Meet the Makers
We are proud to support small creative businesses and when you shop with us, you support them too. Each of our wonderful makers has their own story to tell, so here we meet the people behind the products.
Adele originally studied fine art, dismaying her tutors by insisting on painting wildlife. The inspiration for all her work is the natural world. Central to this is her ongoing practice of drawing from life. Whether drawing wintering birds through a telescope or clipping magnifiers to her glasses to study insects in her garden, she still insists on drawing wildlife.
It is this careful study, observation and research that enables Adele to design her paper art creations. Immediately recognisable species are depicted through the use of simple shapes and colours. Each design is a learning process that expands Adele's self taught paper engineering skills, and reveals new ideas and possibilities for the next.
Adele has received a number awards and bursaries from Arts Council NI, Ards and North Down Borough Council and the Society of Wildlife Artists. She has taken part in numerous artist's residencies some specifically wildlife focused, such as the John Busby Seabird Drawing course and the Ayatana Research Residency “Parliament of Owls” in Quebec, Canada.
Ann Feely, BA (Hons) followed the traditional route of formal art training; ‘A’ Levels, a diploma in Art & Design and then graduated with a 2:1 Hons Degree from the University of Ulster (Belfast College of Art).
She is an artist, designer, creative educator and an arts/events project manager living in Belfast, close to the river Lagan.
A country girl at heart, her work is inspired by the natural environment, wildlife, trees, rivers, flora, landscapes and seascapes. Ann wants to convey the power, beauty and fleeting moments of nature wherever she finds it, using spontaneity and unplanned elements as well as deliberate design within each piece of art.
Concerning her style, she generally doesn't like being placed in a 'box', preferring instead to continually experiment and allowing her work to evolve organically in her studio. Her style is loosely based on impressionism and a form of expressionism. She paints in layers, creating textures painted with palette knives and enjoys applying her energy into throwing flicks of paint onto the surface. Her chosen media is acrylics, oils, pastels, inks and mixed media.
Cabinet of Curious Crafts
Amanda Jones works predominantly in fibre arts, using yarn as her primary material. She chose crochet as her method of self-expression as she enjoys the flexibility and potential of a ball of yarn and a single metal hook. Additionally, in the last couple of years she has moved away from using single use acrylic and other synthetic yarns to more sustainable and eco-friendly yarns that are also vegan, such as organic cotton and bamboo, to reflect her personal beliefs as well as to bring a higher quality to her work.
Drawing inspiration from the natural world around her, Amanda designs unique and creative accessories such as avocados with faces, North Coast and Glens inspired hats, as well as fun, colourful greetings cards. Her pieces all have a contemporary feel, and she enjoys stitching life and fun into every piece she designs.
Amanda grew up in North Wales and loved the sea and walking in the hills. She has always been creative and enjoyed making pompoms, learning French knitting and taking part in the Welsh arts festival – the Eisteddfod; singing, dancing and reciting poetry.
She then lived in Liverpool with her partner Emma, their 2 cats and her large yarn stash. After 20 years of city life, they packed up and moved to the Northern Ireland countryside. She works mostly from home where she can crochet on the sofa and drink tea. Amanda also runs classes teaching people to crochet and progress their skills.
Meet Clare, a candle maker from Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland. Clare is a self-confessed candle addict who has always loved the ambiance that candles bring. Clare became increasingly concerned about the quality of the candles she was buying and explored making her own. Thus, her journey as a candle maker began. It turns out there is a lot of science involved in making candles!
Despite managing another successful business for 20 years Clare wanted to explore something that she truly loved, and that was making candles. However, the transition into marketing via social media wasn’t as easy! Today, Clare is the proud owner of CoCo Bleu Candles after friends and family convinced her to go for it. Her love for candles inspired her to create her own line of products, including soy candles, wax melts, and diffusers that are vegan, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and sustainable. Sustainability is at the forefront of her brand, and all of CoCo Bleu’s packaging is made from recycled and recyclable materials.
