Leitrim rainbow carpenter in national spotlight at Gifted Fair in RDS

Leitrim Observer reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer reporter

Giolla Liddy from Drumshanbo.

Giolla Liddy from Drumshanbo in his Artwood studio is among the Leitrim makers showcasing at Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair in Dublin's RDS from December 5-10.

A Drumshanbo carpenter who captures rainbows in his work and a jeweller inspired by the Leitrim skies are among the local makers in the spotlight at Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair in Dublin's RDS from December 5-10.

Gifted celebrates the best over 600 Irish designers and makers from fashion to jewellery and beyond. 

Record-breaking crowds of over 45,000 are expected to generate more than €1m per day in sales at this year’s largest-ever six-day fair.

At his Artwood workshop in Drumshanbo, Giolla Liddy makes hand-carved sun and mooncatchers in local wood, with crystals to create a dazzling rainbow spectrum of coloured light.

The craft workshop he set up when the recession hit the building trade, now employs four people plus a part-time worker.

"Gifted is a huge showcase for us and through it we aim to create orders which should keep us busy for months," said Giolla. 

Among the local makers taking part are Mohill-based wood turner Roy Humphreys and jeweller Erika Marks from Carrick-on-Shannon, who finds her inspiration in the Leitrim skyline. 

"Living here I've been struck by Leitrim's wonderful sky scenery," said Erika. 

"The night skies here are free from light pollution and they fascinate me so much I've making a series of brooches featuring our night sky with different constellations." 

Gifted is a celebration of the best Irish designers and makers – people who are truly gifted.

Formerly known as the National Crafts and Design Fair, Gifted includes top cutting-edge designers and makers in Irish fashion, ceramics and glass, jewellery, art and photography, children’s gifts and presents inspired by nature. 

The event also includes a Spectacular Christmas Food Emporium featuring over 120 artisan food producers, taste-tempting visitors with the best of the season’s fare.

The growth in Ireland’s vibrant design sector means that Gifted has been expanded by an extra day to become a six-day unique Christmas shopping experience.

“Giving a Gifted gift to your loved ones this Christmas means that they will be receiving a special item straight from the maker,” said organiser Patrick O’Sullivan.

“We have the top cutting-edge designers and makers in Irish fashion, ceramics and glass, jewellery, art and photography, children’s gifts and presents inspired by nature.”

Gifted offers Ireland’s largest Christmas gift shopping experience with prices starting from as little as €5.

In addition, there will be 10% off everything at the Fair on the opening day, Tuesday, December 5.

Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair takes place at the RDS Main Hall from December 5-10 from 10am each day.  Full details and booking can be found at www.giftedfair.ie