Some time back I entered a competition to win the opportunity to have a ‘moving billboard’ on one of Matthews Coaches for 6 months. This was part of their newly launched Arts Showcase Initiative. Well I can say I was just thrilled when I received a phonecall from Karen at Matthews saying that I was the latest winner of this brilliant prize. It took me a while to get my head around what this meant…. Liz Christy. Hand-Woven in Ireland and LizzyC Sheep would be featured on a bus which travelled up and down the M1 and into the centre of Dublin four times a day!
We set to work on the art work for the design. And while I knew exactly what it would look like, it was truly amazing to see it ‘in the flesh’ when my husband and I went to the launch recently. To see a 71 seater bus, parked outside The Marshes Shopping Centre in Dundalk with my images and branding on the back was unreal and very exciting.
A big big thank you to Matthews Coaches from Inniskeen in Co. Monaghan for this wonderful prize.
Check out our newly launched ‘Explore Artisan Monaghan’ booklet which features our own Swallow Studios artisans Louise Loughman & Liz Christy. The Trail also features 14 other artisan locations around County Monaghan and you will find it in public buildings and hotels. Our aim is to work together to cross promote our small craft and food businesses, and make them sustainable in this precious drumlin landscape.
Many thanks to Eilín Connolly and Local Enterprise Office Monaghan for taking the lead on this project. Thanks also to Monaghan County Council, Monaghan Tourism and CEDRA for your support, it is much appreciated.
As artisans we look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far to come and see the creativity at first hand, and help us spread the word that we are open for business.
These are just photos from the trail but when available we will be sharing a link to the full booklet but in the meantime look out for it around and about, and make sure to come and explore 😉
People always wonder what to give as Christmas gifts so we have put together a few Irish gift ideas as unique gifts. As we head into the cold of the winter with snow forecasted, uplifting gifts for wives, sisters, mothers, daughters and aunts are soft, Liz Christy colourful and cosy scarves which are designed and hand woven for that extra special someone. And of course not forgetting the men in your life…..an Irish Hand-woven scarf from the Kavanagh range is a perfect accessory to compliment the stylish man. Give gifts of meaning and quality this Christmas.
We have a range of perfect little stocking fillers from LizzyC including sheep brooches, key rings, fridge magnets, and Christmas ornaments These Christmas gifts are light and easy to post to family and friends overseas.
Or why not visit us at Swallow Studios where we have a range of other Irish handcrafted gifts including Batik art by Louise Loughman and beautiful silk scarves…knitted hats by HataiPheig, ceramics, candles, jewellery and more.
We will be open in Swallow Studios up to Christmas Eve until 3pm. If you place an order on our website www.lizchristy.com the order will be processed immediately to Ireland, United Kingdom and USA.
Giftboxed with Free Shipping.
See our short video below for an overview of the gifting possibilities this Christmas.
I was delighted to welcome Minister Humphreys to Swallow Studios where she saw first hand a living craft. The Minister saw how inspiration is gleaned from a painting and interpreted into a scarf, wrap or snood. I have been working as an artist, textile designer and hand-weaver for over twenty years and I feel as passionate about my work as ever. My goal…..to make a living from my creativity and retain the heritage of an age old craft from the past by generating export sales and creating sustainable jobs for the future.
The light filled studio was full of colour, from the beautiful vibrant wool to the multi-coloured handwoven scarves and wraps. My team were present and each met the Minister whose friendly manner put everyone at ease. Minister Humpheys’ genuine interest in my work was very apparent and added to the jovial mood of her visit which was a great boost to morale. The Minister was completely captivated by the intricacies of the processes and the wonderful array of colour. ‘Liz Christy’ branding features purple which has the shortest light wave; it evokes spiritual thinking and mediation and is the colour of royalty, luxury, authenticity, truth and fine qualities. Purple will usually feature in my work and if not in the body of the work itself, it is always there in the final touch of the label and gift packaging.