As a mother of three ‘manchildren’ and two dogs, Clare knows the importance of having a pleasantly fragranced home. The name CoCo Bleu was inspired by the family’s blue French bulldog CoCo, that Clare and her family adore. When she's not busy running her businesses, Clare loves spending time with her family and going for walks in Three Mile Water with her husband and dogs. They even have a touring caravan and enjoy waking up in a forest to the sound of the wind in the trees & having BBQs in the snow. Their favourite caravan sites are Tollymore Forest Park and Benone on the North Coast.
Clare's passion for candles lies in their rich and exotic scents, particularly sandalwood, musk, and amber. She wanted to create candles that looked glamorous and luxurious and would add a touch of elegance to any home. Her love for exploring different scent notes has led her to create the most opulent scents that she uses to fragrance her own home. She believes that candles & diffusers are not just a decoration but an essential part of any household, especially with pets, to create a fragrant and cosy atmosphere.
Overall, Clare is a passionate candle maker who has turned her love for candles into a successful business. Her commitment to sustainability and ethical values shines through her brand, making her candles not only beautiful but also conscious and eco-friendly.
Have a Day Designs
A family-run business comprising of sisters Aoife, Denise and Aoibheann, and mum Frances, Have A Day Designs was established in 2020 and is based in the Ards Peninsula. Originally from counties Down and Armagh and with family from Tyrone and Antrim, the team were constantly surrounded by a wide and varied range of dialects, accents, slang and idioms specific to various parts of Northern Ireland. This became the focal point of their creations, where the combination of warm familiarity, gentle humour and unique sound would be celebrated in simple but bold designs.
In Have A Day Designs’ work you’ll find phrases you remember older generations saying years ago, as well as words and sayings specific to locales across the North on handmade greeting cards, art prints, wrapping paper, gifts and more. Have A Day Designs is also an eco-friendly company, using recycled and recyclable papers, cards, and envelopes, as well as biodegradable packaging.
Danielle Eve Griffin
Danielle is a Yorkshire born, Belfast-based watercolour artist, inspired by all thing’s nature and history. Growing up on her granddad's farm in Longford, Ireland, Danielle spent much of her childhood waddling through fields, eating berries off trees, and watching her granddad tend to the cabbage patch in his garden. This is where her love of nature truly began. As an artist, Danielle aims to capture this love of nature through the mediums of watercolour and ink, which allows her to create detailed, and expressive art that carries an air of wistfulness.
Aside from nature, Danielle has always been fascinated by history, and is specifically inspired with historical buildings and architecture. This is demonstrated in her ‘NI Landmarks’ collection that takes inspiration from architectural buildings and popular landmarks across Northern Ireland. Again, Danielle combines the mediums of watercolour and ink to inject fun and personality into her work, all the while encapsulating the individual characteristics of each subject.
Daisy & Joy
Based in Co. Antrim, Daisy & Joy is a small business owned by Emma McAlister. Emma’s business originally started as a hobby to design prints for her own home. She decided to launch Daisy & Joy because she wanted to offer custom designs for people who couldn’t find what they were looking for elsewhere that would match their interior style.
While initially Daisy & Joy specialised in custom prints, Emma has since expanded her range of products to include handmade greetings cards and most recently has released her first range of wedding stationery designs.
Frances McKenna Art
Born near Navanfort in Armagh in 1970, Frances McKenna graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art from the University of Ulster at Belfast.
Throughout her art career, Frances has achieved many awards for her work, including first prize of the Bass Ireland Award. Her major collectors include UTV, The Irish News, Northern Ireland Civil Service, Bass Ireland, Oifig an Taoiseach, and Armagh City Council, as well as many private collections. Frances has exhibited her work in various group and solo shows in galleries throughout Ireland.
Frances’s current paintings are her emotional and nostalgic response for her love of Donegal and her home in Armagh. Her work captures the atmosphere and energy of the moment.
‘Today my paintings are about portraying life’s beautiful energy. I want to move my viewer, to lift their spirits. I want them to be pulled into the painting and feel uplifted,’ explains Frances. ‘It is my hope that the viewer of my work can get lost in my paintings, with a sense of joy… To walk and lose oneself among the wild flowers in a vast open space of sunshine; to feel the wind in their face; listen to the sounds of the oceans; taste the sea salt in the air and the smells of Irish turf burning fires. To live among colour of every description. A little piece of heaven on earth.’
