West Cork Craft and Design Guild - A guide to some of Ireland's finest craftwork.

Meredith Flandreau and Robb Bradstock

Coolavokig Pottery was established in 1977 by Robb Bradstock and Meredith Flandreau and specialises in the production of high quality hand thrown wood fired pottery.

All work is individually made on a potter's wheel, giving each piece a highly individual quality which is further enhanced by the wood firing process.

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The comprehensive range of domestic ware is constantly being developed with new items regularly being added to production. The designs and glaze colours continue to evolve with particular attention being given to balancing practicality with aesthetically pleasing forms.

All finished pottery is completely safe for use in the home. All glazes are lead free and contain no harmful ingredients. The pottery is also dishwasher safe, microwave and ovenproof.

The wood fired kiln at Coolavokig Pottery, the first of its kind in Ireland, is based on a traditional Japanese climbing kiln. Two chambers are fired simultaneously. The first containing glazed ware which is fired to 1300°C the second chamber uses the waste heat from the first to fire the raw ware to 1000°C (this work is later finished in a subsequent firing in the first chamber).

The results from wood firing give all the work a distinctive character. Unglazed surfaces have a toasted bronze look which is often accentuated by intricate hand-carved decoration. Glazed surfaces have subtle and beautiful variations depending on the position in the kiln and how much wood ash was absorbed by the glaze.

Wood firing, unlike other firing methods, is extremely labour intensive. Wood, usually pine or spruce, has to be acquired several years before it is used so that it can be cut, dried and seasoned effectively. The kiln is normally fired 4 to 6 times a year, usually in the Spring and Summer months. A firing takes 11 or 12 hours after the kiln has been preheated the previous night. The kiln requires constant attention to achieve the high temperatures required to complete a firing. At the end of a firing the kiln is then allowed to cool for 2 days before the finished work is unloaded and ready for sale.

Coolavokig Pottery Shop is open all year, 7 days a week from 9am to 7pm during the Summer and 9am to 5.30 in the Winter. However those coming from a distance are advised to phone in advance.

Coolavokig Pottery • Lissacreasig • Macroom • West Cork • Ireland

Tel + Fax: 026-40172

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