A Family Affair
Listed as a “must see” attraction on the Wild Atlantic Way, Potadóireacht Na Caolóige near Clogher beach in Dingle, County Kerry is where you’ll find Louis Mulcahy workshop and Pottery Showrooms.
Here is where Louis has been making pots since he founded his workshop in 1975 with his wife Lisbeth. Lisbeth, originally from Denmark, found her creative home in the medium of weaving. She started weaving shortly after moving to the Dingle peninsula and opened the Weaver’s Shop (Siopa na bhFhíodóirí) in Dingle town in 1986. The environment of the wild Atlantic coast inspires the work she creates, from standard wall hangings to unique woven tapestries, inspired by the amazing landscape around her. Currently most of her Lisbeth’s work is made for exhibitions but she also works to commission and her largest to date is 15 large tapestries for the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, with these now hanging in Irish Embassies around the world. Her work, which also includes scarves, stoles and throws, is available from her shop Siopa na bhFíodóirí in Dingle, online and from Louis Mulcahy Pottery at Clogher
It was Lisbeth that first introduced Louis to pottery. She had taken some classes in pottery when Louis met her as a teenager, and he became utterly hooked after she presented him with a Christmas gift of a Potter’s Book by the famous potter Bernard Leech. Over forty years on and every single Louis Mulcahy pot is being handcrafted in the pottery workshop on the tip of the remote Dingle Peninsula, where over thirty people now work with Louis and his son Lasse crafting everything from dainty posy jars to dinner sets, elegant lamp bases, ovenware, and towering urns. The rich culture and the stark beauty of the Kerry coast is reflected in the striking glazes and shapes that Louis creates from the blue of the sea, the browns of the hillsides to the roaring red sunsets. Over the last few years Louis has dedicated his time to creating a number of one off, sculptural pieces including ceramic roosters that are hand built and moulded, masks that have individual characteristics, life size Druids that sit out in the garden and ceramic boats – otherwise known as Naomhógs or Currachs. His vision when he started his pottery was to produce the most aesthetically pleasing and technically best pottery possible and to develop a studio/ workshop which would leave an indelible mark on the long-term history of Irish handcraft. Now that he feels he has achieved this, it’s time to turn his talent and energy to his new ventures. Louis Mulcahy Pottery and Lisbeth Mulcahy Weaving have added a new tradition to an area of old ones. They kept many native Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht by providing rewarding employment and created a place where the visitor can browse, experience, learn, immerse themselves and bring home a magical memory. Louis’ full range of pottery and hand painted lampshades can be seen at his showroom on the scenic Slea Head Drive. Open 7 days a week. www.louismulcahy.com Siopa na bhFíodóirí is the perfect backdrop for the displays of Lisbeth’s work, housed in a beautiful, listed building in the centre of Dingle.