Mayo makers in national spotlight at Gifted fair

Posted in Connect on November 29, 2017.

Castlebar-based aromatherapist Steph Kilkenny will be showcasing her work at Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair.

A Clare Island weaver, a creator of natural skin care from Castlebar and a Newport artisan butcher are just some of the Mayo makers showcasing their work at Gifted Contemporary Craft and Design Fair in Dublin’s RDS from Tuesday to Sunday, December 5 to 10.

Gifted celebrates the best of 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.

From her base on Clare Island, weaver Beth Moran has established an international reputation for her handcrafted rugs, silk scarves, neck ties and fabric bound notebooks.

The produce from her cottage industry, The Ballytoughey Loom, runs from very fine silk work to home-grown, home-spun and naturally dyed rugs made from the wool provided by her small sheep farm on the island.

And the locality inspires her work.

“Clare island’s people, its unspoiled environment and unique landscape provides an experience that is both intimate and inspirational,” said Beth.

Castlebar-based aromatherapist Steph Kilkenny, who makes a range of natural skincare products, intends to launch her new deep cleansing oil at Gifted.

Based on entirely natural ingredients, Steph’s Réalta Naturals range of cleansers, toners and moisturisers are created from rich oils and butters such as baobab oil and mango butter.

“I’ve always made my own cosmetics and I am really looking forward to getting the public’s reaction to my latest creations at Gifted,” said Steph.

Meanwhile, Kelly’s Butchers of Newport will be showing off their great tasting vegetarian white pudding.

With almost 100 years experience producing superior black and white puddings, Kelly’s boast a trophy cabinet of good food honours, including three three Blás na hEireann awards.

Also among the local exhibitors are Westport-based Alphabet jigsaws and Castlebar’s Mood Designs, whose ceramic pieces are inspired by the land and seascapes of the west of Ireland.

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.

Full details and booking can be found at

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