The Minister also loved the sheep brooches and key-rings from the LizzyC Gift Collection which she immediately recognised from seeing them in shops at Dublin Airport. These sheep are well travelled…. and are regularly spotted at locations all over Ireland, from the Giants Causeway to Sheep’s Head in West Cork not to mention their global travels.
Minister Humphreys was very supportive of the fact that we are keeping alive the culture of making a living from craft, retaining a heritage and age old skill of hand-weaving as well as producing wearable works of art inspired by art. I remain true to the Heritage of hand-weaving and work on a wooden looms powered only by human strength, to make scarves, wraps and snoods. The Minister explained that there are plans afoot to develop a heritage trail throughout the region and that Swallow Studios was exactly the type of living, vibrant, heritage venture that they wanted on the trail, a place where people could come and see at first hand an age old craft yielding quality products.
As a person who always wears scarves herself, Minister Humphreys, believes that colourful scarves can lift any outfit. So it was very appropriate to present her with a beautiful pink and grey scarf from the ‘Renaissance’ Collection. Woven from merino wool and silk, the scarf was inspired by the tradition of lace-making in Co. Monaghan both in Clones and in Carrickmacross.
Minster Humphreys said that it was great to see a product that reflected the heritage and culture of the local area and that this is what people abroad were really interested in.
“ When you see Fifth Avenue in New York closed off for a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, on an ordinary shopping day, you begin to understand how Americans really appreciate and respect the culture of Ireland”, said Minister Humphreys.
The Minister also met Batik Artist, Louise Loughman, who also works in Swallow Studios. This ancient art form of batik uses hot wax to create images on fabric. Louise studied Art and Textile design in Galway with me, where she specialised in surface and printed textile design. She now has her own artisan business creating original wall hangings and pictures in silk using the technique of batik and silk painting. Minister Humphreys was stunned by the beauty of Louise’s work and how it can bring to life the great mythologies of our heritage. And she was also very impressed by her long list of public art commissions and presentations.
The Minister stayed for tea and more lively conversation which everyone enjoyed. On departing Swallow Studios, Minister Humphreys stated that our work would make ideal gifts for her visits abroad, as ultimately they reflect the heritage, art and culture of Ireland.” I thanked the Minister for taking the time out from her busy schedule to visit Swallow Studios and it was a pleasure to meet her.
New Liz Christy product-ranges launch at Showcase 2015 ~
‘Renaissance Collection’ & ‘Inspired By…..’
Liz continues to pay homage to her home county’s heritage with her luxury ‘Renaissance Collection’. Beautifully handwoven with silk and merino-wool, these new designs look to the lace-making traditions of County Monaghan for inspiration. ‘Carrickmacross Lace’ from the south and ‘Clones Lace’ from the north of the county, fuse with Liz’s long time interest in traditional lace weave drafts. The result is a rebirth for this wonderful story of local craft heritage as Liz brings these contemporary designs to the modern marketplace. The Renaissance Collection combines masculine strength with a feminine lightness of touch – warm, stylish and versatile.
Chrissie & Carmel wearing Renaissance Wraps
The ‘Inspired By…..’’ is the second of Liz’s new product ranges to launch in January 2015. Liz’s love of art and colour is evident as she dyes and weaves her magic. She is well known for her Monet inspired scarves, always a welcome and precious gift.
This new range stems from Liz’s on-going love of the paintings of Claude Monet who was greatly influenced by the English painter Joseph Turner. Both of the artists loved light and colour. Born in 1775, Turner was an English Romantic landscape painter, water-colourist and printmaker. His work is regarded as the Romantic fore-runner to Impressionism. He was called the Painter of Light. Turner died in 1851 when Monet was just eleven years old but the influence of Tuner can be clearly seen in much of Monet’s work.
They both have similar play on light and fog. Currently the subject of a Mike Leigh film, Mr Turner, Joseph Turner was way ahead of his time. His impressionistic use of colour was often frowned on in his day but his brilliance finally won through. Liz Christy’s interpretation of Monet and Turner plays on their colours and hues. The end result is yet more beautiful works of wearable textile art in this new ‘Inspired By….’ Collection.