VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art &
The George Bernard Shaw Theatre


Showcasing Carlow design and craft this Christmas

December 2021 |

VISUAL and FORM Carlow collaborate to showcase Carlow design and craft this Christmas.

It's the perfect opportunity to buy a beautiful locally-made gift this Christmas.

The FORM network consists of designer makers and craftspeople, who create high quality home ware, gifts and wearable pieces. All members live and work in County Carlow. FORM was founded over six years and came together to promote their work and to raise awareness of their individual craft enterprises locally, nationally and internationally.

Collectively, FORM aims to raise the profile of designer makers and craftspeople producing high quality work in Carlow, promote County Carlow as a destination for high quality design and craft and provide a forum for the exchange of views, common objectives, collective activities, constructive criticism and feedback amongst highly skilled designer makers and craftspeople.

The group is supported by Carlow County Councils – Local Enterprise Office.

About the Designers

Darragh Sinnott is a furniture designer maker and woodturner based in Rathanna Co. Carlow. A graduate of GMIT Letterfrack and a native of Galway his main medium of work is in wood, whether turned, carved or made into furniture.

Emma Jane Champley’s greatest passion is working with silver, exploring this beautiful metal's capabilities and showcasing it in its purest form. In her work she employs simple, elegant shapes that are highly polished or roughly hammered. Inspired by the human form, she creates both one of a kind commissioned pieces and statement collections.

Martin Lyttle is an Irish Stone Sculptor working with local Irish stone and based in south Co. Carlow. He studied and worked as an engineering geologist for 20 years before taking up a long cherished desire to do stone sculpting. A sense of place and a concern for the natural environment informs his practice and his work concentrates on natural, organic forms and the composition and texture of the stone.

Martin Marley trained as a designer but the artist within searched for more expressive ways of working with clay. Sometimes these sculptural pieces are exact facsimiles while sometimes they are abstracted forms, playfully mimicking facial and body silhouettes and forms.

Mary Bourke, the goldsmith behind the jewellery brand DeBurca Design, originally from Mayo, has set up her own studio in rural county Carlow overlooking the Barrow valley. Mary takes ideas from nature such as repetition and pattern and the interplay of light, line and shadow, and demonstrates these through her jewellery designs, working with silver, gold, pearls and precious stones.

Tomomi McElwee grew up in Japan with its rich culture and textile heritage where picking up small pieces of fabric and stitching them together became a natural obsession for her. Now living in Rathvilly, Co. Carlow, she makes quilts using both traditional patchwork patterns and her own original designs.

Liga Valge, the designer maker behind Valg Studio specialises in the medium of polymer clay to create simple, contemporary statement jewellery and sculptural wall art. Her current collection ‘Shadow and Light’ is inspired by Liga's close connection to nature.

Leiko Uchiyama is internationally recognised feltmaking artist. Her agriculture study led her to sheep and wool. Now, over 25 years of felting and dyeing experience go into her unique work. Her wet felting technique creates a fine lacy felt inspired by the pine needles spread on snow in her hometown.