Monday, April 8, 2013

'Dream Creative' Irish Craft Retreat

I would absolutely love to be able to go to one of the Squam retreats, they look amazing, always hosted in beautiful places with top talents teaching a variety of crafty skills and giving you the chance to get away, relax and unwind. I’m surprised and disappointed that there are not more creative retreats in Ireland. We have so many beautiful spots around the country that would be perfect creative havens to host such an event. There is also a wealth of home grown talent that could teach an array of skills and techniques. I’m sure I am not the only one looking for something like this in Ireland, I’d say there is definitely a market for it not to mention the interest there may be from international creative junkies. I have found one or two camps for specific skills like drawing and glass work/ceramics but not many multidisciplinary. Perhaps more exist that I am not aware of (please, please leave me a comment if you know of any). So in the absence of anything real I have decided to dream up my own creative Irish retreat, hmmm that sounds like a good name ‘Dream Creative’ here we go…

It would be located somewhere like Bellinter House, Co. Meath, where there are lots of quirky rooms in a lovely woodland setting on the banks of the River Boyne complete with a lovely Spa to relax the body after a hard day of crafting!!!

Each day would be filled with workshops to choose from covering a variety of arts and crafts hosted by talented artists and designers. There are endless possibilities but here is a small selection of those on my wish list.......
Image Src (from left to right) Row1: Jennifer SlatteryErin PaisleySanna Annukka Skinnylaminx, Row 2: Stephanie Lau, Row3: Aimee RayEmma LambKatrina Rodabaugh, Fawn, Jenny HartPolka&BloomDamn Fine Print

Irish/Based in Ireland: Fan Regan, The Printing Fawn; Eric Greene and Kim WilloughbyDamn Fine Print Studio
International: Sanna Annukka
I'd really like to learn about the different methods of printing and have a go myself. I met Fan Regan briefly at a design fair, she creates beautiful original fine art prints and takes pride in printing each one by hand. You can find out where to buy Fans work and more about her design process on her website.
I only recently stumbled upon the Damn Fine Print Studio via twitter and then saw some of their prints last weekend at the Dublin Flea Market. Damn Fine Print is a screen printing studio that offers affordable access to equipment for artists to use as well as a service to produce prints. According to their website they   will also be running workshops so hopefully I'll get the chance to sign up. I've blogged many times about Sanna Annukka, she creates beautiful designs inspired by Scandinavian  folklore. You can see the print I was lucky enough to get for my wedding anniversary here. I would be so happy to meet her, she now produces all her screen prints personally by hand.

International: Stephanie Lau All about AmiEmma Lamb
I love to crochet and it would fab to meet Stephanie and Emma whom I greatly admire and have the chance to learn from their vast hooky knowledge. Stephanie creates amazing Amigurumi creatures and shares lots of tutorials on her lovely blog; she was recently featured in Simply Crochet Magazine and she shared a gorgeous Spring Bunny pattern on CRAFT. Emma creates beautiful vintage and retro inspired crochet using lovely colors. She was recently featured in several publications including Mollie Makes and UK Handmade. You can read more about her in her Etsy Seller Feature and on her blog and purchase some of her work from her Etsy Shop. 
Textile Crafts
International: Katrina RodabaughErin Paisley
These two ladies have crazy talent in a variety of crafts. Katrina is an artist and writer with skills in textiles, poetry, printmaking, installation, and photography. She recently hosted an online textile based course with Lisa Solomon (another great artist) called Interwoven, it looks right up my street so I hope to take part next time it runs. She sells some of her creations in her Etsy shop Made by Katrina and you can read more about her work on her blog.  Erin is a self-taught artist who paints, crochets and embroiders. She makes the coolest little amigurumi and plushy creatures, you can see a glimpse in the collage, I absolutely love them. Erin has two Etsy shops one for her textiles Fox in the Woods and the other for her prints Erin Paisley and you can follow along her adventures on her blog
International: Aimee Ray  Little Dear Tracks; Carina Envoldsen-Harris from Polka and Bloom; Jenny Hart Sublime Stitching Another love of mine, artists like Aimee, Carina and Jenny  inspired me to get back into embroidery in the past few years with their modern approach. Aimee Ray has published several books including Doodle Stitching Motif Collection which I'm happy to have at home and also sells her work in her littledear Etsy shop. Jenny Hart has also published several books including Embroidered Effects which I also have, (you can see one of the designs I completed from it here) and sells her own range of embroidery supplies in her online shop. Carina sells her unique patterns in her etsy shop and her first book 'Stitched Blooms' is due to be published in autumn of this year. You can find out more about each of them in their blogs (linked above).
Textile Design
Irish/Based in Ireland: Jennifer Slattery
International: Heather Moore Skinny Laminx
From initial sketches to the finished fabric-how does this all happen? I'd love to find out. Jennifer Slattery originally trained as a graphic designer and later returned to study textile designs. She now combines her skills to create unique textile products featuring digitally printed imagery. Jennifer's products are stocked in stores all over the country and you can also buy from her online shop. I have blogged about Skinnylaminx before, owner Heather Moore is a self-taught illustrator and designer. She works from her shop/studio in Cape Town and primarily creates fabric and paper designs. Heather has a great eye for styling which you can see by the pictures of her shop set up and her online issuu catalogue. You can buy Heathers' products online from her Etsy shop.


