Local Hands is an arts and crafts gift shop in Ballyshannon. They showcase work from over 20 artists produced locally in the Donegal, Fermanagh, Leitrim and Sligo area.
Their focus is on stocking unique, high quality Irish arts and crafts and promoting the wealth of artistic talent in the North West of Ireland. Founded by an artist, they run a collective that supports and promotes each other’s work.
Their store has a large collection of beautiful crafts, including paintings, woodcarvings, hand-blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, handmade soaps, knitwear, tweed, cards, felt, batik scarves, posters, and crochet.
This collective of artists and craftsmen in the South Donegal region came into existence when a few of the local artsy folks who had been going through hard times came up with the idea of using a vacant shop unit to create some of their craft, display and sell. artwork.
A crew of five, Barry Britton, Barry Sweeny, Teresa Maguire, Aoife Britton and McGonigle Glass were the first gang to take the plunge.
A plan was hatched, a retail unit in Main Street, Ballyshannon identified, a name agreed upon and Local Hands was born.
With some practical support from the Regeneration Group and a budget of 200 euros from the then municipal council, some used furniture from various bins and garages, a lot of guts and a little fanfare, the doors opened in May 2013.
Visitors were intrigued by the fine collection of quality, locally made crafts, art and gifts. The shop and studio attracted the attention of many people.
Other artists were attracted and an artistic community was created that worked together, encouraged and promoted each other.
Hobbies became small businesses, skills developed and highly talented individuals came ‘out of the woodwork’ producing knitting, jewellery, glass blowing, ceramics, stone and wood carving, painting, turning, weaving, felting, carving and much more. ….
What was initially set up as a ‘pop-up’ shop became a more permanent part of Ballyshannon’s business and tourism landscape. Many great artists and artisans have been involved as members and guests and the shop currently houses the work of 25 different people. Current members include Jim McIntyre, Paula Cooke, Barry Britton, Rita Nic Fhoinghaile, Francey Cassidy, Lisa Hughes, Rossa Byrne, and Barry Sweeny.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary, Local Hands is organizing a day full of creative activities today, Saturday 27 May, from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
12 noon – Street Art Class facilitated by Barry S and Jim Mc. (inside if the weather is bad) Free lesson but limited places.
2pm – Wood carving and turning demonstration (and chat) with the artists Jim and Francey
3pm – Music by some local musicians
3 p.m. – Blow out candles
4-6pm – Pizzas and burgers and more music
So join the fun, draw a picture, sing a song, browse some crafty gifts, drink tae and eat sandwiches… and best of all, they’ll get 20% off everything in store that day. purchased.
Local Hands would like to sincerely link to thank you, our customers and friends, for your support over the past 10 years, both in store and online.
Follow them on Facebook and Instagram and check out their website www.localhands.ie.