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Episode 004 - Nicola Gates

Designer & maker Nicola Gates of Olla Nua, who is based in North Belfast, Northern Ireland, specialises in woven textiles and features as our guest in this fourth episode from our first series of Making Conversations Podcast.

Within this episode, Nicola discusses her making journey, the importance of her natural material sources as well as the making process behind her beautiful work.

We were delighted to record this episode in Nicola's beautiful weaving studio, which is based in the 'Little American Congress' in North Belfast - named so because of the local area street names.

A huge thank you again to Nicola for participating in our podcast project and sharing the wonderful journey your practice has taken.



Nicola Gates is a designer and maker specialising in woven textiles. In late 2015 she established Olla Nua, a collection of contemporary handwoven woollen goods. In her work she aims to use wool and other natural, sustainable materials, in a modern and imaginative way.

Nicola grew up on a small farm in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, where she developed a love of nature and making things. Having been taught to knit and sew from a very young age by her mother, she discovered the craft of weaving while completing her degree in textile design at the

National College of Art and Design, Dublin. She has been fascinated with the craft ever since, and the endless design possibilities it offers. Since graduating from NCAD in 2005, she has worked in the heritage and museum sector alongside developing her weaving skills.

Nicola currently works from her weaving studio in Belfast. She has taught several classes in tapestry

weaving and felt making for local arts centres in Northern Ireland and is passionate about sharing

textile skills.

About text kindly shared by Nicola Gates.


For more information about Nicola Gates of Olla Nua, please visit her website here:


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