Sunday 21 July 2019

Students turn designers for exciting pottery project

The group of St Mary’s students working on their pottery projects at Solace Pottery Studio in Arklow.
The group of St Mary’s students working on their pottery projects at Solace Pottery Studio in Arklow.

Deborah Coleman

A creative arts project under way in Arklow has fostered an interest in Arklow Pottery amongst young people in the town.

A group of twelve students from St Mary's College has been working hard on designing, making, hand painting and packaging their very own set of pottery mugs over the past ten months.

The Arklow Youth Pottery Project was developed by local artist Peir Leonard of Solace Studio Pottery on the Riverwalk in Arklow. Peir secured an artist in residence grant to fund the project, which is being run in collaboration with East Wicklow Youth Services and is supported by the Arklow Chamber of Commerce.

'The girls have gained practical skills, from using the potter's wheel, to glazing and decorating. Each of the students has managed to produce a set of mugs finished with their own personalised designs, relating to the history and heritage of Arklow. Each mug is completely unique as it has been hand made from start to finish,' Peir said.

The project also drew on the talent and specialised local knowledge that exists in Arklow, with several former Arklow Pottery employees coming in to advise the students.

Robert Ward, who worked in glazing and decorating, and John Byrne, who worked in the clay department, have been able to pass on their knowledge to the next generation.

Other local artists have collaborated on the project, including Deirdre Burke with print making stamps, Brendan Tracey on the master mold and David Howe with 3D stamps. Allison Ryder of has also assisted the students with some marketing tips on how to bring the finished product to market.

Under the guidance of Peir, as well as Fiona Creedon and Angeline Pluck from East Wicklow Youth Services, the Arklow Youth Pottery Project students have developed a range of next generation Arklow Pottery which will now be packaged and offered for sale.

The launch of the finished mugs will take place on November 28 at Solace Pottery Studio. All money from the sale of the mugs will go to The Vault Youth Club.

Wicklow People