We closed the artysmarty office recently to have a big day out to the British Craft Trade Fair at the Great Yorkshire Showground in North Yorkshire. Are you mad? I hear you ask, it looks like you’re lost in a field in Meath! Funny, that’s kind of what I was thinking too as I wandered up the path to the entrance. But we did see an eagle, which unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a photo of. (Actually, later on in the day our lovely driver shattered the dream a bit, I think it was actually a skate not an eagle).
Anyway after a long wandering road we did manage to find the entrance and also all of the lovely traders that were showing at the fair. I just wanted to do a bit of a round up of all of the great creators and traders that were there.
So who did we see and love? Not in any particular order;
Kate Broughton: Beautiful prints and cards in bright colours.
Charlotte Nash: Super cool mirrors and homeware pieces.
Kiran Ravilious: modern yet yesteryear block printing on lots of difference surfaces, wallpaper, fabric and lampshades. Really gorgeous patterns and colours. Has a really nice website too.
Okay, one last one;
Elizabeth Terzza: Delicately made modern pieces, nature themes or ‘botanical treasures’ as the lady says herself.
Was a great old day out, they had a lovely restaurant down the road too and the BCTF even put on a driver to drop people back to the airport. In case you’d like to visit yourself next year, dates are 6-8th April 2014 and the website is;
Every now and again some cool commission work will come your way, and as it happens one came my way, and has been one of my favorites. The British Library have produced an exhibition exploring comics as a political medium, Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK, and asked yours truly to design some jewellery pieces to go with it.
Hhhmmm I though, I love comics, the dotty printing,the Lichtenstein pop art interpretation of them, the crazy colour, what to do, what to do. I guess the first considerations when making some specialized pieces is to try and get the essence of the subject matter distilled into one or two ideas and then apply them across a few different mediums. For me, comics are a lot about action, you know, baddies getting a punch in the nose, mostly violent interaction, come to think of it, but without anyone actually getting hur. So I thought the movement from comics should be on the list, what are they doing to each other, lots of zapping and kapowing I thought. Aesthetically, the colour and pattern are obviously a big element too, but instead of just transposing the traditional dots and crumpled paper look I’d go for something updated to give it a bit of a new spin. Kind of put the artysmarty filter over it.
And then, what do you do when you love something? Set it free. In this case lovingly give it to the British Library as their own (which it is, all accounts have been finalised!) and package it so. Tying it all together with specialized notes and logos on the boxes and cards gives the customer a lasting warm glow after attending the exhibition. Noice.
One for the boxes…..
a bit more info for the brooch cards
Heading to London anytime soon? Exhibition begins today, 2nd May and runs till the 19th August 2014
The National Gallery of Ireland is home to Ireland’s largest collection of Irish and European art (and also some very smart pieces from artysmarty!). Opening its doors for the first time in 1864 (yikes), the Merrion Square based gallery can boast an extensive collection of over 14,000 art works including 2,500 oil paintings, 5,000 drawings, sculptures and even pieces of furniture. Due to ongoing renovation at the Merrion Square entrance, the only entrance open to the public is the Clare Street entrance. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the Clare Street entrance leaves you right beside the National Gallery of Ireland Shop.
The shop is located in the gallery’s Millenium Wing, which is just a few steps away from the Clare Street Entrance. This huge shop has so much to offer, so don’t be put off by the small range of products available on their website. You really have to go there to experience the full range of their books, gifts and craft works.
If you’re a lover of browsing culturally stimulating products, and I know you are, pop in to the National Gallery of Ireland’s on site store and you’ll be in your element! Wow, that’s amazeballs So, skip the website and head down to enjoy shopping in the home of Irish and European art in Ireland. You’ll find some beautiful jewellery pieces from yours truly so you know it’ll be time well spent. Not only that, all sales from the gallery shop, goes in to sustaining its outstanding reputation in the art world. Double positive! If you’re interested in finding out more about the shop or the gallery, contact them at -(+353) 01 6633518 – Email: email@example.com -or visit their website If you’d like to hear more about the updates and goings on at artysmarty, and avail of exclusive coupons and offers, sign up to the newsletter here!
Once in a while a shop comes along that really catches you’re eye and makes you want to splash the cash! This is exactly what My Shop… Granny Likes It has done.
This beautiful shop in the centre of Galway, prides itself on showing off the best of Irish products and design! They stock ceramics, glass works, jewellery, pieces of art and nifty gifties for any occasion.
My Shop’s history is diverse and innovative, before the opening of the shop in 2013 there were a number of My Shop pop up shops around Galway, Armagh and Belfast. It was the success of these pop up shops that resulted in the permanent shop in Galway. They’re city centre location is perfect for people looking for authentic design that is supporting the Irish craft tradition around the country.
My Shop has been so successful that The Irish Times named them as one of the Top 50 Shops in Ireland! Only months after opening!!
If you would like to know more about My Shop… Granny Likes It see their…Facebook Page: Here! Twitter: Here!
Or even pop in for a visit: 38 Upper Abbeygate St, Galway, Ireland
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Stuck for a last minute card AND you’re a cheap skate? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Click on the ‘Mother’s Day Card’ below to get a high res. mother’s day card for nix! Don’t say we aren’t looking after you! Have a great weekend with your mam.
One of our favourite sites (EVER!) is notonthehighstreet.com. If you have never heard of it prepare yourself for a new addiction! Not on the High Street is the love child of award winning entrepreneurs Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish, that was set up from their kitchen table in 2006. Since then, their team has exploded from two girls to over 120 people, and as a result they’ve outgrown four offices.
