In September 2016 I began working on the idea of upholstery fabric after a conversation with Alanna Gallagher, Angela O Kelly and Emma Mc Grath. I set myself the challenge of designing the fabric using Genuine Irish Wool from Donegal Yarns. I visited the amazing mill up in Kilcar and had a lovely chat with Chris there about the posibilities in using the yarn. In the end I decided on combining a slubb Linen, Cashmere/Lambswool Blend and the Genuine Irish Wool. I wanted the finished fabric to be for a specific purpose, to be designed to fit and complement a piece of furniture.
Working with Alanna Gallagher, together we came up with one of Ciaran Mc Philips of Cooper Handmade Furniture's amazing Benches, Individually lathed by Ciaran at Cooper Handcrafted Furniture, each Original Oak Bench is made from solid oak with softened edges and hand turned legs producing a piece that will be the perfect addition to your home. The bench which is simple yet functional. Once Ciaran agreed to the project we set about realizing the piece.
Now armed with the dimensions and the colour of the piece of furniture, I selected a vibrant yellow and cool Blue cashmere/lambswool blend yarn coupled with a neutral linen slubb yarn and of course three beautifully natural shades of Genuine Irish Wool. I chose a Black, gray and moss colour that would quieten down the cashmere and give incredible strength to the fabric.
The fabric was then hand woven here in Claremorris by me using the Wild Cocoon signature gradient pattern and texture creating a feast for the eyes and hands. The Yellow appears to glow from the inside in parts then is more subdued when combined with the darker shades in the Genuine Irish wool.
The Bench was upholstered by a great bunch of lads here in Claremorris who run company called Monaghan Bros Bar furniture. In order to persevere and reveal the beautiful Oak top on the bench we decided to elevate the upholstery a couple of cm. In order to to do this Ciaran Custom made the bench to allow for the extra height involved in the upholstered seat.
The Bench was selected as Design Ireland Category winner at Showcase Ireland 2016 and has been shortlisted as Collaboration of the year in the Image Interiors Design Awards.
The Upholstered Oak bench will soon be part of the permanent collection located at the Design and Crafts council of Ireland, Kilkenny.