Ivyblossom Candles are two sisters, Leanne and Lynsey who are extremely passionate and proud of their little business. They have spent many, many hours testing and perfecting their candles and wax melts, making them the perfect fit for any space.
Ivyblossom Candles believe in a positive impact on our environment so therefore all their candles are made from sustainable, ethical and eco-friendly high-end home fragrances. They use a unique blend of natural waxes which contain no palm, beeswax or petroleum derived products. Their 100% natural wooden wicks (FSC) have been specifically chosen to provide not only that luxurious touch but also for being toxin and phthalate free. They are harvested from forests responsibly managed and environmentally conscious plus the soft crackling sound they make is simply delightful. This ensures clean burning, environmentally conscious, and vegan-friendly products for your enjoyment.
Their packaging is 100% compostable, recyclable and the eco flo peanuts simply dissolve in water.
Each candle is lovingly blended, poured and packaged by hand within their family business in small batches to ensure quality is paramount for all your enjoyment and relaxation.
Jenny Baird Art
Jenny is a mixed media artist based in Bangor, Co Down. Although having a degree in English Literature and a Masters in Renaissance literature, Jenny’s passion always lay within the creative arts.
Jenny has exhibited work both in Northern and Southern Ireland. Her work features in both private and public collections - including that of the Northern Ireland Civil Service. Jenny began her artistic journey as a printmaker, winning the Royal Ulster Academy ‘Printmakers’ prize twice. Although she still does a little printmaking, Jenny has turned her attention to mixed media art.
Jenny is married with three sons. A keen animal lover, she works from home where she is accompanied by her numerous furry and feathered friends. When not creating, you will find her in her garden tending to her veggies or planning what to plant next.
Jenny enjoys making original pieces of art that are a wee bit different, often incorporating quotes in her work and mixing stitching and painting. A mixed media approach makes each piece of art unique and allows for a wide creative scope. Every day brings a different creation. Whether it be recycling vintage tobacco tins, cutting flowers from recycled beer cans or using quotes from vintage books, there’s always something interesting on the horizon.
K Brady Art Room
Kerry Brady has had an obsession with drawing from a very young age, but when studying for her Masters, didn’t have as much time. During lockdown she rediscovered her passion and found art to be a great stress reliever. She became inspired by the wildlife she saw in her garden and while out walking.
‘I had always done pet portraits for my family and friends, but never had the courage to sell my work until this year,’ explains Kerry. ‘I also find drawing fur very therapeutic, which is why I mostly do animal drawings.’
Kerry enjoys playing about with different mediums so doesn’t conform to a particular style. She has recently developed her range of wildlife art to include home ware items including mugs, coasters and tote bags.
Ruth Gilmore Jewellery
Ruth Gilmour has been an artist for many years and her paintings have been exhibited in Ireland, Barcelona, Lucerne, New York, and San Francisco. Recently alongside painting, Ruth also has been Silversmithing.
During the past year she had the opportunity to transfer her skills and passion for creativity and design to handcrafting jewellery and launched LUREsilver. She has had success to date selling her pieces at home as well as to customers in Ireland, Italy, Germany and the USA.
Producing her collections in her home studio in Banbridge, Co. Down, Ruth is inspired by the heritage and countryside at home in Northern Ireland. Her recent collection 19.5 has a strong familiarity as she draws on the shapes, patterns, textures found along the 19.5 miles of the Mourne wall. This collection is available in Sterling Silver either Matt, high shine or with Patina finish as well as 9ct Gold.
Ruth is registered at the London assay Office and all her work is hall marked and bears Ruth’s makers mark also.
Mark McKeown Photography
Mark McKeown is a landscape photographer based in Newtownabbey. He loves the outdoors and grew up watching his father and grandfather always having a camera to hand. Around six years ago, Mark picked up a camera and decided to start shooting, beginning his self-taught journey.
During the week he is an HGV driver, but at weekends spends his time with his wife and photographing landscapes.
‘My favourite location is Donegal – its land and seascapes are beautiful and among the best coastlines in the world, battered by the wild Atlantic Ocean; a truly wild place. Capturing the landscape is amazing as its constantly changing.'
