White Sculptural Neckpiece

Belfast designer Rachel McKnight makes architectural jewelry out of laser-cut polypropylene disks. The piece at left can be displayed as a sculpture or worn around the neck like an Elizabethan ruff.


Much of the work in the show appears to be influenced by Ireland’s spectacular rolling landscape. Case in point: This corrugated cardboard chair by Yaffe Mays

Double-Hipped Vessels

Porcelain artist Sara Flynn gives her vases their quirky, lumpy looks by pinching the clay when it’s wet. Then to add texture, she cuts, scrapes, and sponges the vessels as they dry.

Enignum chairs

The woodwork of self-taught designer Joseph Walsh straddles the fine line between furniture and art. The spindly chairs here are sculpted from ash and their seats covered in suede.

Enignum table

The matching table

Erosion low table

Another table by Joseph Walsh. This limited-edition piece retails for 42,000 Euros!


Sculptural tableware by the silversmith Cara Murphy

Perforated Form #3

Several of the artists draw imagery from the sea -- which should surprise precisely no one, since Ireland has 3,500 miles of coastline. Here, a ceramic sculpture by Frances Lambe

Radiolaria 5 Repeated

More abstract art inspired by marine life, this one from Cork-based Nuala O’Donovan.

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Irish Design: It's Magically Delicious [Slideshow]

A new exhibit opens today at the American Irish Historical Society in New York. The theme: contemporary Irish design, which for aesthetes is an oxymoron along the lines of "Irish sobriety."

Indeed, in the annals of European design, Ireland has never stood shoulder-to-shoulder with powerhouses like Holland and Italy. That could change. The furniture, jewelry, and housewares on display in MATERIALpoetry through November 18 show an acute appreciation of craft and a penchant for the old Joycean mind-screw, from the spine-like polypropylene jewelry of Rachel McKnight to the sexy, sinewy woodwork of Joseph Walsh.

We've got highlights in the slideshow above.

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