Award Winners Announced At Showcase 2015
Karen Hennessy, CEO Design & Crafts Council of Ireland with Diarmuid Neilan from Ekotree Knitwear at Showcase 2015.
Winner of Overall Best Product Award: Ekotree Knitwear
Best Product Category Winners:
· Showcase Best Product – FASHION: Róisín Gartland
· Showcase Best Product – GIFT: Red Rufus
· Showcase Best Product – JEWELLERY: Martina Hamilton
· Showcase Best Product – ACCESSORIES: Ekotree Knitwear
· Showcase Best Product – HOME: BTU Studio
Other Showcase Award Winners:
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland Creative Island Award – Superfolk
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland Craftsmanship Award – Snug
Winners of the annual Showcase Awards were announced today at Showcase - Ireland’s Creative Expo®, which takes place at the RDS in Dublin and runs until Wednesday, 21st January. Showcase, which was officially opened by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is the country’s largest international trade fair, attracting over 5,000 buyers from all over Ireland and 26 countries around the world. Showcase 2015 is the first international trade event as part of the year long programme for Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), of which President Higgins is Patron. ID2015 is a government-backed initiative exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally in order to drive job creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness.
Commenting on the importance of Showcase, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “Irish Design 2015 aims to promote the very best of Irish design, supporting Irish businesses in selling their goods and services in competitive foreign markets and ultimately creating jobs at home. As the first international trade event in the ID2015 programme of activities at home and abroad, Showcase 2015 provides a great platform for presenting Irish design and craftsmanship to buyers from around the world. This annual event plays a crucial role in developing export markets and creating jobs in design and craft businesses all over Ireland.”
Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland congratulated all of the award winners and wished them every success at the trade fair. “We are continually developing Showcase to ensure that we offer buyers from Ireland and around the world a professional, world-class trade show that is relevant to their needs. We are delighted to see buyers coming back year after year to seek out the latest products designed and made in Ireland. The annual Showcase Awards encourage exhibitors to develop new products for the show, recognising excellence in design, craftsmanship and presentation. Selecting a winner for each award was a difficult task as the standard of entries was extremely high again this year. The award recipients, which include both established and emerging businesses, should feel very proud of their achievement,” she said.
BEST PRODUCT AWARDS
Exhibitors selected for the Showcase Best New Product Awards 2015 were chosen by three specialist curators at Showcase; Sonia Reynolds (fashion), Natasha Sherling (jewellery) and Eleanor Harpur (home and giftware). The curators nominated the ‘Best Product’ in each of their categories and each category produced a Best Product Award and two Highly Commended awards. The overall Best Product Award at Showcase 2015 was chosen unanimously by the Showcase selection committee.
The Overall Winner of the Showcase Best Product Award was Ekotree Knitwear from Co. Clare for their knitted throw. Ekotree are designer-makers of knitwear using the highest quality natural yarns such as superfine alpaca, lambs wool merino, cashmere, mohair, linen & organic cotton. They draw inspiration from landscape textures and patterns and the rich heritage of Irish knitwear tradition and stitch structures, producing a range of sweaters and accessories for women and men in their studio in Killaloe.
Best New Product Category Winners:
ACCESSORIES: In the accessories category, the Showcase Best Product Award 2015 was also won by Ekotree Knitwear. Exhibitors who were highly commended in this category were Dublin-based Brendan Joseph for his bow tie and Kildare-based CarveOn for their satchel.
FASHION: The Showcase Best Product Award 2015 in the fashion category was Dublin-based Róisín Gartland for her Japanese Leather Cape with Lambskin Neckpiece. Highly commended in this category were Wicklow-based Avoca for their Woven Wrap Coat and Donegal-based Fisherman Out of Ireland for their Chunky Fisherman’s Rib Cowl Neck.
HOME: This year’s Showcase Best Product Award in the home category went to Antrim-based BTU Studio for their pouring vessel. Highly commended in the home category were Dublin-based Arran Street East for their ceramic vessels and Co. Down-based Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen for their woven throw.
GIFT: Dublin-based Red Rufus won this year’s Showcase Best Product Award in the gift category for the Sockrabbit. Fermanagh-based Belleek Group’s 3 Lidded Bowls and Co. Down-based Saint Maren’s scented oils were highly commended in this category.
JEWELLERY: The Showcase Best Product Award in the jewellery category went to Sligo-based Martina Hamilton for her Bean Rí Neckpiece. Highly commended in this category was Co. Carlow-based Emma Jane Champley for her Eclipse Bangle and Dublin-based Helena Malone Goldsmith for the Savage Beauty Ring.
Other annual Showcase Awards included:
CREATIVE ISLAND AWARD: The Creative Island area at Showcase presents authentic Irish craft products designed and made in Ireland, featuring 90 commercial designer-makers who were chosen by an independent jury for their creativity, innovation and craftsmanship. The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland Creative Island Award went to Superfolk, a design studio based in Westport, Co Mayo who describe their design approach as ‘materials-led’. Co. Cavan-based 31 Chapel Lane and Leitrim-based Mulholland Jewellery were highly commended. The winner of this award is selected by a panel of independent judges which assess Creative Island exhibitors for stand design and display, product quality and overall suitability.
CRAFTSMANSHIP AWARD: The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland Craftsmanship Award, which promotes creative development in craft, was won by Snug for their writing desk. Based in Snugboro, Co. Wicklow, Snug believe in well designed Irish products at affordable prices while still using quality materials. All their products are designed with this mind, creating well-crafted and designed furniture that will sit comfortably in any home.
Showcase runs from Sunday, 18th January to Wednesday, 21st January 2015 and is for trade attendance only. For further details on the event, see: www.showcaseireland.com.
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Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo® - is the country’s largest international trade show. The annual event is attended by over 5,000 buyers from Ireland and up to 26 countries around the world, generating sales orders of up to €20 million over the four days of the show. Showcase is a partnership between the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and Showcase Ireland Events Ltd., with support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the show internationally through their network of offices overseas. The SHOWCASE device and “Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo® - are registered trademarks of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Castle Yard, Kilkenny, Ireland. www.showcaseireland.com
About Irish Design 2015:
Through a year-long programme of events and activities exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design both in Ireland and internationally, Irish Design 2015 (D2015) aims to showcase the very best of Irish design in order to drive job creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness. As part of ID2015, Dublin has been designated World Design Hub 2015 by the International Association of Designers, providing Ireland with a platform to promote the skills and talents of Irish designers to a worldwide audience. Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, is Patron of Irish Design 2015 and the initiative has been included in the Irish Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. ID2015 is being convened by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), in collaboration with partner organisations, on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Enterprise Ireland. Irish Design 2015 partners include Founding Partners - MCO Projects; Accommodation Partners - The Doyle Collection; Venue Partners - OPW; Exhibition Partners – DAA; Technology Partners - IBM and Broadcast Partners - RTÉ. www.irishdesign2015.ie
About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland:
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the main champion of the design and craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has over 75 member organisations and over 3,000 registered clients. www.dccoi.ie