Cork designer Joseph Walsh builds an international reputation

Cork-born furniture designer Joseph Walsh has built an international reputation in just over 16 years for making pieces that embody the definition of design as a combination of beauty and utility.

It also reflects the ability of Walsh and his team to handle materials— usually wood — and bend them to the will of a vivid design imagination that has seen tables, shelves and beds produced to museum quality, while retaining function.

 A resin base supports a Connemara marble table top in the Exilumen I, which is a departure from the woodworking synonymous with the studio.
A resin base supports a Connemara marble table top in the Exilumen I, which is a departure from the woodworking synonymous with the studio.

Based in Riverstick, Co Cork, his studio is now preparing for a new schedule of exhibitions worldwide, including London’s PAD in October which shows art, design and decorative arts. In November, it’s Salon NYC, noted for its historical, modern and contemporary furniture, followed by Design Miami in December, and a solo exhibition in Japan in 2017. Recent developments in his work include the Enignum bed, made to a limited edition and sought by some of the biggest collectors in the world. It’s a clear example of how scale is one of the most obvious changes in his work in recent years. So too is the introduction of other materials like resins and Connemara marble. Sometimes, the two are brought together in a single piece: ancient marble laid down millions of years ago and a polymer created as and when required.

 A console table from the Enignum series consists of free-flowing layers of wood. The glass top adds function without interrupting the composition.
A console table from the Enignum series consists of free-flowing layers of wood. The glass top adds function without interrupting the composition.

For Walsh and his team of master craftsmen, new materials mean new challenges, but with a growing workshop, and an astonishingly technical output to date, it looks like they’re set to meet them.

 The Enignum bed with its fairy tale quality is testament to the ingenuity of Joseph Walsh and his team of master craftsmen.
The Enignum bed with its fairy tale quality is testament to the ingenuity of Joseph Walsh and his team of master craftsmen.


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