This is my personal ‘blog’ that is more of a photo journal than written content. Photos are from places I visit and things that I do. I am not a ‘social influencer’ and do not receive payment or products for anything I post about! It’s simply a photo journal of things that may be of interest to those who share my passion for textiles and the Irish landscape. Enjoy!

'Dublin can be heaven, with coffee at eleven, and a stroll in Stephen's Green....'

It’s impossible to ramble through St. Stephen’s Green on a beautiful sunny morning and not have the voice of Noel Purcell and the Dublin Saunter ring in your ears! I was meeting up with a few textile friends at the RHA to visit an exhibition and decided it was much more enjoyable to walk through the park than around it.

St. Stephen’s Green

St. Stephen’s Green

St. Stephen's Green
Loving the abstract reflections in the water…

Loving the abstract reflections in the water…

We met up at the RHA and visited an exhibition by textile artist Ursula Burke entitled ‘The Precariat’. It was a really interesting exhibition that included embroideries, porcelain and drawing. This exhibition has now ended but if it travels to any other venue I would highly recommend a visit. You can read about the exhibition here http://www.rhagallery.ie/exhibitions/the-precariat/

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery, Dublin, Incredibly detailed embroideries

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery, Dublin, Incredibly detailed embroideries

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery Dublin

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery Dublin

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery Dublin

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery Dublin

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery, Dublin. Detail of embroidery

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery, Dublin. Detail of embroidery

Ursula Burke Exhibition at RHA Gallery, Dublin

Ursula Burke Exhibition at RHA Gallery, Dublin

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery, Dublin

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery, Dublin

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery, Dublin

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery, Dublin

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery, Dublin

Ursula Burke Exhibition RHA Gallery, Dublin

We then headed towards The Doorway Gallery on Frederick Street where there was an exhibition of embroideries by Textile Artist Aileen Johnston - ‘The Home Place’. These were beautiful detailed embroideries inspired by her home farm in Wicklow.

They have a lovely selection of pieces available at the Gallery. I was particularly drawn to the ceramics of Carol Read and Richard Ballantyne who work together creating beautiful raku ceramic pieces. These quirky animal pieces stayed in my mind over the next few days…..I paid another visit to the gallery….and yes, I came home with some new ‘feathered’ friends!

Perched on a vintage garden sprayer….I love them! They’ve all got grumpy faces….adorable!

Perched on a vintage garden sprayer….I love them! They’ve all got grumpy faces….adorable!

Here you can watch a YouTube video of Carol and Richard turning a lump of clay into a beautiful raku hare, I’m truly amazed by the process…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRHL_u0AqOM


Artist in Residence - House of Ireland

I was delighted to be one of three invited Artists in Residence at House of Ireland's lovely new Grafton Street store recently.  What an amazing pop-up studio space!  It was lovely to meet with so many visitors in store and demonstrate my work in progress. 

House of Ireland, 114 Grafton Street, Dublin

House of Ireland, 114 Grafton Street, Dublin

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Some of my pieces on display at House of Ireland

Some of my pieces on display at House of Ireland

What a stunning staircase, 114 Grafton St is a former bank building and a protected structure from the early 1900's, lovely to see these old features retained

What a stunning staircase, 114 Grafton St is a former bank building and a protected structure from the early 1900's, lovely to see these old features retained

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With fellow artists on the day, Martina Scott and Sharon McDaid

With fellow artists on the day, Martina Scott and Sharon McDaid

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Thank you to everyone who stopped by.

National Crafts & Design Fair - Gifted RDS Dublin, December 2017

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my stand at the RDS this year. It was a marathon six days! As a solo artist working from home, it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet everyone and chat about my work. Thank you for all your lovely comments and a huge thank you to everyone who decided to go home with a little piece of my textile art. It is honestly a privilege to work at something that brings me such happiness in the making and that then resonates with those who decide to purchase.

Also, a very special thank you to Cecilia from Cecilia Casey Designs who I’ve shared a stand with for the last three years. Cecilia’s beautiful tactile jewellery sits so well with my textured landscapes, we are a perfectly matched pair! Some of Cecilia’s beautiful gemstones have even found their way into a couple of my seascapes :-)

It’s time to relax now and embrace the festive season….Enjoy!

