While Liz, a textile designer and hand-weaver, is inspired by Art from paintings to poetry, she also infuses her work with the everyday colours and hues of the changing seasons. Her love of colour echoes what she sees around her each day; the fresh hues of springtime daffodils and bluebells, the vibrant highlights of the Irish summer landscape followed by rich shades of autumn and water-filled winter scenes.
In describing her work, Liz says ‘the threads pass through our hands many times during the process from start to finish’. She uses natural materials, including beautiful Donegal yarns along with specially spun bouclé wool and kid mohair. These she hand-dyes in Swallow Studios, producing stunningly different colours, which are then hand-woven. These contemporary fibre combinations are a signature of Liz’s designs. Each scarf and wrap is hand-knotted when it comes off the loom and then it is hand-washed to bring out the luxurious softness of the fibre. Essentially Liz’s work is high quality, heirloom pieces which with care and gentle hand-washing will last for generations.
Located just outside Castleblayney, Swallow Studios is an attraction for locals and visitors alike where they will see the craft of hand-weaving come alive. What makes the studios an interesting place to visit is that as well as being able to buy Liz Christy Scarves, you will see them being created in the workshop. If Liz is dyeing wool in her unique style, she is happy to demonstrate. You may hear the clacking of the flying shuttle or you may see the quiet concentration of threading a loom. No matter what Liz is working on, she is always delighted to welcome tourists and any visitors, to see how it all comes together; from the hand-dyeing pots to the glorious ribbons of colour being handwoven at the manual looms. Visitors are really amazed at how it all happens and always enjoy the friendly and informative visit to the drumlins of Monaghan.
For Liz it is essential that she can truly guarantee that her textile designs are genuinely hand-woven in Ireland, and she has trained her weavers. Hand-weaving is an age old craft and her looms are powered by hand and foot and all her work has a woven selvedge.
“It is a long process”, says Liz, “we paint with thread and the loom is our canvas. The warp and weft threads pass through our hands, numerous times before the scarf is woven, washed and finished by hand. I love it when visitors to the studios see and appreciate just how much work is involved in bringing these textiles to life. Each piece is an individual work of art, made with passion to be loved and enjoyed.”
“As a weaver you know exactly where each thread will go but when my hand-dyed yarns are woven into the mix, you never know exactly what the finished piece will look like or how the yarns and colours will shimmer as they are woven together. It is these creative surprises that happen on the loom which give us great joy as we weave. As well as a quality hand-crafted scarf, there is a touch of the mystical in the finished piece.”
Swallow Studios is a place where you can find a special hand-crafted gift, made by Liz or one of her artisan friends. Find gifts of meaning and quality, locally crafted by dedicated craftspeople.
You will also find the popular LizzyC Sheep Gift Collection at home, in Swallow Studios. Brooches, key chains, fridge magnets, Christmas ornaments and now new to the flock are the ‘The Ramblin’ Sheep’ are all available to buy in the studios shop. Opening hours are 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday. If you are coming a distance to meet Liz, please do phone first as from time to time she may be gallivanting to gather inspiration. For weekend opening call Liz on 0876821563 and she will be happy to open and demonstrate on the loom, if available.
Phone number: +353 (0)429746614
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org