first studied fibre crafts in Cardiff College of Art in 1970’s.
led into a career later in organic horticulture, fine art and natural medicine.
Eleanor formed the company ‘Dragon Herbs and Design’ in 1980 when she relocated
from Wales to Ireland. Dragon Herbs and Design exhibited
throughout the 1980’s and 90’s in Showcase under The Crafts Council of Ireland
and sold plants and fibre craft items with a herbal theme to craft outlets all
over the world as far away as Alaska and Japan.
1980’s a small group of craft workers got together and formed a co-op called
West Wicklow Cottage Crafts following some very successful Christmas Fairs in
Downshire House Hotel. Eleanor was one of the founders of this group.
went on to open a small crafts outlet in Russborough House under the auspices
of Lady Beit.
One of the
members was Tommy Byrne of Ballymore Eustace, a marvellous woodturner, now
sadly deceased. Tommy had some spinning wheels that he made and exhibited at
the Downshire House Hotel and Russborough. Tommy was delighted when Eleanor
started spinning with one of his wheels and this was the start of many years of
demonstrating wool spinning throughout Ireland.
crafts outlet in the Old Laundry has long ceased trading when it became victim
to its own success in some ways, with the members finding it difficult to man
the shop and run the business while also producing from home.
In 2011 a
few people in Hollywood came together to plan the first Hollywood
Fair. The Hollywood Fair was conceived as a day of fun, to recreate the past
times as they used to be and needless to say, Eleanor was involved in this
project and demonstrated spinning and old herbal remedies along with organising
the traditional skills demonstration area. The Hollywood Fair has been very
successful and led to the All-Ireland Sheep Shearing competion being held in
Punchestown in 2012 where Eleanor spun the fleeces into wool straight from the
runs The Weavery in The Bridge Community, Camphill, Kilcullen and studies
weaving under the direction of Caratha Carr, master weaver of the Donegal
tradition, past handweaver in Kilkenny design and Avoca Handweavers. Eleanor
has realised her lifelong held ambition of living her life combining Herb
cultivation, a Healing practice and Fibre crafts in the mountains of Wicklow.