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Liz Christy is a textile designer & hand-weaver. She is inspired by the arts, be it poetry, prose or painting.
A native of Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, Liz has always lived surrounded by the beauty of nature. As a child she lived in town with the shimmering Lough Muckno at the bottom of her garden and beautiful forests and rolling hills on her door step. Her next door neighbour, Molly Murtagh was a seamstress and it is here that Liz first encountered beautiful textiles and bobbins of colourful thread. So the seeds of a passion for colour and textiles were set. Liz went on to study Art and Design in GMIT, then Galway RTC. She graduated with a distinction in 1986 and also won the International Wool Secretariet ‘Woolmark Weave’ designer of the year award.
Liz Christy’s weaving looms at Swallow Studios, in the heart of the Co. Monahan’s drumlin countryside are all hand & foot operated. She has five looms and they are set up with the various styles and sizes. Visitors are very welcome to come and see Liz at work and she will happily demonstrate the stages in the process and tell you the stories behind her work. You will also see Liz hand-dyeing her custom spun wool in a joyful array of colours.
Liz’s techniques result in unique, sought after textiles and are gifts of meaning & quality. Liz Christy scarves are available to buy in some of the best craft tourist outlets around Ireland and they make beautiful gifts to bring for those special people, when on holiday. Her scarves and wraps are well known, but she also makes fabulously colourful throws which are available only at her shop and through her website. Liz takes pride in her career as a craft worker and brings age-old methods into contemporary living. Her studio shop stocks work by local artisans including batik and painted silks, forged glass and also Liz’s ever popular LizzyC Sheep Gift Collection.
Liz’s work as a textile designer & hand-weaver, is inspired by the arts, be it poetry, prose or painting. “It is a slow creative process”, she says, “but that is the case with any piece of art and my pieces are wearable art, inspired by art”. Colour is the foundation to all her creativity. She is entranced by colour from the ever-changing colours of nature in the heart the countryside of Monaghan to the vibrant colours used by the French Impressionists painters. Liz loves the touch and feel of textiles; cotton, silk and wool, but colour is her passion.
“It is labour intensive work”, says Liz, “but I am an artisan, I paint with thread and the loom is my canvass. Each piece is an individual work of art, made with passion to be loved and enjoyed by all.” “Often when I start to weave I do not know exactly what the finished piece will look like or how the yarns and colours will blend when they are woven together. It is these creative surprises that happen on the loom which give me great joy in my work. For me there is a touch of the mystical in every finished piece.”
Liz loves talking about her work and explaining how she is inspired. She takes great pride in keeping the age old craft of hand weaving alive and reveals the stories behind her work. Swallow Studios is open to the public for demonstrations and visitors are amazed at the speed of the shuttle on the loom. Visitors love to see the loom coming alive and see how the intricate patterns, shapes and colour of the wool almost take on a life of its own.