Last weekend, on a trip to Donegal, I spotted the McGonigle Glass Studio in the Donegal Craft Centre, on the edge of Donegal town. Here Lyndsey McGonigle and her sister Elaine create the most beautiful glass jewellery, household pieces and absolute works of art. Until I actually looked around the studio, I hadn't realised there was such a demand for glass in so many shapes and forms.
We all think of the utilitarian drinking glasses, fashionable glass dinner plates, chandeliers and so on but up in Donegal, the McGonigle girls are taking the art of glass creation into a totally different sphere in forms both decoratively beautiful and functional, fun and funky.
Lyndsey, 27, and Elaine, 30, are from nearby Rosnowlagh. "Our parents wanted us to be doctors or teachers, but they knew rightly that we were going to follow the art route, for every Christmas it was more pencils and paints!"
... For their shop they mainly do jewellery and small items. They have the most gorgeous chunky beads in different colours for bracelets, vibrant colours, spotted and striped -- you can customise your own -- and even get your initials or special occasion dates put inside. Their pendants are beautiful ... also fabulously coloured drink coasters, bowls, plates and pictures with customer friendly prices. A really novel idea is glass wedding invitations -- a glass panel on customised cards -- on which the couple can have maybe a heart or their initials inscribed to mark the special day. These run from €3.50 to €6 and are really different.
For the home, they do special windows with fused glass panels. Another thing that really surprised me was that people can get pictures of their favourite photo made in glass.
While I was in the studio, Lyndsey was working on an order for a picture of Donegal Bay. The customer had seen a previous one they had done of Rosnowlagh and loved it.
... McGonigle glass is available in Adrigole Arts on the Beara Peninsula, Etain Hickey's shop in Clonakilty, Co Cork; Ardmore Pottery in Co Waterford; Powerscourt Gallery in the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin; The Cat and The Moon in Sligo; and in O'Reilly and Turpin, Westport, Co Mayo.
Original Post on Donegal Friends.