Mark also has a passion for Astro, night and drone photography. ‘I’d recommend anyone grab a chair and look up at the night sky – it will take your breath away. We know so little about the stars and it’s a joy to capture them. I try and do my best to put the viewer into the image I’m shooting so they feel they’re there with me.’
We have a range of Mark’s best-selling photos available, from the stunning Gleno Waterfall to the mysterious Dark Hedges. But don’t take our word for it, check the collection out yourself.
Maggie Mcatamney is an award-winning designer/maker, artist and fully qualified art teacher. A University of Ulster graduate, Maggie has exhibited her paintings and textile art internationally and has 21 years’ experience of working in Art & Design, including her own fashion label in London and contemporary jewellery making.
Based in Belfast, Maggie is inspired by the magic of her Irish heritage and culture, and set up Mothú in April 2021, designing and producing jewellery and craft pieces through a method of laser cut digital craft.
“I really began to explore the historical patterns and motifs of ancient history in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland which gives me an excuse to get out and about with my camera capturing the colours and textures of a stunning landscape,” explains Maggie.
The result is a wonderful range of jewellery that combines history with contemporary design.
Natasha Ellison Photography
Based in Ballynahinch in County Down, Natasha Ellison has taken a step away from her career as a beauty therapist to concentrate on her passion of photography. Inspired by her grandfather who was a photographer, Natasha has had a keen interest for many years, and that interest was fuelled when her husband bought her a Nikon 3400 DSLR in 2017 – her first ‘real’ camera.
‘I began to get out more with the camera and after doing some digital photography courses, found I really, really loved it. Especially capturing nature, scenery and wildlife. I felt it helped force me to see the beauty in even the most seemingly uninspiring vistas,’ explains Natasha.
Natasha began selling her work at craft fairs and markets until the pandemic hit, and while these events were unfortunately cancelled, she was still able to get out and shoot and learn even more about the art.
Her work includes capturing wildlife and scenery from around Northern Ireland and further afield when travel wasn’t a problem!
Neruja is the face behind everything Neruja Sri. An engineer based in Coleraine, she discovered her creative side in 2021 and began making polymer clay earrings with bold and unique designs.
Taking extreme pride in everything she makes and does, Neruja wanted to create a brand and product that reflected her creative side. A big fan of accessories and adding colour to her life, Neruja particularly loves earrings with bold colours, patterns and shapes that add something special to whatever outfit she is wearing.
‘I am all about being unique,’ she says. ‘While I am a perfectionist, I have learnt to accept the imperfections of handmade products, adding uniqueness to every earring I create. For that reason, my brand is focused on making one-off products or small batches, making something special and unique each time.’
Art by Lois Brady
Lois is a mixed media Artist from the North Coast of Ireland.
Working with a wide range of mediums including watercolour, gouache, seaglass, beach finds and digital. Her scenes capture the North Coast landscape and are the inspiration for many pieces of her work. She loves to paint local scenes in a fun, bright and colourful way that capture the beauty of Northern Ireland.
Lois works from her home studio creating original art work and producing limited edition prints.
Print quality is of paramount importance and Lois maintains full control over this process, printing all pictures herself within her studio. All Prints are produced using archival quality inks on acid free paper. This not only enhances the durability but the quality too.
Lindy McCabe is a self-taught macramé and fibre artist who lives in Bangor with her family. Lindy has dabbled in crafting all her life and fell in love with macramé around four years ago. She established her small business ollie&roo and up until now has been selling her creations through word of mouth and at craft fairs. Her daughters also get involved – Eva deals with the social media side of the business and Ruby designs the artwork.
Lindy explains the appeal of macramé:
"I find the rhythmic nature of macramé incredibly absorbing. For me there's nothing better at the end of a busy day than relaxing with a box set and whatever piece I'm working on. It gives me such satisfaction to be able to work with the fibres and create something beautiful or useful that people want to have in their homes."
It's important to ollie&roo to be environmentally conscious. From the use of bamboo and recycled, ethically sourced fibres to the 100% recyclable packaging, Lindy and Ruby have sourced and selected everything for their environmental credentials.
ollie&roo are currently selling a colourful range of plant hangers and decorative macramé and will also have some one-off items available from time to time.
