All about me ...

Mairead’s Shoebox of Smiles
All good stories start with a little love, a dash of courage, a smidge of fear and of course an unexpected journey. My story with ceramics started in Thomastown, Kilkenny, my only experience with art and clay having been as a child playing with putty and in secondary school using air drying clay. I found myself amongst dreadlocked artists with portfolios brimming with the most stunning pots and creations. 

I myself, having just left my job as a secretary nursed my shoebox with two items inside of it; a rock and a tiny bed. Now there was much more to these two pieces than them just being a rock and a tiny bed, that’s not important, but what is important is what they unconsciously represented, a connection to nature and the fun of life in my little shoebox. 

Although I was a total greenhorn compared to my classmates, my love for creating spurred me on. Thomastown taught me about techniques but it was my classmates and housemates, friends and neighbours who taught me my style. Ceramics allowed me to be versatile and flexible with my work. Ceramics inspired me not to be restricted by the canvas. It made me look at shape, light and colour in a 3 dimensional way. I was hooked!

I met even more eclectic beings and gained an unbiased view when I moved to Cambridge and started to sell my work in the St. John's College outdoor art market. I wanted my work to show what they inspired, lots of light and colour and of course lots of smiles. 

My shoebox was now too small to hold all my new pieces. I began looking at old mills in Co. Wexford for a place to set up my studio. I came across a beautiful 18th century mill in Castlebridge, I wanted to be near water, having loved my time in Thomastown, I made this my new home for me and my shoe box! I set to work and began making pot-bellied tea pots, for sharing tea and stories with new friends in Castlebridge.

My love of water brought me to the coastline and the windswept beaches of Curracle. I found inspiration for my shoebox and a connection to something great here. I found an inner calmness that I have brought into the work has evolved into the stargazer sculptures and the sea flower collection.

My stories continue, so please join me on this of journey with me! Who knows where we might end up and you might find something too, to add to your own shoebox!



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