Img Src from left to right: Row1 Eva DorneyRangoli, Allegria Photography, Row 2 White Tea PhotographySharon Montrose ( Images are copyrighted by Sharon Montrose Photographs, LLC. All rights reserved), ChupiAlan Ardiff

Jewellery Design
Irish/Based in Ireland:Aisling Nelson, RangoliAlan ArdiffChupi Sweetman-Pell ChupiEva Dorney 
Like graphic design I have very little idea on the actual processes and techniques used in the different forms of jewellery design. I met Aisling (virtually) last year through blogging and have recently had the chance to meet up in person which has been really cool. Aisling designs beautiful bridal jewellery and hair accessories from her studio in The Design Tower. She recently designed the jewellery for a beautiful themed Irish wedding shoot which was inspired by The Gathering, you can read about this and more about her work and inspirations on the Rangoli blog. I have admired Alan Ardiffs' jewellery for some time now, I haven't managed to get my hands on some yet (more hints at the hubby must be needed), his studio is also in The Design Tower. Alan creates unique quirky jewellery and is also talented in painting and sculpture. His jewellery is available to purchase on his online shop. I got a gorgeous Chupi bird necklace from my mum for Christmas, it is very special to me and I would love to meet Chupi Sweetman-Pell and hear about her inspirations and design processes. I was introduced to Eva Dorney recently and her bespoke jewellery is gorgeous, it would be lovely to work with her to make a piece from scratch that's uniquely yours. She also owns 'Clasped' a new line of jewellery that works with interchangeable clasps and strands.

Irish/Based in Ireland: Aga Maru White Tea Photography  Aine Teahan Allegria Photography
International: Jeanette Lunde ByFryd
I (virtually) met Aga of White Tea Photography online some years ago in my previous blogging life as Blacklashes, Aga creates beautiful wedding and engagement photography, full of fun and whimsical style to capture the real feel of the day. Aga also has personal website AgaMaruPhotography where she shares some other photography projects that she has worked on.
I recently met Aine from Allegria Photography through a blogging friend. Herself and her husband focus on baby/kids photography and pride themselves on taking beautiful natural shots in a relaxed enjoyable atmosphere. I found Jeanette Lundes work through Decor 8 blog and was lucky enough to take some classes she taught on Photography and Styling in BYW 2.0. Her photography is full of light and subtle detail. You can check out her work at BYFRYD


Irish/Based in Ireland: Chris HaughtonLynn MacPherson; Alan Nagle Yellow Hammer Prints
International: Gemma Correll; Leigh Viner
I really have no drawing skills and would love to learn some basic techniques. I'm also sort of fascinated by graphic illustration and have absolutely no idea how it's done so I'd really like to see how the process happens. Chris Haughton is an illustrator and designer. He has created a popular series of children's picture books and also contributes to fair trade company People Trees. Lynn MacPherson is an illustrator and designer. Her brand Salty Philip aims to produce environmentally responsible accessories, prints and cards. You can purchase some of products in her Etsy shop. I recently bought one in The Loft Market for my craft room wall and I love it! Leigh Viner is a talented fashion illustrator, her work has been featured in numerous publications and she has worked on loads of excited projects and collaborations including one for Lady Gaga and Etsy. I am a real fan of her work and have two of her prints already; I doubt they will be the last. Gemma Correll is a cartoonist, illustrator and writer probably best known for her whimsical Pug cartoons. She is one of my favourite people to follow on Instagram with snaps of her sketches and lots of her Pug furbaby. Gemma recently released the book 'A Pugs Guide to Etiquette' essential reading for pug and dog lovers alike. Alan Nagle is an illustrator and owner of Yellowhammer illustrations. Using geometric shapes and bold colour Alan has produced a contemporary collection of nature inspired prints (as well as many other collections). You can purchase his work in his online Etsy shop .

Affordable to regular joe's like me!-I don’t know how this would be possible with such a line-up of talents and beautiful location but hey- this is my dream!!!
Are you living in Ireland/Europe and also looking for something like this? Have you attended any lovely crafty retreats? Who would be teaching on your dream craft retreat? Let me know I’d love to hear your ideas/experiences