In addition to all the great retail premises Gorey is also a destination venue for its many galleries, art suppliers and crafts people and we list a few of them here that you might visit during your Christmas 2022 shopping excursions. Our friend Michael O’Callaghan has a run down of just some of the offerings for art lovers in North Wexford here
Eoin O Connor
You’ll find this great gallery by Eoin O Connor on 4 Esmonde Street, whose prints and work are sold in over 400 premises around Ireland, and he also has a brisk online business. When you enter his Gorey store you are immediately struck by the vibrancy of his colours. On the wall on your left as you enter there are some very vibrant framed originals such as Killiney Hill, Can’t Take My Eye Off of you, and The Influencer. The display stands and the walls of the gallery are full of his very colourful prints. I liked his range of cushions with dog and cow prints in such brilliant vibrant colours. Eoin has also produced a very nice 2023 calendar using some of his prints. Since 2019 Eoin has been working in conjunction with Tipperary Crystal producing a range of café products such as mugs, bowls, egg cups which are all very attractive and will make excellent unique Christmas presents. I just love their Mutz range of Tea Towels, Cushions, Notebooks, Place Mats, Bottles and Funky socks.
A Perfect Gift/ Tweed in the Valley
This is another real gem of a craft shop with many of the excellent tweed products being produced in the shop itself by proprietor Anna Dobson who comes from just up the road in Avoca. She qualified in Fashion and Design after her 4-year course and has worked at the highest levels in the fashion in The North. England and the Southeast Asian market before setting up her manufacturing base in Gorey. The Perfect Gift carries a wide range of products for ladies and men as well as a beautifully crafted kid’s range. Anna has the singular honour of being chosen to manufacture the Irish Government’s presentation to Prince Charles for Prince William and Kate’s Children.
In addition, there is a beautiful range of Christmas tree tweed decorations, lovely doggy wear, and a huge array of hats, scarfs in store. Anna also stocks a wide range of other Irish designers’ products like Jo Brown and Grainne Kenny.
It is an ideal shop to purchase a real quality Irish Gift because they stock such a wide range of beautiful guaranteed Irish goods. Step inside the door and discover the best in Irish craftmanship on Main Street Gorey. Anna has a stand at ‘Gifted’ in the RDS Irish Craft Fair 2022.
Caroline Bergin Art
Caroline Bergin teaches Art and sells artistic supplies and paintings at No 6 Esmonde Street. She hails from Gurteen, Castletown and qualified in the National College of Art and Design. She teaches a varied programme of Art and craft classes for kids and adults during the year. They have a lovely party craft room upstairs, with new initiatives like, pick and paint ceramics and make a bear, which is all very exciting and visually stimulating for children.
In addition to her classes Caroline is providing a base for local crafters to sell their wares. During one of my visits, I met Deirdre Morgan Jones of Kiln Crafts who works in china/porcelain and fusing glass, firing some lovely pieces in her own kiln in Kilmuckridge.You can follow her on Facebook -Deirdre Morgan Jones.
Overall, there is a lovely eclectic, well-crafted collection of local crafts including, a glass artist, candle maker, soya wax melts, wood maker, fabric accessories, natural skincare, and personalised gifts on display for sale here. All crafters are locally based and would love to see you visit them before Christmas
St Michaels Road is home to the lovely new shop and studios of Kate Kos where there is lots of her work on display for sale. She is a self-taught Polish artist who has lived and painted in Wexford for the past eighteen years. Her fondness for light makes watercolours her favourite art medium.
Her artistic work, with her friend Oksana Sotnikova, on the planters in the Gorey Tidy Town’s award-winning sensory garden in Gorey’s Town Park must be seen to be appreciated. It is visually very beautiful.
Kate’s 2023 calendars with her watercolour paintings of Gorey, Courtown Harbour, Cahore, Ballymoney Beach, Kilmore Quay, Kiltennel, Castletown and Clone Beach can all be framed as individual art works. We buy the calendars as Christmas presents every year and now, they hang in kitchens from New York to Perth giving Gorey people vivid images from County Wexford and lovely memories of home. So go pay a visit during your Christmas shopping.
The Gaslamp Gallery
This gallery established over 10 years ago on Esmonde Street in Gorey by Claire O Connell is now an established part of the Gorey art scene.
Claire stocks a huge range of both originals and prints, and her framing service is in much demand. This section is led by Anne-Marie who trained with The Fine Art Trade Guild. The ever-changing window displays are always so well presented, and their seasonal displays are stunning. They are compelling viewing, and you just must stop and admire them.
On their website The Gaslamp Gallery state that they offer a diverse selection of works by local, Irish & international artists for sale in the gallery and online. Each Limited Edition is both signed and numbered individually by the artist and is supplied with a Certificate of Authenticity.
You can give a Christmas present with a difference by visiting this super friendly gallery.
Grainne who hails from St. Therese’s, Mt Alexander in Gorey is a well-known Irish Textile designer and artist. She has been inspired by the sunsets and shorelines of Ireland for her works. Grainne is registered with The Design and Crafts Council of Ireland and is also a member of The Wexford Craft Trail. She qualified with a master’s degree in textile design from University College Falmouth, in Cornwall.
We have long admired her lovely, designed lamps with their delicate shading and her silver jewellery pieces. Grainne is passionate about quality and individual design which helps her produce highly treasured one-off pieces.
You can purchase Grainne’s work in the Gift Centre, Market House, Gorey or in The Perfect Gift, Main Street, Gorey, or you get further details about Grainne and her work on her website.
The Wood Turning Studio
Whenever I stroll down the Arklow Road I am compelled to stop and admire the wonderful displays of woodcarvings in Robert O Connor’s shop window and workshop on the Arklow Road in Gorey.
Those pieces are truly beautiful individual works of art lovingly carved by an expert woodturner and would make great Christmas presents for discerning people.
Sara Redmond – Different Strokes
This Christmas will be the last one for Different Strokes, owned and run by local woman Sara Redmond for the past eight years. She stocked a wide range of quality artistic supplies catering for all from children to amateur artists to professional painters. Sadly, she has decided to close this lovely intimate quality art supply shop in January 2023 as she moves on. As she said herself “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and enjoy the dance”. Thank you, Sara, for providing such a great service over the past eight years. You will be missed by all the huge number of amateur and professional artists whom you supplied. The closure of Different Strokes leaves a big void in that market.
Gorey Visitor Centre
The Market House on Main Street has been in existence here since the eighteenth century.
It has had many incarnations and alterations and uses over the centuries. Nowadays it is home to Gorey Tourist Office but is also an artistic hub. It provides bespoke Irish craft and design and is registered as a retail partner with the Design and Craft Council of Ireland with a venue to showcase and sell their work. Included here are some lovely pieces by local Gorey designer Grainne Kenny, locally made soaps, painted silks, Crannmore pottery and many more. It is worth a visit for its great collection of Christmas crafts.
Pop in to their shop on Gorey’s Main St!
Gorey Framing, Tomsilla, Courtown Road
For many years Paul Funge painted a scene of some part of Gorey for the Funge’s annual shop calendar. Over the years we collected them all and had them framed by Pat Hurney of Gorey Framing at Tomsilla on the Courtown Road. You can give a unique personalised Christmas gift to someone special by having a favourite photo or scene framed by Pat.
There is no need to go online or travel out of town to get your perfect gift. Support your local artists and crafters this Christmas. You are helping to provide much needed funding and employment for your local area which will have a beneficial spin off for all.
Shop locally this Christmas. The traders and crafters need all your help this year with their spiralling day to day running costs.
Mick O Callaghan 28/11/2022