Souvenirs rethought in Irish Makers & Brothers' project
You are on holiday, in high spirits, soon to travel back home and continue with your dull daily routines. You feel the urge to take a little something with yourself that you imagine putting on your office desk, with the intention that it would remind you of those few carefree days, and the beautiful landscape, the nice people, great weather, and delicious meals you encountered on your trip. So you go to the nearest souvenir stall and pick up some cheese plastic object depicting the region’s landmark in some way, not even caring about the ‘Made in China’ sign at its bottom, throw it in your suitcase, and never see it again.
Although this scenario seems very 21st century, the discrepancy between the concept and reality of the souvenir started early on. In 1973, a “disgusted teenager” complained in a letter for The Irish Farmer’s Journal that the souvenir she bought in Ireland in fact was made in Japan. It is especially painful for a country which prides itself in its great tradition of crafts and workmanship. So why can’t the two (actual object & crafts) be married?
Mostly inspired by this letter, and partly because of our current understanding of souvenirs, Irish company Makers & Brothers introduced a curated collection of objects made in and reminiscent of Ireland. As the project was commissioned by Irish Design 2015 and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, it suggests that the issue should be treated at a national level. While questioning what an Irish souvenir is today, at a wider level the project is about connecting designers and makers.
Born from the collaboration of Irish creatives and traditional Irish craftsmen as coordinated by Makers & Brothers, the collection includes 9 contemporary objects. An ancient Irish board game, a clay honey pot, and stone wall patterns amongst others reinterpret the idea souvenir so that it would fulfil and go beyond its original function of recollecting memories.
Source: It's Nice That
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