Members of the craft network Made In Kilkenny brought out the tools of their trade and a few items of inspiration on Thursday to launch their Kilkenny Arts Festival exhibition, ‘A Maker’s Journey: From Inspiration to Creation’.
The rail platform at Kilkenny’s MacDonagh Station was their chosen location, fitting in with the ‘journey’ aspect of the theme for their exhibition, which will be in Butler House from August 5-14.
From a collection of old books and envelopes or the back wheel of a bicycle, to algae and palm trees, their sources of inspiration are as diverse as the makers themselves.
For example, Aileen-Anne Brannigan says: “I have used the cooking apple, as the image conjures up childhood memories of autumn, a time of harvest and abundance, of home cooking and comfort.”
For Gus Mabelson, an 11th-century Chinese porcelain ewer inspired his vessels: “For years I have looked at this piece in the British Museum, London and have made drawings of it on several occasions knowing it would inspire me to make pieces one day. Now is the time.”
Phillipe Hetier’s coffee table was inspired by waves: “I am fascinated by waves and their motion and energy. There is no better feeling than the excitement of seeing a wave curve deeply downward, develop and race to the shore, navigating its way through Mother Nature.”
Frederike Grace’s rings came from the idea of houses: “The property crash and the flood of houses that are on the market inspired me to make miniature houses affordable without mortgages for everyone.”
It was the back wheel of a bicycle that inspired Hilary Jenkinson’s miniature sculptures: “I wanted to explore the contained shapes within the wheel and recreate the motion of the wheel.”
The idea for Ken Foley’s leather satchel came from “a leather sachel which is over 65 years old. It was passed on to my mother in 1948 and is still used to this day.”
A Camino de Santiago way-marker inspired Larry Kinsella’s candles: “These way-markers are often a very welcome sight to pilgrims when they feel lost. The shape is suitable for a candle. There is potential for export sales to gift shops on the camino.”
A skimming stone gave Ed Keilthy the idea for his chain: “As a child I was gobsmacked when I first saw a stone travelling across water only to disappear at the end of its run as it spent its energy creating perfect circles in reducing radial shapes in a rush to its destiny.”
A vintage travel hat box was the inspiration for Rebekah Patterson’s series of hats suitable for flying and travel: “This case embodies a time when luggage was small but you still required space for your hat! An essential part of the traveller’s wardrobe.”
The full selection can be seen next month in Butler House.