Walkinstown woodcrafter shows off work at design fair

By William O'Conoor

A Walkinstown mum with a love for woodturning and a knack for model-making will be showing her original creations at Gifted – The Contemporary Craft and Design Fair in the RDS, December 4-8.

Kathleen Walsh, from St Mary’s Road, combines handcrafted wood with resins to create wooden bowls with beautifully translucent jewel-coloured tops.

Gifted Kathleen Walsh compressor

Kathleen Walsh shows off some of her magnificent wooden bowls

A model-maker and design technician with the Institute of Art and Design Technology in Dun Laoghaire, Kathleen grew up around wood.

“I have always loved working with wood and at this stage my passion has become an obsession,” said Kathleen.

“My dad and brothers ran a furniture-making business in Wexford, so I was always around lathes, but when I moved to Dublin I didn’t have the space to keep one.”

Finally getting the chance to return to her old passion 18 months ago, Kathleen decided to combine her design technician skills with her woodworking ones.

“I work helping students in the model-making workshop and it is very hands-on, so I’ve learnt to mould and use lots of different materials,” said Kathleen.

“It took about a year-and-a-half and lots of mistakes, but I finally found a way of making resins adhere to wood by using both traditional woodturning and resin-casting techniques.”

Having studied sculpture and trained as a teacher at Limerick School of Art, Kathleen taught at second level for some years before joining the staff at IADT.

Kathleen’s partner Rob and sons Rowan (10) and Evan (8) are very supportive of her new venture.

“The response has been very enthusiastic so far and I’m really looking forward to showing the work to the public at Gifted.”

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