Ireland's Traditional Crafts by: David Shaw-Smith

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The turn of the spinning wheel, the harnessed horses pulling the plow, the knock of the cooper's hammer, the scything of the summer's cornall these were once familiar sights and sounds in and around Irish homesteads. They echo the history of crafts that may go back 3,000 years into Ireland's past. In this book, time stands still as we meet the skilled practitioners of more than forty traditional Irish crafts, from woodcarvers, thatchers, goldsmiths, and potters to glassblowers of the world-famous Waterford crystal, crios weavers from the Aran Islands, and the makers of items as varied as harps and quilts, baskets and curraghs, drystone walls and Irish lace. David Shaw-Smith has traveled the length and breadth of Ireland and its islands to assemble this record, documenting the crafts in their natural surroundings before they disappear completely. His superb color photographs include both poetic images of the finished craft pieces and informative sequences explaining the production process. They are accompanied by Sally Shaw-Smith's evocative drawings and by texts from some of Ireland's finest historians and craft writers. A magnificent testament to the centuries-old traditions of a vibrant land, the book is both a chronicle of times past and a celebration of an enduring culture, and will appeal to anyone connected with the Emerald Isle or who has ever visited it. 1984.

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