New design studio and food fair for Letterkenny

More than 60 craftspeople, artists and food producers are expected from around the county and farther on Friday to take part in the new Letterkenny Craft and Design Studio and the Cathedral Town Artisan Food Fair.

More than 60 craftspeople, artists and food producers are expected from around the county and farther on Friday to take part in the new Letterkenny Craft and Design Studio and the Cathedral Town Artisan Food Fair.

The grand opening of the studio and food fair is set for 11.30am this morning, Friday, Oct. 5th. The new Letterkenny Craft and Design Studio is located at Unit 4, Port Link Business Park, on what tomorrow will officially become Joe Bonnar Road in Letterkenny, in memory of the well-known craftsman who passed away four years ago.

“It’s actually his birthday on Friday,” said Joe’s daughter, Anne-Marie Bonnar-Hynd. “Joe was always interested in crafts and that’s why he set up his own company over 20 years ago.” Joe Bonnar Metal Crafts Ltd. produces designer metalwork and lighting and their sister company, Donegal Gas and Welding Equipment Ltd., was recognised this year for 21 years of excellence in customer service.

“Joe was always interested not just in crafts but in people working together, and this is a great example of what can be achieved when people work together,” Anne-Marie said.

She said the craftspeople and artists who will show their work at the studio come from all over the county, “from Culdaff to Kilcar -- they’re from every angle of Donegal,” Anne-Marie said. She said a few of the participants are also from Derry and neighbouring counties. The work they produce is also quite varied, from knitwear to pottery, driftwood to jewellery, sculpture to miniatures, stained glass to soaps, christening robes to accessories, wood turning and more.

Plans for the two-storey design studio, located across the road from Joe Bonnar Metal Crafts, have been in the works since early this summer, when Anne-Marie said she “put out a feeler to see if we could get artists to come on board and showcase their work.

“It’s all really come together now,” she said. “They’re all pieces from Donegal or surrounding counties, and it’s all unique.”

Anne-Marie said the project is intended to encourage people to support local artists, craftspeople and producers.

“The whole idea is to support local jobs and the local economy in the northwest,” she said.

The Cathedral Town Artisan Food Fair, hosted by Chef Martin Anderson, will feature locally produced goods and will continue from 11am to 4pm, on the second Friday of each month. The Letterkenny Craft and Design Studio will be open from 10am to 5.30pm, Wednesday through Saturday. The studio can be reached on the Letterkenny Craft and Design Studio Facebook page or by email at info@letterkennycrafts.ie.