I RECENTLY visited The Donegal Craft Village two kilometres outside Donegal town and had the pleasure of meeting the lovely McGonigle sisters Elaine, Lyndsey and Zara.
McGonigle Glass Studio specializes in individually crafted glass jewellery, glass art and vessels, using slumping, engraving, sandcasting and hot-formed bead making techniques. Everything they make is started and finished with love in their beautiful studio.
These three sisters are from Rossnowlagh and they have a passion and talent for all things craft and design. From an early age, they have been making, creating and painting so it was no surprise when they all decided to go to college at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin to purse their love of craft and design.
Elaine and Lyndsey studied glass while Zara went another direction and studied Textile Design. The three talented ladies are now in their eleventh year in the Donegal Craft Village and their business has gone from strength to strength, with their creations being sold at several stockists throughout Ireland, and their work has been featured in the Irish Independent magazine as well as Style File by Darren Kennedy just this summer.
This was my first visit to the McGonigle Craft Studio so when I had the opportunity to meet the girls last week I jumped at the chance!
On entering their shop/studio I was immediately struck by how girlie, creative and beautiful the interior and décor of the shop was.
There was a giant chalk wall as a backdrop where the girls have written snippets of information about themselves and their business in white chalk, beautiful handmade bunting draped across the ceiling, and I loved the quirky way in which they displayed some of their necklaces, pendants and chains, hanging on little hooks inside large vintage frames.
The girls showed me around their studio which was a feast for the eyes. Being a bit of a magpie, my eyes were darting from one part of the studio to the next admiring all of their stunning creations. Lydnesy also showed me how she makes the beads which was really interesting.
In their shop, they sell mainly jewellery -necklaces, earrings, bracelets and brooches.
They also informed me that they had been making customized bracelets for an upcoming wedding and that they design and create lots of different styles of customized jewellery in a range of shapes, colours and sizes to suit their customers needs.
They have also started making framed pieces with personal details which makes nice gift ideas for a new baby, weddings, anniversaries or birthday gifts.
They have started to combine print and textiles, Zara’s forte, along with glass to create some very unique pieces. They have the most beautiful range of beads in lots unique and vibrant colours. I love how you can customize your own by getting the date of a special occasion or your name printed inside.
“The rugged West coast of Ireland and bright colourful flowers provide us with inspiration to develop our pieces. We have been fortunate to travel to and visit wonderful, magical cities and countries! Morocco and Barcelona being our favorite. These places burst with colour, we love colour and I’m sure you’ll agree, this shows in our work.”
McGonigle Glass is available in their studio in the Donegal Craft Village, Donegal Town, The Cat and the Moon in Sligo, Ardmore pottery in Co Waterford and O’Reilly and Turpin in Westport, Co Mayo. They also have a necklace touring the country in The RDS National Crafts Awards Travel Exhibition, now in the Hunt Museum in Limerick until mid-October.
The talented trio’s future plans are to continue being creative and expanding their product range. Their website has provided them with a new retail outlet and they said that they would like to build on this increasing oversea sales.
It was great to get the opportunity to meet Elaine, Zara and Lydnsey who were very friendly and welcoming.
I just loved having a sneak peak around their studio at the Donegal Craft Village and I highly recommend that everyone visits, you won’t be disappointed.
I would also like to wish Elaine all the best with her own upcoming wedding, I am sure your customized bracelets will go down a treat!
Work can be purchased at www.mcgonigleglasstudio.com and viewed on their Facebook page, McGonigle Glass. Contact Elaine, Lyndsey or Zara on 00353 74 9725928 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zara McDaid can be contacted on Facebook, search ‘Zara Mc Daid Art’, www.zaramcdaid-art.blogspot.ie or e-mail is email@example.com