Breda

Still standing after six days!

Still standing after six days!

A selection of Cecilia’s beautiful jewellery…

A selection of Cecilia’s beautiful jewellery…

Cecilia holding the fort while I raced around doing some last minute shopping!

Cecilia holding the fort while I raced around doing some last minute shopping!

Craft in Action - Brú na Bóinne/Newgrange Visitor Centre, August 2017

I was delighted to have the opportunity to demonstrate my textile art at the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre this summer. It was a very busy few days...thank you to everybody who stopped by, I really enjoyed chatting with everyone and explaining how the magic happens.....no paint, just fabric and fibre!  Thanks also to all the other crafters who made the experience such fun, it was a pleasure to spend time with you all, Breda

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Visit to Ferguson's Irish Linen, Banbridge and the Mountains of Mourne

I had a lovely visit to Ferguson Irish Linen in Banbridge with another rambling buddy....Leanne from Indiana. Leanne first visited Ireland in 2012 and has been a regular visitor since.  She takes wonderful photos of her travels which you can find at travelbyleanne.com. We met through a post on my facebook page regarding Donegal tweed and have been friends since, both sharing a love of textiles and photo trails - I point and shoot on auto, Leanne takes the time to adjust her settings and waits for just the right moment to get the perfect shot! Leanne is a avid quilter and had been looking to buy some traditional Irish Linen to use as a base for her amazing Celtic Knots. I'd done the research and discovered that Ferguson's offer factory tours twice a week....we signed up and headed north.

The shop at Ferguson's Irish Linen

The shop at Ferguson's Irish Linen

Flax, the raw material for linen.

Flax, the raw material for linen.

We had a wonderful tour given by Judith. She went to great lengths to tell us about the history of linen making in Banbridge and brought us on the tour of the factory. There's a charge of £6 for this tour which is well worth it, this is a working factory - you get to see all the processes as they happen and there is nothing Judith does not know about linen!

We had a wonderful tour given by Judith. She went to great lengths to tell us about the history of linen making in Banbridge and brought us on the tour of the factory. There's a charge of £6 for this tour which is well worth it, this is a working factory - you get to see all the processes as they happen and there is nothing Judith does not know about linen!

Starting the warp

Starting the warp

The fine linen thread is imported

The fine linen thread is imported

Linen tea towels being woven

Linen tea towels being woven

Beautiful damask...

Beautiful damask...

These waste trims ended up being knitted into clothing that was used for costumes in Game of Thrones.

These waste trims ended up being knitted into clothing that was used for costumes in Game of Thrones.

The 'bin' full of wonderful sample lengths.....more fabric from Game of Thrones, specially woven to give an old weathered look

The 'bin' full of wonderful sample lengths.....more fabric from Game of Thrones, specially woven to give an old weathered look

Sample cards ready to go to large wholesale shows such as Premiere Vision Paris

Sample cards ready to go to large wholesale shows such as Premiere Vision Paris

As a textile artist, what a treat to get to see these amazing working samples, some of which are used in film and theatre and many going to large international fashion houses.....serious awe!

As a textile artist, what a treat to get to see these amazing working samples, some of which are used in film and theatre and many going to large international fashion houses.....serious awe!

As well as all the innovative linens being woven in Banbridge, Ferguson's also continue to produce traditional damask table cloths, napkins etc.

As well as all the innovative linens being woven in Banbridge, Ferguson's also continue to produce traditional damask table cloths, napkins etc.

Samples of fabrics in the showroom

Samples of fabrics in the showroom

What amazing textures...

What amazing textures...

A perfect title!

A perfect title!

These samples are inspired by vintage French fabrics

These samples are inspired by vintage French fabrics

I loved this one too and the inspiration behind it.....remember when your TV lost it's signal? 'Interference'

I loved this one too and the inspiration behind it.....remember when your TV lost it's signal? 'Interference'

You can not leave Ferguson's without checking out the Bargain Bins...Leanne and myself went away with quite a hoard!

You can not leave Ferguson's without checking out the Bargain Bins...Leanne and myself went away with quite a hoard!

