Last weekend, I attended the National Crafts and Design Fair in south Dublin, thanks to complimentary tickets from a friend’s mother and master jeweler, Deborah Von Metzradt. This was a huge event featuring all manor of crafters, with a huge food fair attached. I took a break from browsing and talking with crafters to forage this part of the fair and managed to bring home homemade salami from a small Italian farm and beautiful chocolate truffles. I had to have some “Apple Glow,” of course, warm spiced apple juice spiked with a bit of apple brandy. But, enough about the food. The crafters were amazing!
As you can see from this image, the fair was quite huge. It even had a balcony with more booths.
Sophia Kathalina makes packable, crushable and, most importantly for wet Dublin weather, waterproof hats. They are lovely, embellished goodies for your head.
Beatriz Palacios makes the most lovely and fashionable headbands. Below, you’ll see a giant felt rose headband and more sparkly beaded headbands for your night on the town. I especially love the crochet bag with the yellow ribbon on the top right. Though I’ll refrain from scanning it, her business card is just adorable too: a butterfly cut out with tiny, textured butterfly re-attached.
Colorful, hand-crafted glass rings are always fun, like these from Richard Reichhold.
For the kids, you can’t go wrong with puppets! I love the antlers on that one puppet. I didn’t catch the crafter’s name since he was super-busy with customers and didn’t seem to have any business cards. The arms and legs are made with cord so they whip around beautifully, and they are suspended from bouncy springs. I’d love to hang one in my nephew’s room.
My favorite part of the fair was the prestigious winner’s area, which looked like a gallery space in the middle of the fair. The winner’s exhibition displayed winners by category, including felting, ceramics, calligraphy, weaving, knitting & crochet, quilting, embroidery, and more. Check out the giant, seamless hand-felted “Kraken” (sea monster rumored to be off the coast of Norway which looks suspiciously like an octopus) from artist Astrid Tomrop-Hofmann. Genius eh?
While the “Kraken” took the second place prize in felting, I also quite loved the first place prize in this category, “Sliabh an Iarainn” by Brigitta Varadi. In this piece, felt achieves a potency, a narrative impact, equal to traditional paint.
While I do not have a good picture of this piece, I must mention the winning work in the category of Weaving-Tapestry by Terry Dube called “In the Corner of the Harvest Field.” Studied from an actual harvest field, this tapestry is a beautiful representation of the idea and literally begs to be touched (while being safely behind glass).
I also chatted with Erika Marks about her silver jewelry and other objects. She supplied me with this great image above and let me know that she works with Brigitta Varadi (felt work featured above) on some of her jewelry. That’s very exciting. Brenda Hewitt told me about the art of Hand-weaving. I can’t forget the unique idea from buoy oh buoy for “nautical lighting” for your home made from antique buoys, dating from the 1940s!
What a great way to spend a Sunday! I hope you enjoyed the pictures.