Friday 17 March 2017

The crafty Irish

For a Kelly green St Patrick's Day: a series of documentaries about Irish crafts[wo]men. Index. It's amazing to moderns how many of these men go to work wearing a tie! I don't wear a tie to work and I have a desk job.
  • Bookbinding in Dublin [1981] I spend several years in the 80s as an amateur book-binder. I learned that every part of the book contributes to its engineering and function. The fact that they make a hand-bound book a thing of beauty is a bonus.
  • I could never get my knife sharp enough for book-binding.  Nor my scythe neither. Here's a bunch of Fermanagh farmers who work a sandstone quarry [1980] to produce whetstones, millstones and other stone-craft. [Thanks Russ!]
  • A piece across the country near Carrickmacross Co. Monaghan, where they make drain-pipes by hand [1983]. Jakers, you can see why everyone bought into Wavin plastic pipes: cheaper, lighter, less brittle, easier to cut.
  • Making carriages, carts and wheels in Enniscorthy [1978]: just down the road from us.  Despite the optimistic voice-over 40 years ago. Breen's is now closed but some of its history is captured on film.
  • Enniscorthy is where I catch the bus to Dublin. About 3km out of town is Carley's Bridge across the River Urrin. There were a lot of potteries along the stream-bed and a lot of mills but, in contrast to the quarry in Fermanagh and the shale clay in Carrickmacross, the quality clay is long since exhausted. Carley's Bridge Pottery [1980] is still there, working on important material. If you like buff young men doing some heavy lifting then skip to minute 6. I've collected the work of other potters.

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