Galway Culture Night 24th September

Galway Culture Night takes place this Friday, 24th September with a fantastic range of free events at over 30 venues around the city. For a full list of events see

Some of my work will be included along with other members of GroundWorks Studios and a range of other artists at Niland House, Merchants Road, Galway. I am showing some patchwork pieces to promote the workshops I will be teaching at GroundWorks Studios, Lyrr Building, Mervue Business Park, starting in October. For a full list of textile and ceramics workshops see

'Galway Now' & 'Limerick Now' magazine is on-line

Golden Egg Publications published an article written by Lynda Cookson about my textile work in their July/August magazines. It featured in both 'Galway Now' and 'Limerick Now'and the article can now be seen on-line at

Monday, September 20, 2010

'Seeing Red': An exhibition by Cork Textiles Network

I'm currently working on some pieces for this exhibition which opens on 7th October and runs until 29th October.

'Tread softly, tread bravely'

This baby quilt/wall-hanging is now completed. It was inspired by the WB Yeats Poem, ' He wishes for the cloths of heaven'. It is intended as a quilt to wrap and protect the newborn, cushion the falls of a toddler, protect the growing child on their journey to adulthood and remind them of their parents' unconditional love.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Patchwork Tuesdays!

Patchwork classes for beginners will start on Tuesday 21st Sep from 10.00am to 12.30 in Manusflynn, near Caherlistrane, Co. Galway. For full details click here: Places are very limited so if you are interested make contact quickly!

"Make it New" Exhibition by Textile Art Forum at Lakelands Quilt Festival

The Lakelands Quilt Festival runs for the month of September at the museum in Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan. As a member of the Textile Art Forum, my work is included in the group's exhibition "Make it New" which is part of the festival programme. For some lovely photos taken by group member Jan click here

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tread Softly, Tread Bravely

Photos of a small baby quilt in progress, inspired by the WB Yeats Poem "He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven".

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

GroundWorks Studios offer workshops in textiles and ceramics for Heritage Week

Photo: Emer Hughes at work at her loom

I'm an associate member of GroundWorks Studios and am delighted to be part of this new vibrant collective in Galway.

As part of Heritage Week the Studio will open its doors to the public for a range of workshops in textiles and ceramics. For more details click here

For more information on GroundWorks Studios see and and Facebook.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

'Random Shuffle' An exhibition by GroundWorks Studios

Here are some photos of the window display of work by GroundWorks Studios in Abbeygate Street. The work will remain on exhibition until 8th August and may move to another venue after that. For more information on the studios visit and

Friday, July 23, 2010

'Random Shuffle' An exhibition by members of GroundWorks Studios

"Random Shuffle" is an exhibition of work by members of GroundWorks Studios and was opened by Galway Arts Officer, James Harold on Friday 23rd July and will run until August 8th in Abbeygate Street, Galway (next to Subway).

GroundWorks Studios is based in Mervue Business Park and provides facilities for ceramics and textile artists in a collective environment. This is the group's second exhibition and provides a showcase of recent work by the artists at a Galway city centre venue, to coincide with Galway Arts Festival and Galway Racing Festival.