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Go fish for cookware in Blackrock, get crafty in Ballbridge |

Go fish for cookware in Blackrock, get crafty in Ballbridge

Destination cookware

The Triggerfish Cookshop in Blackrock, Dublin, will appeal to anyone who enjoys spending time in the kitchen.

Cooks, bakers, Sunday roasters, healthy eaters – in fact, just about anyone who enjoys spending time in the kitchen – will want to browse the cleverly-designed and well-stocked shelves of the Triggerfish Cookshop, which has just opened on Blackrock’s main street. As well as staples like pots and pans, glassware, gadgets and cookbooks, the shop has a major focus on knives, including the Kai Shun range of cult stainless-steel knives from Japan. Designs and the latest innovations in cookware are at the heart of the enterprise, and the plan is to vary the products available to match the changing seasons. The owner, Dubliner Bob Toal, is a passionate at-home cook who has spent years criss-crossing the globe, picking up on food cultures, cooking styles and eating trends. Toal’s adventures in the culinary hot spots of Japan, China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Lebanon and Peru coloured his thinking for the cookshop; the quirky name was inspired by a tropical fish he ate during a visit to Florida’s Panhandle. The store will host food events, talks, book signings and live demonstrations: for details, along with recipes and a dash of seasonal inspiration, sign up on

See the light 

The Cathedral light shade (€40) by designer Renata Pekowska.

We’re all up to speed with environmentally friendly light bulbs. Now the lighting designer Renata Pekowska has come up with a pendant shade which is not only beautiful but moveable, sustainable and easy to assemble on existing ceiling light fixtures. Her Cathedral shade – the name comes from the shape of the leaves, which resemble an arched window in a cathedral – is made from acid-free card with metal fittings. It’s designed to be easily slipped off and transported: aimed, she says, “at the environmentally-minded nomads who love to personalise and adorn their living spaces”. Even the packaging is plastic-free and fully recyclable. Pekowska, who has an interest in shadow puppets, is fascinated by the way a light fitting transforms the space it inhabits, both in a sculptural sense and through the patterns it casts. The Cathedral light shade is made in Dublin at Lightet Studios and is available from Designist, the gift and homeware shop on George’s Street in Dublin, price €40.

Get crafty 

Mooncatchers by Artwood, (€20 -€25) are handmade in Co Leitrim.

Remember when Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, and we all just carried on calling him Prince? There’s an element of that at the event now called Gifted: The Contemporary Craft and Design Fair. Formerly known as the National Crafts and Design Fair, this assemblage of the most innovative arts and crafts is an absolute for those seeking unusual Irish-designed and made Christmas gifts, whether in fashion, ceramics and glass, jewellery, photography, children’s gifts or pieces of art inspired by nature. Among the latter are an elegant oak armchair – part functional piece of furniture, part sculptural wonder – by the Design Council of Ireland’s Future Maker of the Year 2017, Alan Meredith (€1,200). Handmade porcelain bowls by Danu Ceramics, glazed in a deep, rich teal with 22-carat gold lustre, come in a range of sizes and prices from €15 to €60. Sam agus Nessa’s Grizzle Bear and Polar Bear clocks (€50), handmade from sustainable Irish timber, are sure to make people smile – as are Michi’s vibrant knitted cushions in merino and lambswool (€75). Niki Collier’s extraordinary handmade felt stones bring a slice of the Irish landscape into our living spaces (€150 to €450) and Artwood’s Moon Catchers (€25 to €50), made from oak, field maple and elm, will be glinting in all the best-dressed windows this Christmas. It’s all happening at the RDS from December 5th to 10th from 10am daily, with 10 per cent off everything on the opening day, and I reckon that come the week after next, we’ll still be asking each other: “Have you been to the Craft Fair yet?” Rock on, Gifted.

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