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Mel Bradley in her studio

I’m a textile artist and I have been making and creating for as long as I can remember.

I studied Textiles while attending The National College of Art & Design in Dublin and have been designing, painting and creating ever since.

I graduated in 1981 having completed 4 years in the Fashion & Textile Department. Two years later I set up my own studio, hand painting silks for the fashion and corporate markets.

For the past 35 years I have been designing and hand painting silk scarves, wraps cushions and bed throws for the craft, fashion and corporate markets. Alongside creating my own brand I have collaborated with leading fashion designers such as John Rocha, Louise Kennedy, Jen Kelly, Richard Lewis and Pat Crowley designing and creating fabrics and wraps for their collections.

After being commissioned to design and paint cushions and bed throws for the Morrison Hotel by John Rocha I turned my attention to designing a range of cushions and lampshades for the interiors market.

In 2006 I completed a post graduate course in textile exploring and experimenting with new technique and three-dimensional forms. I won the Best New Product Award and the Buyers choice award with this new work in 2006.

Over the years I have developed my skills and techniques as a textile designer.

I am lucky to have creativity in my life and I enjoy sharing my craft, skill and love of making, with others.

I teach a part time Textile Printing course in the College of Art as well runs classes and workshops from my studio in Millmount Drogheda.

Recently I moved into a beautiful new studio within the Millmount complex and have opened a small gallery to showcase my work and the work of other talented designer makers and artists. From time to time GALLERY 13 will also host solo and group exhibitions.


What inspires me?

Colour is an important part of my work. It’s who I am.

My work is directly influenced by the ever-changing world that surrounds me.

I find inspiration for colour everywhere, from the early morning light that streams in thought the bedroom window, the light that reflects the waves on the sea, the grasses swaying in a soft breeze, a bud bursting into flower, the raising and setting sun.

The tone, the tint, the depth and the intensity of a colour can change in a second with the reflection of light. Colour is exciting, and emotional, it amazes and inspires me.
Bringing these wonderful land and seascape colours into my work is something which I enjoy exploring.

Silk is my canvas and by its very nature is the perfect material to express my creativity. I love silk for its sensual quality, its character, its texture, the feel and the way colour reflects and illuminates this fabric is beautiful.

I am lucky to live by the sea on the east coast of Ireland and everyday my local beach offers an ever-changing seascape, the ebb and flow of the tide, the sun rising, the shifting light that colours the sea, the scattered tufts of storm ravaged seaweed and the perfectly formed birds mirrored in pools of receding water provide a constant source of inspiration for my work.

‘Every day I walk the beach, watch the birds feed, feel the energy of the sea and hear the shells crunch beneath my feet.’