Inspired by nature and Ireland’s rural roots, Polish artist Kate Ramsey has centred her new collection on the subtle but pervasive nature of the Irish landscape. Her new scarves and tunics collection called Reflections and Imprints, is a visual response to the Irish landscape. Katie says “In Ireland you have such ancient characteristics in the landscape, from the dry stone walls which influence my scarves of square felt on silk, dyed to mimic the colour of the Irish skies, to the myriad of leaves that fall from the trees on a simple walk through the park that influence my silks. I gather from nature; things and emotions, Reflections and Imprints”. Not only is she the designer, Kate is also the face of her creations and always designs with herself in mind, her motto is “I am the product, I breathe it, I wear it, I make it”.
Kate has been based in Limerick for the past 8 years and now working at her city centre studio at the Limerick Craft Hub, Kate did not come from an creative background but she worked very close to nature when she spent her summers as a teen in Poland tending a flock of sheep. “I used to look after the flock and then take part in the shearing of the sheep”, she says “And I wondered what happened to all the wool, in its different stages”. It wasn’t until she picked up a felted bag in Barcelona one summer, that she was once again drawn back to her roots. Working as a sociologist at the time, Ramsey took a change of direction and became fascinated in the felting process. She researched methods for dyeing and felting and soon began making scarves, hats and brooches. “When wool becomes densely felted it becomes almost impervious to water, so it keeps us warm and cosy, something essential in this climate. As wool is a naturally renewable material, the eco aspect to working with this material was a no-brainer.’’
‘For me the compliment of felt was silk, and to work with the two contrasting materials was an obvious thing for me to do. The new collection of scarves and tunics uses delicate prints from leaves and colours from the forests and the fields. Inspiration is everywhere and it often comes to me when I am working and making. I want to create things that are easy to wear and make a person feel good’. The designs are unique yet distinctly Kate Ramsey, and with customers from the US to the high fashion streets of Paris, this designer is going places. When she was honoured with the prestigious New Entrant Award from the Royal Dublin Society in 2011 and a second place at the RDS National Craft Competition in the felt making category, as well as a special felt makers Ireland award, it gave Ramsey the motivation to continue on her new path of artist and designer.
Her collections are available from the following stores:
House of Ireland, 37-38 Nassau Street Dublin 2,
Glen Aran Kinsale, Kenmare, Glengarrif and Shannon
Limerick Craft Hub, 9 Lower Cecil Street, Limerick
Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 – Dublin Airport