Handmade Gifts in Ireland
Since 1999 Heartworks Handmade Gifts have been crafting slate products at the Gate Lodge of Charleville Castle, in Tullamore. We work almost entirely with slate that is salvaged from old Irish buildings, some of which would have historical significance.
Slate is a 400 to 600 million year old metamorphic rock that has been used as roofing material for centuries, and as such it is an intrinsic part of the heritage of Ireland.
Heartworks Handmade Gifts use a mix of traditional and modern tools and techniques to transform this ancient material into a piece of fine craft, and we are continually adapting conventional tools -or devising our own- to suit specific tasks.
The majority of our work is coloured, from plain black to bright reds, greens and blues. This is done by hand and using high quality artists' oil paints. The colouring of the handmade gift pieces is one of the most intense stages in the long production process. As with the cutting and shaping of the raw slate, colouring requires high levels of concentration for long periods of time. This is achieved by years of daily experience and with the help of good music and the beautiful surroundings of Charleville Forest.
The end product of all this is a piece of fine modern craft that respects the qualities of the ancient raw material.
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A mention must be made of Heartworks original founder and designer of the beautiful Heartworks logo, the legendary Leonard McCormack: Zoologist, Geologist, Biologist, Artist, Renaissance man, Genius. Now retired to family life in the Dingle Peninsula.
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