"A handful of skill is better than a bagful of Gold"
Is fear lán doirn de cheird ná lán mála d’ór
This old Irish proverb rings true for the many talented crafters throughout rural Ireland where skills are passed from one generation to the next, often within the same family. Traditional crafters seldom use written measurements or patterns, instead relying on the skills & accuracy developed through rigorous apprenticeship & experience. From the Donaghys in Donegal, to the Hardings in Cork; small independent family crafters create unique & beautiful things.
“We do things our way, the old way and the best way” says Simon Harding, of Lee River Leather. Simon learned his trade from his dad Peter & prides himself in producing durable leather goods with detailed Celtic embossing “our belts and wallets have traveled the world and are still going 25 years later”.
In the scenic, Gaeltacht village of Kilcar, Wendy & Kevin Donaghy proudly handed over the reins of their beloved Studio Donegal to their son. This iconic weaving business is renowned for hand-woven excellence, producing beautiful, timeless garments. Tristan is proud to carry on their traditional values “Our genuine handwoven tweed sells all over the world in exclusive top end craft shops. We have maintained our brand ethos of being the only genuine hand- weaving mill in Ireland and that will always be our hallmark”.
That said, it’s not enough for this generation to simply follow in the footprints of the past, they need to find ways to use their traditional skills to create contemporary crafts. No one knows this more so than Anne Beehan of Áine Knitwear in Clonlara, Co. Clare, Anne grew up watching her grandmother knit and fell in love with the intricacy & elegance of Aran Knitting, starting to knit herself at just four years of age. She feels there is a growing market for hand-crafted garments that marry the traditional with modern design. “It’s about creating the next generation of Irish Knitwear — updating traditional Aran knitwear and creating a classic look”
Ireland has a proud heritage of craftsmanship, innovation and creativity – there are many wonderful products lovingly produced on a daily basis – it’s now time to explore & find your very own “little piece of Ireland”, visit Irish Crafts, Doolin, Co. Clare. Shop Now