The operators of Chapel Lane Market in Ennis have confirmed plans to re-open for business on Saturday 22 May at 10am.
The market’s crafters normally take a break in January and February as they re-charge their batteries after a busy festive season, but none of us thought it would be so long before we re-opened!
The exciting thing is that this extended period of enforced closure has allowed our crafters to develop new ideas and to try out new products. We have new people joining the market who have used the time during Lockdown to work on their hobbies and create a small new business from that – one such stallholder will be bringing a new range of greetings cards based on photographs of local views and flowers.
Some of our established stallholders, Inna’s Pincushion and Wild Atlantic Silver have been honing their skills. In the case of silversmith Lorna Langenkamp of Wild Atlantic Silver, she has been working on setting semiprecious stones in silver to develop a range of luminously beautiful earrings and necklaces. Inna’s needlework is always of the highest quality, but she has developed new styles using different textures and media.
Damon Murphy joined Chapel Lane Market last Summer after the first lockdown allowed him time to rediscover his love of wood turning and wood craft. He will be returning in May with more of his stunning wood work, and over the last few months he has been experimenting with the use of coloured regions combined with locally sourced wood in his designs.
With Chapel Lane Market the driving force has always been to develop a creative, sustainable weekly marketplace for local craftspeople in which to sell their handmade products. Nothing bought in or mass manufactured is allowed to be sold, meaning visitors can always be sure that they are buying something unique and made within a 30 mile radius of Ennis. Later in the Summer Chapel Lane Market has plans to be promoting crafting to the public during August Craft Month organised by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.
Sallyann Marron, who along with Lorna Langenkamp is one of the market’s organisers, said “Lockdown has really awakened an appreciation of the power and value of shopping locally. We’re all being encouraged to continue to stay local and to shop local. Chapel Lane is part of the Champion Green retail campaign to support shopping locally.
“Supporting local small businesses is so valuable because they have been severely hit by the continued lockdowns. We are asking the people of Ennis and County Clare to continue to support Chapel Lane Market by shopping locally and supporting local craftspeople, and to come and take a look at the diverse array of beautiful products on display every week. And to spread the word to staycationing friends and family visiting the area during the Summer!”
Local craft markets are of massive importance to local artisans as they provide a reliable way to meet local customers, who value the chance to buy unique gifts for themselves or friends and family.
Each week there are stallholders displaying an extraordinary array of differing crafts and artistic styles, from needlework, sewing, leatherwork, crochet, knitwear, beaded and silver jewellery, woodcraft, fused glass, soap to photography.
Longstanding stallholders such as Wild Atlantic Silver (silver jewellery), Bagamuffin Bags, Celtic Knitwear, Orinoco Fused Glass, Beechwood Leather and Sallyann’s Handmade Bags will be returning for their sixth year at Chapel Lane Market!
Many regular visitors call to buy special gifts for friends and family that they know are one- offs, so extra meaningful for the recipient. Tourists love the emphasis on locally handmade products after being confronted by so much mass produced tourist product as they have travelled around.
The designer and wood turner behind Joehan Woodcraft, Damon Murphy, said, “This extended period of lockdown since January has given me the chance to explore new ideas I wanted to try using resin and wood, but until now I had had no time to trial and develop. Now I will be returning to Chapel Lane Market with some exciting pieces, including large tables as well as vases, all created in my studio here in Clare”
Visitors to Chapel Lane Market love to meet the makers behind the crafts, and to find out the story behind the products, many of which are made using recycled materials or in sustainable ways. They can also discuss what they are looking for, often leading to the creation of bespoke, unique items.
Chapel Lane Market is open every Saturday (we hope!) from now until Christmas from 10.00am to 5pm, and can be found in the Community Centre on Chapel Lane in Ennis, with an additional entrance from Moran’s Car Park.
Potential stallholders are always welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.