Tuesday, 15 November 2022
Donegal is blessed with a range of artist talent, from fabrics to textiles, loom to canvass, our many designers and makers have helped to put Donegal on the map internationally. #BuyDonegal provides an opportunity for the county’s creatives and producers to collectively promote their offerings to a worldwide audience.
Laura Buchanan an artist, born and bred in Donegal perfectly illustrates this talent. Born into a heritage of craft, Laura has progressed her career showcasing her portfolio in internationally renowned locations and is firmly committed to helping grow and collectively support Donegal business from her Ramelton home.
"Design and Donegal are definitely in my DNA!’’ Laura proudly explains. "As a wee girl growing up in Ramelton I was inspired by the landscape, culture and make-up of our heritage town. I think I got my first hit of creativity by making paper-máche masks’’ she jokes.
Perhaps hers was a career destined for design, Laura grew up in a Georgian era home, above the iconic family grocery store. ‘’Although the shop has since closed it’s doors, I was fascinated by the living history of the shop. My work is all about reflection, nostalgia and play.’’
Laura initially completed a degree in Fine Art Printmaking at Ulster University, Belfast followed by a Masters in Surface Pattern and Textile Design at the University of Central Lancashire, England. She has appeared as an artist in residence at Belfast’s Print Workshop as well as working in various creative roles across the UK and Canada.
Returning to her native Donegal in 2015, Laura became a part of the design team at McNutt of Donegal, based in nearby Downings and then in 2019, proceeded to set-up her own creative enterprise in Ramelton.
Today Laura works in the room adjacent to the old family shop, consisting of studio and a shop for her designs. The workshop is open throughout the year, by appointment.
Alongside her Ramelton base, Laura’s works are visible across Ireland and beyond. ‘’My prints have been exhibited at venues across Ireland, most notably the Royal Ulster Academy exhibition in Belfast. Internationally, my pattern designs have been exhibited at the Indigo Textile Show in New York, where they were purchased by US retail giant Target for their homewares department.’’
The ethos of collaboration is central to Laura’s mission, she has previously worked with local producers to develop Donegal Gift Boxes, to share handmade love from Donegal. Last month she also met with a delegation from the Heritage Council and Department of Housing presenting them with copies of Ramelton’s Walking Treasure Trail, a piece of work she personally designed. Laura was also a member of a Donegal County Council led trade mission of Designs & Makers to Boston where her works were displayed at Boston Convention Centre for an exclusive St. Patrick’s Day event.