1 month ago

Artistic License: Martina Navratilova


How the local beaches and waterways of Barrystown, Co Wexford, inspired the Czech artist to create a new collection for Ceadogán Rugs …

What was the starting point for your new “Cladach” collection?

I suppose the starting point for “Cladach” was my move to Ireland from my childhood home of Brno in 2006. We are completely landlocked in the Czech Republic. I was fascinated by the sea and seascapes, and I would spend a lot of time on the beaches collecting driftwood and pebbles almost obsessively. These tiny fragments of the coastal landscape smoothed and shaped by time are full of stories – they are the workings of the tides, winds, and all that surrounds. It is often the smaller details and patterns in nature which manifest either consciously or subconsciously in the designs which we surround ourselves with in our daily lives.

How long has it been in the making?

The concept for creating a collection with a coastal theme has been on my mind ever since I started working with Ceadogán Rugs in 2018, which happened by accident or some might call it destiny.

This is my first rug collection. My exploration of art and craft is a continuing process, widening the use of techniques and themes, so my style and approach changes gradually. I am constantly lead by a curiosity through what I see and what I touch in my immediate surroundings. The visual and haptic are used and combined on every day basis in our small company here in Ceadogán.

First and foremost, though, it was important for me to learn about wool. Every material has its own quirks and nuances and wool is no exception. It is important to get a feel for the materials you are working with before you set out. The intended end use must also be considered carefully, for example how does it behave when used as a rug as opposed to when it used as a fixed wallhanging with a limited view point. It helps to know the whole process of making the rug as your design has a better chance to translate as what you have in mind.

How and where do you work?

Ceadogán’s workshop and showroom is situated in a stonewalled farmyard that dates back to the 1600s, overlooking Bannow Bay Estuary in Co Wexford. I feel privileged to live and work in this beautiful place. Most of my work develops as a concept by walking through the ever-changing seascape of Bannow Bay and the inspiration is then transferred into photos, sketches and final drawings. Afterwards, it comes to picking the suitable colour swatches from our yarn store. It is also a good idea to make a sample of the tufted colour combination to see if they work together.

Need to know: The “Cladach” collection by Martina Navratilova is available from Ceadogán Rugs, Barrystown, Wellingtonbridge, Wexford,


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