j a k i c o f f e y
designer / maker
a selection of images of my work (click on an image to view all in series)
grand drying out (2021)
With this work, Grand Drying Out, the incongruity of the full washing line in the May woodland links two simple experiences to herald the beginning of summer. Both events intersect on various levels.
May is a time when washing lines awaken after a long, cold spring. Cloths of all colours festoon the garden to revel the longer, warmer days.
So, too, do the woodlands welcome the start of summer with their verdant textiles - swathes of fluorescent green leaves cover the canopy, primary gorses and bluebells carpet the floors, new mosses curtain the trees.
Both are simple, summer pleasures. Both instil satisfaction and joy. Showers add to the drama and beauty of both.
Clothes donated by local people.
Colours palette inspired by the Glenbower Flora SS21.
Photo credits : Kara Sweeney & Jaki Coffey
Our little family was stuck at home during the pandemic. Evidence of the kids was stacking up in every room and every surface and it was getting claustrophobic. I would walk into the house and think it looked like a crime scene.
We had to topple the kitchen chairs everyday so our two year old wasn't using them as aids to reach All The Dangerous Things. Then he began to topple the chairs in every room and it made the house look like it's been burgled. I made these drawings to document the evidence.
Crayon and ink on fabriano paper. Can be purchased from Olivier Cornet Gallery.
Photo credits : Brian Quilligan
butter fingers (2020)
series of brooches
Since my daughter could access butter unaccompanied, I have been recording her attacks on the glorious yellow blocks.
I was reminded of the Irish poem, Subh Milis, by Séamus O’Neill in which he speaks about trying to remain calm on seeing the door handle smeared with jam. He concludes that one day there will be no little hand to create jam havoc.
In the same vein, I have come to see these dairy assaults as being beautifully impulsive. This tiny, gluttonous butter thief leaves her tell-tale fingerprints without care. I love this ephemeral graffiti which is then consumed by our small family with (metaphorical) relish.
This project was completed while I was Artist in Residence at Greywood Arts, Cork.
Photo credits : Jaki Coffey
miraculous medals (2018)
series of medals
I felt that my world had shrunk when I became a ‘Stay At Home Mother’. Completing banal and seemingly easy tasks e.g. unaccompanied urination or cutting tiny nails without injury seem like huge achievements. With only an oblivious toddler to celebrate these accomplishments with, I felt that I needed to be blatantly self-congratulatory. This need has manifested itself in the form of medals – normally awarded to tasks considered less mundane or worthy to outsiders. In this case they are for me and any other parent for whom completing basic self-care seems nothing short of a miracle.
Photo credits : Megan Paine
if i have to get the wooden spoon... (2016)
set of two brooches
After I had my first child I reflected on how parenting approaches differ between generations. Most Irish kids in the 1980s would have had a few run ins with the wooden spoon Nowadays, gentle parenting tools have thankfully taken the place of kitchen tools.
In this work, with my tongue firmly in cheek, I look at how the wooden spoon might have been updated for the 21st century by layering the traditional wooden spoons upon a silicone spatula. The brooch is contemporary and light and secured with a magnetic back.
Photo credits : Peter Rowan
Inflating the neckpiece
lust at sea (2015)
series of brooches and neck pieces
For my current work, I’m looking to life saving equipment. As a designer, beginning a new project can be daunting. One can feel “at sea”. It was this creative block from which I drew my inspiration: a collection that throws a life ring into uncertain waters to reign in my ‘Eurekas’.
Looking at the properties of this equipment, I have focused in on details such as blow pipes, whistles and buoyancy. The wearer has the ability to inflate one’s own wearables to signal for help or attention and to save themselves from their own dangerous or awkward situations.
Photo credits : Damien Maddock
the ballinwilling hoard
most of the material here was found in one outing on the beach with the help of my bemused mother. They are quick colour pallette tests which lead to one or two being made into wearables
lust in found (2014)
series of brooches and neck pieces
In my bachelors degree project, ‘Lust in Found’, I combined some of my passions by making wearable, fillable skips. These manifest themselves as brooches and neckpieces.
My gold and yellow skips encourage interaction by urging the wearer to mix and match the ‘rubbish’ to their mood on any given day.
The wearer is, thus, transformed into the curator of their own jewellery.
Photo credits: Damien Maddock
Designed for my brother. We have a shared history of stew hatred. When we were young our mother used to make stew every Tuesday. One time she left the room and we ran out and threw it over the wall in the garden - hence the one full and one empty bowl. We were brazen and ungrateful but we've rectified that - I think...
metal work and commissions
I'm always open to the possiblity of commissions. It's tricky to get the balance between the design in my head and the vision of the client but, ultimately it's great fun. Please get in touch if you would like work commissioned. I work in many differing mediums and am happy to chat to you!
found object collages