Celtic Clays today is a small pottery studio based just outside the village of Omeath, Co Louth, Ireland. From very humble beginnings (inside my father’s drafty garage), it evolved into a sizeable enterprise of 6 people during the 2000’s only to disappear altogether after the crash of 2008! Today, after lessons learned, Celtic Clays has risen like the phoenix from the ashes, with a new mantra ‘smaller is better’.
This means you might have to wait a little longer until certain items are back in stock because production is now done in small studio batches and in some cases “made to order”. However, I can guarantee you it will be worth the wait !
Today, as in the past, we produce a select range of pottery, embossed with Celtic knots, triscals and original Celtic artwork that is both highly functional and decorative. From a solitary mug to a full dinner service including plates, platters, casserole dishes and serving dishes you will find the perfect gift for those who appreciate both hand made pottery and Celtic design. In essence, Celtic Clays pottery echoes the “Celtic” Heart and Soul of Ireland through the medium of clay.
I live in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland. Surrounded by mountains and close to the sea, Carlingford lough and the mountains of Omeath have inspired me to create a palete of colour in my glazes that reflects the landscape all around me. As a result I have named my glazes accordingly.
A dark mysterious green reflecting the patchwork of trees and fields that make up the omnipresent Carlingford mountain.
A rich ultramarine blue with hints of aqua green reflecting the tidal waters of Carlingford lough.
A soft earthy yellow with hints of ‘hazy’ blue reflecting the barley fields surrounding Whitestown and Shelling hill during the summer months.
A complex array of purple,red and lavender hues found in the heathers that festoon the Omeath mountains especially in an area known as ‘The Long Woman’s Grave’. Consequently, this ‘Long Woman’ was named Kathleen (Cait in Irish) and the word for purple in Irish is Corcra !
All the glazes are made from scratch with a specific recipe for each one. Using flint, whiting, clay, feldspars and oxides they are formulated to ‘react’ with the flames themselves inside the gas fired kiln. Controlling the firing at certain stages creates the ‘right’ atmosphere inside the kiln where the ‘burnt’ gas reacts with the glazes. This type of firing is known as a ‘reduction’ firing. It is this interaction between heat, gases and glaze materials that make Celtic Clays glazes unique. In truth you will never get two identical pieces.
Therein lies the beauty !