6 great gift ideas for lovers of Irish creativity

7 Nov 2016

A well-crafted gift. Image: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Hallowe’en has been and gone which can only mean one thing: Christmas gift shopping. To get you started, here are six ideas inspired by some of Ireland’s most creative stores.

We’ve all been in the situation where we struggle to think of good gift ideas for your significant other, family member or friend that isn’t picked out of a supermarket or toy shop at the last minute.

Thankfully, the world of e-commerce has stepped in to offer you a plethora of options for potential gifts that you never even knew existed, many of which you can find right here in Ireland.

Future Human

What makes them stand out from others out there is the sheer craftsmanship, as many are actually hand-crafted or made to order based on your requirements.

To that end, here are six ideas that you can pick up now online from just a handful of Irish stores.

Love and Robots – a treat for map lovers

Do you know someone who would probably consider themselves an amateur cartographer? Someone who loves nothing more than a beautifully curated map?

Well, the gang over at Love and Robots can help you out. Among its collection of jewellery and accessories are a number of cartographically minded items, such as a wooden bow-tie or a set of coasters.

Wooden bow tie

A wooden bow tie with map. Image: Love and Robots

Rather than just giving you a map of somewhere we all know about like New York or London, what makes the Love and Robots creations particularly special is that you can get a map of just about anywhere on Earth put on them.

So, if you wanted to give your friend a set of coasters that feature a place you may have both fallen in love with at some point, you can.

Prices vary depending on how intricate your choice of item is, but something like a personalised wooden map bow tie starts from €58.

Irish Design Shop – A Calendar of Constellations

If you have a friend who is fascinated by all things space – but who might have the same knowledge as an astronomer – then you might consider a visually appealing Calendar of Constellations.

Far from being a ‘consolation’ prize, this detailed constellation calendar – offered by the Irish Design Shop and developed by Alex Synge – contains 13 detailed prints of the night’s sky during the 12 months of the year over Ireland.

Constellations calendar

The Calendar of Constellations. Image: Irish Design Shop

Each one will tell you all of the basics of astronomy for that day, such as how the moon will appear at night, to get you ready for your own full-moon experience.

At the time of writing, the calendar appears to be on sale at a price of €25 and is exclusively available from the Irish Design Shop.

Dublin Design Studio – Scriba iPad Stylus

If you know any architects or designers who seem like they have an iPad constantly glued to your hand, then you might want to get them the neat little Scriba iPad Stylus from the Dublin Design Studio.

Having previously featured on Siliconrepublic.com, one of its founders David Craig spoke of the gadget as being born of frustration, due to the inaccurate and unpredictable line output from his digital stylus, so he decided to take the issue into his own hands.


The Scriba stylus

Rather than just being a thin piece of plastic with a touch-sensitive point at the end, the Scriba has a flexible body and a dynamic squeeze motion responding to every touch, giving you the freedom to express your creative self.

Unlike a button-controlled stylus, Scriba’s squeeze motion can be programmed to provide instant access to a whole range of tablet-based creative software functions, without changing settings or having to fumble with options.

You can now pre-order the stylus ahead of its launch later this month.

Sugru Rebel Tech Kit

We at Siliconrepublic.com are big fans of Sugru and its founder and upcoming Inspirefest 2017 speaker Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh, so we felt it would be worth highlighting the company’s latest great gift idea: the Rebel Tech Kit.

Much like the wonder-glue material that spawned the company, the new tech kit would be ideal for beginner makers who want to give a whole new lease of life to old and new technology.

Sugru kit

The Sugru Rebel Tech Kit. Image: Sugru

Within the Rebel Tech Kit is a collection of 14 tech ideas inspired by people all over the world, combining the most popular and useful Sugru tech hacks for the first time.

With easy step-by-step instructions in a booklet full of information, beginners can get to grips with what the glue can do and help a friend ‘take back control of technology’, as the company says.

At €13, it works out as a pretty affordable gift.

Seasonal Beast – ‘Space Time’ Binary Digital Watch

Do you know someone who has no time for just ‘reading’ the time using a simple two-hand analogue or digital clock? Someone who is big into computer science and maths?

Well then, they might want to check out the ‘Space Time’ Binary Digital Watch available over at the Seasonal Beast website.

Unlike your typical watch, this particular model displays the time in red and yellow LEDs, in supposedly easy-to-read binary code.

Binary watch

‘Space Time’ Binary Digital Watch. Image: Seasonal Beast

Once one of its buttons is pressed, it will light up the LEDs to show the time in, well, binary.

This journalist must admit that it is quite hard to tell what time it actually is. Thankfully, there’s an explainer video out there to help explain it to those who might not be up to scratch with their binary knowledge.

At just €20, it seems an awful lot smarter – and cheaper – than an Apple Watch.

Jamie’s Hub – 3D-printed delights

Given the near limitless possibilities of what you can make with 3D printing, then asking someone with their own printer to create something for a loved one is a no-brainer.

One such maker in Ireland is Jamie Tully, who previously featured on Siliconrepublic.com as Ireland’s most active seller of 3D-printed items.

If you head on over to his page, you can get in touch with him to see about sending your design so he can decide the price, based on what size it will be and what filament you want to use.

You can check out his interview with us below.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic