NCAD Exhibition at Annual Knitting and Stitching Show

By Gemma Kavanagh

Mairead Wall is a knitwear and textile designer based in Dublin, recently graduated from NCAD with a first-class honours degree in textile design. Her final year project is a six-piece unisex fashion collection with the focus being on knitwear pieces and embroidered surfaces. “The inspiration for my collections came from traditional Irish craft. I looked at things like weaving techniques, basketry techniques and Aran knitting. I really love making surfaces that will make people pause and say oh I don’t know how she made that, how is that put together and I’ve had a lot of that reaction today.”

(Source: Gemma Kavanagh)

Creating a unisex collection Mairead incorporated masks into her outfits as a way to hide the model’s gender on the catwalk. “All the masks are hand knitted in traditional Aran techniques. The bodies are all done really contemporary and the top is just a little bit of traditional Irish in there.” With her sights set on London, Mairead wants to work under an established knitwear designer and develop her own contemporary Irish style and then return and set up in Ireland. “In the meantime I’m working on interior pieces like wall hangings and selling them online it’s a great way for me to try out new techniques and being creative in a much smaller way.”

All the pieces are available to buy and you can contact her through here website at:

(Source: Gemma Kavanagh)

Shape of sound – Wearable art by Martina Shannon

“I create my work from factory floor waste to highlight what can be done with stuff that would usually end up on the landfill. I think that recycling starts on the factory floor so I contacted companies like Newbridge Silverware who would have a lot of factory floor waste and asked them could I create work from it. I like to push boundaries in what the material will do and my inspiration comes from the material itself.”

(Source: Gemma Kavanagh)

Martina’s main piece in the NCAD degree show was inspired by her four years in college and her journey. “I started off very unsure of what I was doing and gradually then, through the process of learning and experimenting and working with materials, I’ve come to the place now where I see possibilities everywhere.” The top and bottom part of her artwork is made from foil backed insulation, every piece is individually done and there’s nearly 5,000 pieces involved. The centre piece is made from broken CDs that have been melted together. It’s made in four different sections but is sold as a whole. The artist spent 200 hours on her creation.

“I love to work with different materials so my range of work is changing all the time. From my work with CDs I’ve developed a line of jewellery called ‘Shape of Sound’,” Martina tells us. Every piece is unique and can be personalised. A unique feature is the reflections that come from the jewellery, changing colour depending on the light you’re in. “CDs are becoming obsolete and people are throwing them away in their hundreds,” said Martina.

She will be exhibiting with Newbridge Silverware in the Style Icon museum in the next month. She is also developing her own range of jewellery and looking to branch out and work with more companies. “I would like to work with companies to create work from their factory floor waste that will represent their brand, their ethos, that they can display in a foyer or offices, restaurant or hotel and it will reflect the fact that they’re interested in being green and lowering their carbon footprint and hopefully it will raise awareness as well that factories need to look at what they’re throwing away and try to use it in a positive way.”

If you would like to contact the artist about her design, her website is –

(Source: Gemma Kavanagh)

Deirdre Hart

“I’m exhibiting a project that I worked on with the Kilkenny County Council arts office. We created an arts participation programme that we ran over three years.” The programme tackled waste and came up with different ideas of how to upcycle materials for creating craft communities around Kilkenny. “We created programmes over the three years such as ‘born to knit’ and ‘making space’.”

Using charity promotional t-shirts, they made a soft space in the design yard in Kilkenny. Deirdre said: “We used novelty sized crochet hooks and needles, I’m interested in how we can make traditional crafts contemporary, I like working in large scales. The project was about creating communities of place bringing people together who have a shared interest; there’s a very social aspect to it while being mindful that the outcome will be aesthetically pleasing as well.”

(Source: Gemma Kavanagh)

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