Michelle Dunne - First Flight

The First Flight Programme is a LEO Waterford initiative to help nurture homegrown craft and artistic talent and assist them in turning their concepts into commercially viable enterprises.

Michelle Dunne

Michelle Dunne is an artist and metalworker taking her first steps into the commercial world with the first flight programme, this is a snapshot of Michelle's journey.

I am originally from Tramore, now living in ferrybank. I have always been interested in art in one medium or another. Previous jobs include furniture design, body modification, singer songwriter and tattoo apprentice. I felt that working in the tattoo industry just wasn't the art that I wanted to do, so after nearly ten years, I decided I needed to up skill and art had to be at the centre of new career.

I came across the VTOS two year course in Creative art, which included a wide range of craft subjects. Metalwork was the one that had me hooked from the beginning. Once that course had ended I needed to know more so progressed to grennan mill craft school in thomastown where I completed level 6 in art craft and design.

Michelle Dunne - brooch 2

'Strong roots make beautiful leaves ' is the quote that set me on the path with this jewellery business. Heritage, culture, family, friends and even hobbies are the roots that shape us. I wanted my jewellery to be relevant to the wearer, an heirloom or keepsake that tells their story. Celtic mythology and nature would be a heavy influence also on my designs.

My customers would run across all age groups and walks of life. We all have a story to tell, we all want to be remembered and most importantly, we all have strong Roots that shape us.

Starting a new business in Waterford is exciting and daunting at the same time. We have a name for promoting art, but we lack the premises to showcase it in all its mediums. Slowly but surely this is changing. The craft industry can be a lonely job, so places like Kite Design Studios are extremely important. Designers working alongside each other, inspires and increases knowledge in the whole design process, marketing etc.

  Michelle Dunne

After three years of so many craft subjects this scholarship allows me to focus on my metalwork and grow my skills. With the help from LEO I can also learn the business side of things, which so many crafters struggle with.

In the future I would love to include sculpture into the business and work on a larger scale. There is so much to learn and the possibilities are endless with metalwork. That makes this all so exciting. Each day in Kite Design Studios brings me closer to this all being a reality.


Kite Design  Studios  mon -fri, 10 am-5pm

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