An Interview with Frances McGonigle

frances mcgonigle 2
How did you begin your interest in design?
My interest in design began when I was in craft school. When I finished at the school I started making very elongated feature mirrors inspired by 1920s rectilinear designs. These looked like metal but were actually made from recycled cardboard. I worked on these pieces alongside interior designers, shops and at one stage a set designer, until I packed it in to go to art college to do a degree in painting.
What’s your practice like? Do you work from a studio or are you based at home?
My studio is at my home in the Ox Mountains, County Mayo. These are pre-ice age low mountains, and they are fantastic to get lost in on a painting expedition. Or any kind of an expedition, for that matter. It’s a beautiful place to be.
What artists/designers have inspired you over time?
Designers/Artists? I love love glam and punk looks- I love Pam Hogg’s work for example. One the other end of the scale, Edith Head is a top favourite of mine – the clothes she designed for film are swoon-worthy. I’m drawn to geometric, stepped designs from Art Deco. It all goes in the mix. I won’t go there with painters – I’d be here all day!
Tell us about your process and how you take an idea and transform it into a finished piece?
My process always starts with sketches. I usually then surface pattern various textiles using batik techniques- brush, tjap, tjanting, sgraffito. Mark-making and creating a painterly look is very important to me. I love to layer these patterned textiles, creating textures along the way. Then I refer back to the shapes I’ve drawn and start to construct the pieces, one item at a time. Each jewelry piece is one-of-a-kind.
frances mcgonigle
What materials are you most drawn to working with?
I love working with any raw material that can be surface patterned. I like everyday/humble material that can be manipulated into something glamorous or luscious – I really have a lot of fun doing this.
If you could only choose one piece of design, what would it be?
My choice of one piece of design? Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair- Yes Please….Thank You! I could live on this chair, and dream, and sketch…!



Frances  is one of the featured designers in the Galway Designers S/S Fashion Showcase ’18

You can see more of her work on her website and Instagram

First Show starts @ 5.30pm
Doors open 5pm
Interval @ 6.15pm – TheDirty Circus Performance
Second Show @ 6.45pm

There will be a Pop-Up Prosecco Bar provided for your refreshment

After the show, you are invited to join the ‘Afterparty’ for some cocktails above in the Tribeton Bar.

Tickets are €12 and can be purchased from Tribeton or from the Galway Designers Studio House, located in the Cornstore Mall.

They can also be purchased on the door for €15
Limited standing tickets available on the door for €7

Tickets get you a seat with goodie bag and 20% discount off any Tribeton food purchases

Limited Tickets Available!

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