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“What’s a Loonyoula?”, he asked…

This is the first question I asked Pam and Mark O’Loughlin Doyle as they stood gaping, open mouthed, at my obvious incomprehension. They had just asked me, “Can you make a gold loonyoula in glass for us?” To be fair, the term did stir some long-since dormant neurons of mine into half opening an eye of recognition. The word is actually - and everyone reading this will be nodding sagely while facially expressing their pity and disdain at my appalling lack of general knowledge – “lunula” (the fact that it’s pronounced phonetically as ‘loon-you-la’ and NOT ‘loonoola’ is, at this point, entirely academic). That scintilla of forgotten knowledge was to play a very significant part in my glassmaking for the...

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'Falling in Love With Ireland'

Sometimes love is a grower. This year Connemara Blue has made some great new friends. Meet Greg, Ann and Simon from California. Their special relationship with the West of Ireland has been steadily growing over the last few years.   Greg and Ann discovered Connemara Blue about four years ago on a day trip from Cornamona in the Gaeltacht. They loved the shop and on this occasion they bought a ‘Mannin Bay’ suncatcher. Over the years, the Connemara Blue Team have all got to know these guys and this year, they actually came to stay in Connemara for five weeks.   Back at home, Ann is a pre-school Director / Owner and ex-military Greg is a key figure in the...

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Operation 'Let's Get Spooked Up'

Operation Let's Get Spooked Up (a tale about a man turning to the dark side)   Can you ever be too old to get ‘in the spirit?’ Apparently not…   For the first time ever, Halloween has broomstick landed at Connemara Blue. And it’s well and truly landed. The significance of this will not be clear to anyone apart from those who know Ben Crow really well, and I mean really well. As his daughter, I feel suitably qualified to comment.   Up until now, Halloween has always been dismissed domestically as a nuisance that happens every year. It’s a time to close the doors and hide in the hope that no trick or treat shenanigans should interrupt the evening’s televisual...

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Hiking with glass

Visitors to our gallery often ask where we get our inspiration. Our answer hasn't changed since 2012.  The Connemara area provides all the inspiration we need.   We are lucky enough to live and work in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.  This last week we have spent some time photographing our glass pieces in the places that inspired them. Taking the roads less traveled, carefully making our way across rocks and bog-land, and crossing the odd stream, it feels almost poetic.   Today we chose Mám Éan as our destination again. On our last trip, see our previous blog-post here, it was a rather wet day.  Today, we had  beautifully bright sunshine. Elizabeth rightly pointed out that it doesn't...

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"How do you do that?"

All sorts of people ask all sorts of questions. They range from, “is this plastic?” (no, it isn’t) through, “do you paint the colour on afterwards?” (no, we use coloured glass), to “how do you squish it into shape?” (is ‘squishing’ even a word?!)

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