Forgotten Skills and Pop-Up Workshops

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Forgotten Skills Demos

Forgotten Skills Demos

Next May Fair's Forgotten Skills Line-Up will be announced in 2024

Welcome to Forgotten Skills, this is a special part of the May Fair that shows traditional crafters and artists in action. Here you can watch the creations of beautiful crafts, talk with the artists, and learn about skills and techniques that have been used for centuries. 

Bog Oak Sculpting with Stephen Costello

Stephen Costello is a sculptor who works mainly with bog oak. Inspired by the forms concealed within this ancient wood, his subjects speak of the magical history of our land. From chieftains and smugglers to mystical druids and dragons, his sculptures draw a story of Ireland that portrays the very essence of our landscape and heritage.

Spoon Carving with Tadhg Walsh Peelo

Tadhg is an artist based in West Cork who crafts beautiful wooden spoons, vessels and kitchenware. All of his pieces are rendered by bending to and following the lines of the wood, enhancing its natural beauty. These functional pieces are little crafted artworks you can use everyday in your home. As well as demonstrating his craft Tadhg will be doing pop- up workshops on the day. Learn how to carve out a piece of wood into a beautiful spoon. Head to our Workshops page for more information.

‍9 Irons Forge

9 Irons use traditional forging techniques that have been passed down through generations. They are named after the Nine Irons, an old Irish Amulet. In the 1800s Irish Blacksmiths were often called upon to make a set of miniature Nine Irons. All over Ireland there were traditions of the power of iron in bringing gold luck, averting and healing sickness, countering charms and spells and warding off mischievous spirits and influences. There are not many surviving examples of this wonderful Amulet. Meet Patrick and watch him work at this ancient and formidable craft.

1980s Knitting Machines with Jackie Motherway

A live demonstration of knitting machines from the 1980s. Come and see a Brother Chunky knitting machine and a knitmaster 4 ply machine in action, demonstrated by Jackie Motherway and her daughter Aoife O Donovan. Enjoy the craftsmanship and craft of these beautiful machines and those who can work them.

The Art of Jewellery with Wild Wire

Fernanda designs and handmakes beautiful jewellery from her studio in Cork. She is an expert in wire crochet jewellery. Come to see her demonstrate the precise and fascinating art of wire crochet and watch how such beautifully intricate wearable designs come to life.

Basket Making with Cathy Hayden

Learn the beautiful and relaxing art of basket weaving with Cathy Hayden. Cathy has been a Basketmaker for over 30 years.  She makes functional baskets using mostly home grown willow and sometimes foraged material like bramble, vine, plantain and flower stalks like dandelion, bluebell and daffodil. In recent years her work has taken a creative turn as she explores the shape and limits of willow. Watch her work at the special and ancient craft of weaving in our Forgotten Skills Shed.

Grounded Pottery

Grounded Pottery are a mother and daughter team, handmaking pottery in Co. Kerry. They are part of a movement to revive traditional handmade ceramics by producing premium reusable cups that last a lifetime.

All Grounded Pottery is handmade using traditional pottery craft techniques with care and precision. Come and see the relaxing and sensory demo of how these beautiful cups come to be produced and chat about the benefits of using ceramics over different materials.

Festival Line-Up