"The Crafts Council of Ireland and Craft Northern Ireland have designated 2011 as Year of Craft. The year marks the 40th anniversary of the Crafts Council of Ireland and will be celebrated through a diverse range of dynamic events and programs to showcase the very best of craft made on the island of Ireland" ~ CRAFTS COUNCIL OF IRELAND.
Showcase Ireland is Ireland's largest international trade fair and this was the venue for me to launch my line of Irish kitchen textiles. Almost a year in the making , working across time zones , it seemed almost surreal seeing the textiles come to life.
I wanted to work with an Irish company, one that also makes the products in Ireland (Not China). Charles Gallen Irish Linen was that company.
Charles Gallen enters it's 141st year as a family linen business. The company has seen it's way through the empire, world wars, uprisings, depressions and the occasional boom. The company bears the name of the first owner who purchased what was then called 'The Drogheda Linen Company', in 1870. The firm remains in the hands of the Gallen family today. Their cloths cover the tables of Irish Embassies worldwide, and their pure Irish Linen sheets and pillowcases grace the beds of fine homes and exceptional hotels. When I was invited to be a guest on 'The Martha Stewart National TV Show' here in the U.S in March 2010 I was contemplating what to give Martha as a gift. I presented her with a Pure Irish Linen Damask tablecloth. She was delighted and told me how much she loves Irish Linen.
I wanted designs that were indicative of the Ireland I know, as I love to say 'My Real Ireland'. The' Boyne Spiral' was inspired by two things, my logo and company colors and a visit to the historic Newgrange in 2010. The Irish Castle was a must. The number of castles located around Ireland is staggering. From ruins to 5 star properties. The third pattern 'Irish Cupboard' features many of the ingredients I use in my cooking classes from mussels and turbot to carrots and leeks.
As I write this the prints are currently being assembled in Ireland and will be winging their way to the U.S market soon in the guise of aprons, tote bags, tea towels, oven gloves and even the long forgotten tea cosy.
I hope you enjoy.