Ricky Parker Photography
Ricky’s story begins with the purchase of a 2 mega-pixel camera in New York 20 years ago, which was followed by a major life-changing decision to escape the world of banking to follow his life’s passion and create Ricky Parker Photography.
Ricky's love for landscape photography is evident in the way he beautifully captures Northern Ireland scenery. This interest spilled into portrait photography and now he loves to combine the two where possible.
“My everyday is always different and that’s what motivates me and makes me tick. I love the fact my work often leads down roads I’ve never travelled before and even in a small country like Northern Ireland there is an abundance of stunning scenery to discover and capture.”
Róisín Mallon Art
Originally from Co. Mayo, from the age of 13, Róisín spent most of her life in England before moving to Northern Ireland in 2019. Happily settled in Bangor, Co. Down, she has been home educating her two children for over four years and works from home as a virtual assistant. When she can, she loves to chill out by creating art.
Lockdown allowed Róisín to tap back into her love for art and she quickly rediscovered the joy of the slow, gentle process of drawing and creating art.
‘I have a Zen-like approach to it,’ explains Róisín. ‘I like to be thoughtful and careful and just get lost in what I’m doing. Everything I make has that at the core. I also love to create things that I can look at time and time again, especially if it has a story behind it.’
Not restricting herself to one style of art, Róisín likes to experiment with different ways of enjoying the process of creating. Her range includes prints and cards of her white charcoal drawings, and prints of her acrylic paintings.
The stunning North Coast of Northern Ireland, specifically Portrush, is home to Rosie McElnay of Rosie’s Easel.
‘Painting has been woven throughout my life,’ explains Rosie, ‘inspired by the rolling green hills, sandy shores and crashing waves of the magical Island of Ireland.’
After completing her Art ‘A’ Level, Rosie set aside her love of art to pursue a career in healthcare but even when studying and working, always made time for her passion of painting. Her first collection was showcased in the Flowerfields Art Centre in Portstewart in 2019 and she has experienced the joy of being part of a community of fantastic makers and market on the north coast.
Her current map-inspired collection was born during lock-down and showcases scenes of her beautiful homeland. This collection has been featured by both Discover Ireland and Tourism Ireland in 2020.
Rosie’s work has also found homes across the globe, from ‘man caves’ in Ireland and Air BnBs in Australia to embassies in Europe. Scenes from beyond the Emerald Isle have joined her collection including from Scotland, England and USA. The breath-taking landscapes have been captured in acrylic paint using local maps as her canvas. Each painting is lovingly created in Portrush. ‘This is where colour meets coordinates.’
Darren Lyttle from Snazzeroo is a creative with a background in graphic design and an innate passion for illustration and capturing the distinct essence of his subject matter. Art, and anything associated with it, has run in his veins for as long as he can remember, and he counts himself fortunate to be making a career out of doing what he loves most.
From Bangor and living in Donaghadee, he has always had an affinity with the coastline and the great outdoors, which inspired the merging of his passion for design and illustration with coastal locations and landmarks.
‘In graphic design, the task is always to communicate the visual as efficiently as possible. I translate this concept to my collection of prints, challenging myself to distil the elements of each location in both shape and colour, while retaining the unique essence of the location. And in a stylised way, the elements you cannot see are as significant as the parts you can,’ explains Darren.
He is currently working his way round the coastline, capturing memorable locations and landmarks, and translating them into his signature graphic style.
Stephen McCurdy Art
Born in Belfast in 1983, Stephen McCurdy loved dabbling in art when he was growing up. Spending much of his time at school and at home drawing or painting through the mediums of gouache, acrylics and pencil, Stephen was greatly inspired by his grandfather who was rarely seen without a paintbrush in his hand. His stylised technique and use of vibrant colour was something Stephen was drawn to and it was this that began to influence his own work.
“After spending six years in art exile,” explains Stephen, “the first lockdown of 2020 brought a new opportunity for me. I decided to pick up the pencil once again and I rediscovered my love of art, albeit in a digital format.”
