Limerick festival to showcase forgotten skills

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Elemental forgotten skillsA HOST of traditional skills and crafts associated with Limerick for a number of generations will be showcased as part of this year’s Elemental Arts & Culture Festival, which gets underway on Thursday September 11 and continues through to Sunday.

‘Forgotten Skills’ will see a range of master crafts workers take over the Hunt Museum on Saturday September 13 when they will host interactive workshops and live demonstrations relating to a range of techniques, including leather making, sculpting, ceramics, lace making, spinning wool and traditional hurley making.

Among the craftspeople showcasing their skills are wool spinner Nelli Siebert, Doon-based leather craftsman and sliothar maker Tony Berkery and the Bulfin family from Camass, Bruff, whose hurley-making business is in its fifth generation. The Forgotten Skills exhibit will also feature lace maker Eileen Browne and master blacksmith Eric O’Neill of Killuragh Kraftworks.

Elemental co-founder Jennifer Allen said that it was a matter of importance to acknowledge the work and skills of these craftspeople, many of whom have had their crafts handed down from their ancestors.

She said: “Elemental is very much an arts and culture festival, with the Forgotten Skills element of the programme really encapsulating the ‘culture’ component.

“This has been a key feature of Elemental from the start and is an event which means a lot to us. We feel very lucky to have such skilled craftspeople taking part, but also people with a lot of integrity and an admirable work ethic. It’s a joy to watch them doing what they do and to have the opportunity to talk to them about their chosen craft.

“It is wonderful to see these skills get the recognition they deserve. This is about showcasing skills which have the potential to be brought to the fore again, through carefully planned restoration works, for example.”

‘Forgotten Skills’ will be held at The Hunt Museum this Saturday from 10am to 3pm. The event is free and all are welcome.