Just down the road from Ferguson's is the F.E McWilliam Gallery and Studio. This is a lovely gallery space with a very welcome cafe which overlooks the sculpture garden. F.E. McWilliam was a sculptor who was born in Banbridge in 1909 but lived and worked in London. After his death in 1992 his estate gifted the contents of his studio in Holland Park to the local council. A replica studio is in the garden and a gallery containing his maquettes - well worth a visit and conveniently located just off the M1

Just down the road from Ferguson's is the F.E McWilliam Gallery and Studio. This is a lovely gallery space with a very welcome cafe which overlooks the sculpture garden. F.E. McWilliam was a sculptor who was born in Banbridge in 1909 but lived and worked in London. After his death in 1992 his estate gifted the contents of his studio in Holland Park to the local council. A replica studio is in the garden and a gallery containing his maquettes - well worth a visit and conveniently located just off the M1

After Banbridge we headed East towards the Mourne Mountains....

After Banbridge we headed East towards the Mourne Mountains....

Both rhododendron and gorse in bloom...

Both rhododendron and gorse in bloom...

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Had to stop to take a closer look at the bog cotton on the side of the road

Had to stop to take a closer look at the bog cotton on the side of the road

This was our destination.....hidden in the mountains....Silent Valley

This was our destination.....hidden in the mountains....Silent Valley

Silent Valley is a reservoir that was built in the early 1900's and is a lovely park to visit. You can follow a variety of walking paths and discover the history behind the reservoir at the Information Centre.....a really beautiful spot.

Silent Valley is a reservoir that was built in the early 1900's and is a lovely park to visit. You can follow a variety of walking paths and discover the history behind the reservoir at the Information Centre.....a really beautiful spot.

The stone walls around the Mournes are stunning and impeccably maintained

The stone walls around the Mournes are stunning and impeccably maintained

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Shoreline at Rostrevor

Shoreline at Rostrevor

The Newry Canal

The Newry Canal

Towards Carlingford

Towards Carlingford

Beautiful calm at Carlingford Lough

Beautiful calm at Carlingford Lough

The Mint, Carlingford

The Mint, Carlingford

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Carlingford Dominican Priory

Carlingford Dominican Priory

Fitzpatrick's, Rockmarshall, Dundalk

Fitzpatrick's, Rockmarshall, Dundalk

Home, after an adventurous day, just in time to catch the sunset on the Estuary...

Home, after an adventurous day, just in time to catch the sunset on the Estuary...

A Trip to Avoca

One of my favourite spots to visit....how could you not love Avoca! I remember walking past The Mill at Avoca in the early 1980's, it was a very different place to what we see today, but the tradition of weaving was still the same.   Be prepared for a riot of colour and texture and a feast for the eyes...

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The weavers at the mill sometimes invite visitors to rummage through the bins beneath the looms....I didn't need to be asked twice...I left nothing behind! A little bit of patience and what started out as one serious mess of fibres turned into neat little row of skeins :-)

The weavers at the mill sometimes invite visitors to rummage through the bins beneath the looms....I didn't need to be asked twice...I left nothing behind! A little bit of patience and what started out as one serious mess of fibres turned into neat little row of skeins :-)

Yeats Weekend, Sligo

Celebrating 150 years since the birth of William Butler Yeats...

"Entwined Memories" Exhibition -  A selected exhibition by members of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, traveled to The Model Sligo and was in situ for all the Yeats celebrations....I was duty bound to check it out!  The exhibition looked fantastic in The Model, it received a warm Sligo welcome...so many lovely comments about all the work.

 

"Entwined Memories" at the Model, Sligo

"Entwined Memories" at the Model, Sligo

There was so much going on over the weekend it was a challenge to fit it all in....

Lisadell House

Lisadell House

It was all happening at Lisadell House where they were having a big birthday bash for W.B. Yeats, who had spent a lot of time at Lisadell, I can understand why, the house is beautiful and the setting along the Atlantic shores is stunning.

Lots of media figures had turned up to read some of Yeats poetry...

Anne Doyle

Anne Doyle

Senator David Norris

Senator David Norris

Brian Dobson

Brian Dobson

Prize giving for Lisadell Art Competition...Congratulations to Ian Carty.

Prize giving for Lisadell Art Competition...Congratulations to Ian Carty.

First prize went to a beautiful painting of Hazelwood

First prize went to a beautiful painting of Hazelwood

The gardens at Lisadell

The gardens at Lisadell

Time to stop off for a quick coffee and browse around Rathcormac Craft Village

Vintage Lane Tea Room

Vintage Lane Tea Room

Lots of quirky features in the tearoom and a wonderful selection of cakes!