Capturing vibrant and atmospheric scenes of Belfast and beyond, Stephen’s most notable subject matter is Belfast’s iconic Harland and Wolff cranes. He also creates commissioned pieces on request.
All Stephen’s work is Giclee printed using archival quality inks, bringing to life the colours and images for a premium finish and ready for framing.
Originally from Donaghadee, Judith currently lives in Dundonald with her husband and two-year-old bulldog Ralph.
She has been sewing since a very young age, about three of four years, totally inspired and enthralled by her dressmaker grandmother. While her brother and cousins were outside, playing Judith was usually to be found in her grandmother’s room with her, watching her work and making clothes for her own dolls on her old Singer machine.
Judith has always enjoyed making things and will give anything a go – she likes a challenge! She knits, crochets, quilts, dressmakes and creates homewares such as cushions and tote bags. Her favourite sewing techniques are applique and free motion embroidery/sketching.
While Judith studied Art to A-level, she moved into the beauty industry for over 20 years. Art in the form of painting and drawing had fallen by the wayside but watching Grayson Perry’s Art Club in first lockdown in 2020 reignited something in her. She started to paint again, mainly using watercolour and then started to develop that into painting on fabric and combining it with free motion.
‘During lockdown I bought myself a needle felting kit to make a bunny and was instantly addicted,’ says Judith. ‘I have now developed that into 2d needle felting art pieces inspired by local landmarks traditions and culture. I like to use New Zealand short fibre carded wool, and I add detail with free motion, some hand embroidery and at times some embellishments such as beads and ribbons.’
Judith loves colour and textile and adores using bright colours which pop against each other. The texture of the wool really allows for a sense of depth and perspective and the nature of it means that no two pieces will ever be exactly the same.
The Heritage Farm
Starting with six chickens, the Heritage Farm has grown to include Dorset sheep, Nubian Goats, Buff Orpington hens, Silver Dorking hens, German Vorwerk hens and White Runner ducks, all cared for using as natural means as possible.
Like many farms and smallholdings, it’s been necessary to make use of the farm assets and they have used their skills to create natural soap using goats milk, which is rich in nutrients, and when combined with natural oils and butters, creates a soap bar that brings nourishing benefits for the skin.
The Heritage Farm’s ethos is to include only natural and sustainable ingredients. If it isn’t from the ground, it isn’t in their soap! From the butters and oils to the botanicals and flowers. It is all natural. They will never use artificial fragrances or synthetic colours, no SLS or parabens. Their soaps are CSPR compliant and fully compliant with UK and EU regulations and are created in a cruelty free environment.
The process follows a traditional and ancient soap making method. The milk comes directly from the milk of their Dairy goat herd Including three wonderful Anglo-Nubian does, Matilda, Molly and Milly, and they are truly the stars of the show! They get milked daily by hand and the milk is creamy and full of natural minerals, fatty acids, and other nutrients.
The raw milk is then combined with the oils and butters, using the traditional and ancient cold processing method. The soap bars are left to cure for a minimum of four weeks. The result: a hard soap bar, full of natural properties, that produce a creamy and bubbly lather and feels nourishing to the skin. The soaps are then carefully wrapped in recycling material and sent to their new homes. The Heritage Farm aims to take as much care in their packaging as they do in the product inside.
In basic terms, goats milk soap is a gentle cleanser, supports a healthy membrane, is a natural exfoliant, helps improve dry skin, may help improve irritated or inflamed skin, and it could potentially have anti-aging properties. To read more about the benefits see the properties of each soap.
Every time you purchase one of these soaps, you are helping support The Heritage Farm and enabling them to continue to provide the high level of care the animals should receive.
The Snoring Crow
Fiona Macaulay is a self-taught jewellery maker from Ahoghill in Co. Antrim. She is married to Thomas, has a daughter at university called Rachael and a Lakeland Terrier named Angus.
Fiona’s interest in jewellery making only began before Christmas 2020 when she bought some tools and gemstones and soon The Snoring Crow was born. While she has never considered herself to be artistic, through jewellery making has unleased her inner creativity and is now thoroughly hooked.
Her pieces are one-off designs based on uniqueness, quality, and an original creative flair.
