Well I have been on a grand (as they say) tour of Ireland and incorporated many studio visits along the way. There were eight in all and so I have decided I will do a series of posts... here is Part One.
I contacted the potters before I left Australia to see if they were happy to have me visit and fortunately for me they made me very welcome.
We visit family in Dublin so that is where we started.
A potter can be found almost anywhere - even at a garden show. We attended the Bloom Festival the first weekend and came across the stand for Ceramics Ireland. (OK so I saw their Ad on Facebook and looked for them when I knew we were going to be there).
Ceramics Ireland were offering a clay experience with several wheels setup inside the tent. Children were booked in for the rest of the day to be shown the basics by local college students. They gave out some old editions of the magazine which I managed to bring home to share with my Aussie pottery friends.
My first studio visit was a lovely afternoon tea with Kathy at her charming home studio in the Dublin suburb of Dumdrum.
Kathy has hosted me before and it was lovely to catch up with Kathy and her husband once again. I have one of Kathy's little brooches, however she is best known for her happy little foxes and chooks. You can find her work at several outlets around town, the latest being a new gallery near the Dalkey DART station called "Southshore Arts".
Pottery by Kathy
While still in Australia I made contact with Martha Cashman who is a member of the Society of Cork Potters. We were going to meet up and maybe even have some hands on clay time however Martha had the opportunity to go to a conference in Tunisia which was sad for me but a great experience for Martha. And just by chance there was an Australian potter there too.
the world is shrinking.
Although Martha and I didn't get to meet up we did do a swap - this bird feeder made it all the way back to Australia with me, and Martha now has a couple of my small pieces. Thanks to the staff at the Nano Nagle Gallery and Museum, Cork who after some initial confusion with my unusual request found the parcel Martha had left for me and put my swap aside for Martha to collect on her return.
Martha, this one hasn't made it into the garden just yet... it will be interesting to see how the local birds find it. Our cockatoos are much larger than the Irish birds.
These are made as part of a project that Martha runs for More Clay Less Plastic Cork City.
I would have loved to have helped to make more bird feeders but this one will be put to good use.
Martha suggested I meet up with some other Cork based potters and we managed to make a time to visit Charlie Mahon.
Charlie is both a potter and a sculptor. His work is in several galleries around Ireland and it was lovely to see his work in various ones as we travelled around.
Here is a link to his website and it includes a blog with some interesting video clips. His work has a real fun element to it : Link: https://charliemahon.ie/about/
I was very surprised to see our visit on the local papers Facebook page a few days later.
One of his trademark Mackerel bowls came home with me.
Thanks Charlie for taking the time to show myself and my family around.
That's part one... watch this space for further accounts of my odyssey.