Mountmellick wood-turner tipped as designer to watch

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    An installation by Alan Meredith at Newpark Comprehensive School

    A Mountmellick wood-turner has been tipped as one of the top young designers to watch out for in Ireland.

    Alan Meredith graduated with a masters in architecture in 2015 and opened his workshop and studio in Mountmellick the same year.

    His work is receiving national recognition and the Irish Independent’s Weekend magazine chose him as one of five top up-and-coming designers to watch out for.

    Working mainly with locally sourced oak, his output ranges from small sculptural wood-turned vessels to larger outdoor sculptures and seating.

    His recent projects include a wooden pergola structure for the gold-winning UCD garden Evolution of Land Plants at Bloom 2016.

    His talent has already been recognised in Laois and he was the overall winner of Laois Best Young Entrepreneur, as well as winning in the category of Best Start-Up Business last year.

    Already the benefits are being reaped from the inclusion in the magazine feature, with one commission taken by Monday morning.

    “A lot of people already know my work but it is good to get the recognition,” Alan said. “I suppose it makes people take more notice of my work… and validates it,” he added.

    “If people see my work in a national newspaper, or on LaoisToday.ie, it reinforces what I do,” he said. He added that is always nice to reach a wider audience.

    The Mountmellick man, who has his base on the Ballyfin Road, said he was always working with wood from a young age. He then went on to study architecture for 5 years in UCD.

    “It gave me a broader understanding of the style and scale of work,” he said of his studies. “It gave me a more global understanding, rather than concentrating on just making furniture”.

    On graduating from university he had a year’s work in front of him, which he had to finish.

    His work now sees him concentrate on three areas: wood-turning (vessels), furniture and large installations.

    Irish oak

    He works with Irish oak and all his briefs have a functional aspect, whether it’s a seat or a table.

    One of his most recent works was for Newpark Comprehensive School which saw three large installations completed.

    Last year he was was the Overall Winner and won 1st Prize in Artistic Category at the Irish Woodturners’ Guild National Seminar

    He was also commended in the  Institute of Designers in Ireland, Design Awards (Structures and Spaces) for his Quadrangle work at Newpark School.

    Next up for him is an exhibition in the RDS as well as work on installations for the Body & Soul and Equinox festivals.