‘I love creating jewellery, using genuine gemstones, that is affordable and accessible to everyone,’ explains Fiona. ‘I have always been a gemstone enthusiast and love the colours, patterns, different textures and variations which are dependent on the country of origin. Most of all, the fact that these beautiful rocks are created by mother earth herself is captivating. We really do live in an amazing world.
‘I have realised that self-confidence, enjoying what I do and taking pride in my creations will stand by me, both now and in the future.’
Thérèse Nixon Art
Thérèse Nixon has loved imagery, arts and crafts for as long as she remembers. Based in Bangor, but originally from Armagh, Thérèse completed an internship at TV33 LaGrange in Georgia, USA before studying television production in Edinburgh. She then moved to Vancouver and when she returned home, studied a degree in graphic design.
She loves to mix digital imagery, lino printing, photography and collage art and is inspired by the vintage imagery of her new home town.
‘I use the sea and seaside life as inspiration. An octopus 'Imelda' does pop up in a lot of my sketches and lino prints. I love chunky, bright pop art colours and patterns,’ she explains.
‘It’s challenging to set time aside to create, with using several different methods, it is always so exciting to see the final piece which can be miles away from the initial idea.’
When she’s not creating art, Thérèse loves walking on the beach with her son and two Jack Russells. She loves food from all around the world and works part-time in Bangor’s Guillemot Deli where she is surrounded by beautiful products and lots of fabulous cheese!
Twisted & Rapt
Meet Lucy, a crafter and maker from Co. Antrim, and the creator of Twine and Twirl. Lucy began knitting at a young age, taught by her nanny when she was only six. They went to knitting classes together and her love of all things craft began. Lucy learned to crochet in adulthood and fell in love with the process. Her favourite way to relax is with a hook and a ball of wool (and a cup of coffee).
Twine and Twirl first began as a hobby but Lucy now enjoys making gifts and decorations for others and gets such joy from seeing photos of her makes displayed elsewhere. She primarily makes crochet and knitted home decorations, gifts and clothing, whilst also occasionally branching into the sewing world. She has recently focused on knitted wire words and decorations and enjoys making custom designs and personalising items for gifts.
Twisted & Rapt
Julie Murphy is a sculptor and printmaker based in Omagh. She set up ‘Twisted and Rapt’ this year as a way to share her love of wire sculpture through creating wire sculpture kits. She began using wire as a way of drawing in 3 dimensions around 10 years ago and has since developed her skills and has created works from the tiniest bird to a life size greyhound!
Julie graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in Fine Art and went on to study Art Therapy and believes passionately in the power of creativity to support people find healing and positivity. Her own art practice is important and she has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally.
The inspiration for her wire sculpture often comes from animals and nature and she finds that wire is a wonderful material for describing form and line, particularly the beautiful shapes of her own pet sighthounds. She is an avid collector of recycled and old rusty wire which finds new use in her work.
Drawing is at the heart of all her work and she pays attention to the anatomy of the animals and natural forms she creates. Recently she has begun to focus on creating works describing human anatomy in her wire sculpture and etchings.
Victoria Reid Art
Victoria has crafted for many years and enjoyed trying different forms, from glass painting and crocheting to junk journaling, which she was able to put her energy into during the pandemic. When she returned to work, Victoria found she didn’t have the same time available to continue these crafts but still wanted to channel her creativity.
Discovering line art, one of her first pieces was a line drawing of her house which led to friends and family asking her to draw their houses. She then tried line art digitally and began to add colour. Not only did it eliminate paper wastage, but it allowed Victoria to experiment with a wide and vibrant colour palette.
Inspired by the hustle and bustle of the Ballyhackamore area where she lives, Victoria created an image with the prominent local shops, and encouraged by those around her, created ‘Belfast 22’.
“I love learning how to achieve new looks and creating images in my style,” explains Victoria. “It can be as detailed or as minimalist as I want.”
After starting her digital art journey, Victoria was diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing intensive treatment, which she explains has had an enormous effect on her mental health.
“My art has greatly helped greatly with this. I continue to create as often as I can and am grateful that I have been able to use my art as a source of therapy over this last year.”