Lots of quirky features in the tearoom and a wonderful selection of cakes!

Got a chance to see woodturner Colm Brennan at work

Got a chance to see woodturner Colm Brennan at work

A sample of Colm's beautiful work

A sample of Colm's beautiful work

Ian Carty from Ian Carty Ceramics pictured at the shop at Lisadell House.  Ian's studio is also at Rathcormac Craft Village

Ian Carty from Ian Carty Ceramics pictured at the shop at Lisadell House.  Ian's studio is also at Rathcormac Craft Village

There's a market at Rathcormack on Saturdays with lots of locally produced food and crafts...I was drawn to the locally made chocolate! I can verify, this is really good chocolate!

There's a market at Rathcormack on Saturdays with lots of locally produced food and crafts...I was drawn to the locally made chocolate! I can verify, this is really good chocolate!

Next stop was Drumcliff which is just across the road

The Church at Drumcliff and Teach Bán Gallery

The Church at Drumcliff and Teach Bán Gallery

There was a lovely textile exhibition in Teach Bán by The Textile Collective - a collective of textile artists from around the Sligo area.

Alison Hunter from the Textile Collective, centre with Mary Whelan DCCOI and Donegal Textile Artist Bernie Murphy

Alison Hunter from the Textile Collective, centre with Mary Whelan DCCOI and Donegal Textile Artist Bernie Murphy

Alison showing us a lovely interactive project they had running for the duration of the exhibition - visitors were invited to add their mark to the cloth, inspired by the poem "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven"

Alison showing us a lovely interactive project they had running for the duration of the exhibition - visitors were invited to add their mark to the cloth, inspired by the poem "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven"

I had to take a closer look at the rhodedendrons...

I had to take a closer look at the rhodedendrons...

This lovely old cottage looks like it's wearing a hat!

This lovely old cottage looks like it's wearing a hat!

There was another textile exhibition on at the Nazareth Nursing Home featuring the work of Theresa Kelly and Bernie Gallagher entitiled 'The Light and the Half Light' inspired by a W.B. Yeats poem.

Also happening at the Nazareth as part of the Lily Lolly Craftfest was a weekend workshop with Philippa Turnbull who specializes in historic crewel work embroidery.

Evening was drawing in and I still had to find The Isle of Inisfree....so back on the road...

Got there just as the sun was setting on the 150th Anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats, how wonderful. This was an art installation that was due to be placed on the Island, but there were a few technical problems and it got no further than the jetty. I think it framed the island perfectly!

Another day....lots more to see.  Tobernalt Holy Well is a beautifully maintained well and an oasis of calm not far from Sligo town. 

On towards Hazelwood....

All that's missing is the 'Gone Fishing' sign!

All that's missing is the 'Gone Fishing' sign!

Classiebawn Castle at Mullaghmore with Benbulben in the background

Classiebawn Castle at Mullaghmore with Benbulben in the background

Then drove around Benbulben towards Glencar Waterfall

Can anyone be more relaxed?

Can anyone be more relaxed?

Stopped off on the way home at Lough Owel just outside Mullingar. There's a beautiful sculpture there by Linda Brunker inspired by the Children of Lir

Technique Workshop with Pam McGregor

A weekend workshop with Pam McGregor, organized by Feltmakers Ireland. This was a non stop intensive weekend full of amazing techniques.  There wasn't a minute to rest and I just about got time to take a few snaps as I went. I'm not the most proficient wet felter but I did end up with with my little collection of samples....and exhausted!

So, lots of notes were taken, not sure that I can make any sense of them looking back, but I have all my samples as a reference and ideas for future projects.

Here's a few images of Pam's beautiful samples and how mine could have turned out!

I wasn't confident enough to take on Pam's amazing teapot/vessel workshop - maybe next time!  If you get an opportunity to attend one of Pam's workshops, I'd highly recommend... go for it.

 

 

Seascapes 2011

Here's some images from the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland 'Seascapes' Exhibition in 2011.  This was a selected exhibition. The first three images are of my work, then I've included images from other artists participating in the exhibition - apologies for not having time to credit each and every one at the moment - I'll get back to it!