Not on the High Street is on of the UK’s fastest growing e-commerce business’s and it’s easy to see why from looking at their website. Their goal is to deliver original creative products to their customers and to give small craft businesses a platform to sell their goods. The vast range of personalised and handmade products is to be admired (and purchased!).
If the collection of goods on notonthehighstreet.com isn’t big enough, their trophy cabinet is ENORMOUS. Holly and Sophie have accomplished a long list of awards, including winning First Women Awards: Retail and Consumer which celebrates pioneering businesswoman and ‘glass ceiling’ breakers.
And if your collection of artysmarty jewellery is getting out of control, they have to most beautiful collection of jewellery boxes from multiple designers that will be sure to keep them neat!
If you would like to know more about our store on Not on the High Street just click here!
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Think of your style as ‘silently eccentric’? Us too! You’re bound to love JOY as much as we do!
JOY is an innovative fashion and lifestyle brand from the UK. Priding itself on providing only the most unique and whimsical women’s wear, menswear, accessories and gifts, JOY delivers on style and quality.
JOY’s in-house design and buying team make it their mission to provide retro feel good fashion to make sure that you can create a stand out look with ease. Their principal label for women is Louche, which incorporates vintage style pieces for women to indulge their sartorial fantasies.
Not only do JOY have a great range of menswear and women’s wear but they have the cutest range of gifts and bits and bobs for around the house. Gifts range from beautifully fashionable to hilariously funny novelty gifts, our favourites are the “Sentimental Crap” tin and the WV Campervan tent, perfect for festival season. If you’re in London, their Brick Lane store is super nice and defo worth a look.
They also only stock the FINEST of accessory items! *Ahem*
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We are so excited here at artysmarty to call Kilkenny our new haunt! Kilkenny is currently celebrating its fiftieth anniversary of being one of the lifelines for Irish Craft and artist. Under the reign of sisters Marian O’Gorman and Bernadette Kelleher the sophisticated shops pride itself on stocking only the highest quality products.
Kilkenny’s history and great reputation with Irish and international markets has resulted in a priceless knowledge of the Irish craft and design industry. Although Kilkenny stocks mostly Irish goods, they also stock a small range of international brands, so there’s something for everyone!
There are over eighty designers that supply the Kilkenny stores offering a something totally different from the high street stores, for instance renowned designers such as the designers Orla Kiely, Alan Ardiff, Saba (Geraldine Murphy) and Irish interior design brand Klickity can be bought at any of their eleven stores.
With stores situated in most corners of Ireland, from Dublin to Galway and Cork to Kildare, there’s sure to be one near you! Check out their Dublin city center store at:
6-15 Nassau Street Dublin 2
Or visit their website;
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Situated just off the main Victoria and Albert Museum is one of London’s hidden gems – the V&A Shop. This elaborate shop is home to over 2,000 products, all carefully chosen to magnify the rich culture that the museum has to offer. The museums long reputation for exhibiting decorative artwork from around the globe is echoed in the products on offer in the V&A Shop.
The range of products on offer would have any shopper in a tizz! The V&A Shop caters to people in search of products that reflect the artistic influences of the museum itself such as one-off vintage pieces, exclusive commissions and products that are already part of design history.
The V&A Shop is aimed at a wide target market, including pockets big and small! And customers will not only walk away with an individual buy, but they can feel safe in the knowledge that every penny they spent will go back into the Victoria and Albert Museum. So don’t be afraid to splash out on a David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor print or a pair of handmade peacock slippers, as you will be helping the Victoria and Albert museum to maintain its position as the worlds leading museum of art and design.
When you’re finished buying up all the highly sought after jewellery, including our very own collections, why not enjoy a coffee in their beautiful cafe! Soak in the historic Victorian architecture while fixing on your very own artysmarty brooch that you’ve just bought!
For more information contact: +44 (0)20 7942 2696
V&A Museum Cromwell Road London SW7 2RL
or visit their website: V&A
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Looking for individual products in a friendly atmosphere? Well search no more and get yourself down to Rua on Capel Street. This cute little “lifestyle store” prides itself on creating a relaxed atmosphere where one can browse unique products that range from handmade home ware to beautiful delicate jewellery.
Owners Cara and James believe their years of retail experience have given them a priceless knowledge of what their customers really want. Their passion for “lifestyle” retail is evident throughout their quirky store. This friendly couple have managed to create a beautiful space that offers customers the chance to purchase something that will not be found on the high street!
Rua is also the only Irish and European store in collaboration with esteemed New York based designer Thomas Paul. His artistic collection of household and fashion items are a great addition to the Capel street store.
Not keen on keeping their eye for individual designs a secret, Rua also holds “Chalk Paint” workshops, which shows you how to take a drab lifeless piece of furniture and transform it into an individual art work!
Rua is the only stockist in Dublin City Centre of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints. No need for sanding or priming, just open and you’re ready to go!
Rua really has a lot to offer to customers on the hunt for something different to the unoriginal blur of products on the high street! Its collection of jewellery is one to be admired! They only choose the highest quality handmade pieces for their store.
For more info on Rua you can visit http://www.ruaboutique.ie/#/home/4572982765
51 Capel Street, Dublin 1
or Call: (01) 874 8051
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 10.30 – 18.00
But if Sundays are the only day you can make it down, give them a call and they’d be more than happy to open up for you! – Now that’s service!