Ballinteer artist Denise Cruickshank is settling into her new Marlay Courtyard digs after winning a studio space in a contest.

Dublin Gazette caught up with Denise to see how life has been for her since winning the competition.

Denise grew up and went to school in Ballinteer. Speaking on how she first got into designing, she said: “In the 80’s I studied pattern making and dress design in the Grafton Academy of Dress Design. Then I studied Display and Design in COMAD, which was in Parnell Square at that time.

“When I graduated there were no jobs here, so I took the boat, train to London the day I finished college.

“The second day in London I got a job as a couture machinist with the designer Zandra Rhodes.

“The next place I worked was Laurence Corner. Stylists, actors and pop stars shopped there. I repaired decommissioned military uniforms, made costumes and props and did the artwork for catalogues. I was given a lot of money and freedom to research and develop themes.

“I also ran a market stall in Camden Town outside Dingwalls the music venue.”

Denise then came home in the 90s and worked as a production manager for Theme Events, then worked for women’s aid as a manager in 2002 for 16 years.

Denise said winning the Marlay Park competition was a dream come true.

She creates colourful products for all ages; clothes, gifts, cards and soft furnishings which are all handmade and hand painted.

“I like to design, paint, sew, create, bake, knit, so I have been able to bring all of these skills to the business,” she said.

For more on Denise’s work see www.denisemarlayparkblog.wordpress.com