A recent funding application made by Arklow Town Team to The Heritage Council, under the Community Heritage Grant Scheme, has been successful. This builds on last year’s ‘Arklow Pottery Online’ project, which created a digital pottery database, photo archive and oral history record capturing some of the history and heritage of Arklow Pottery. The project is accessible via a website – www arklowpottery.ie – where it is available for everyone to engage with and learn about the heritage and historical importance of Arklow Pottery.
The Heritage Council grant for 2023 of €14,000 will be used to bring together more stories of Arklow Pottery, this time through an audio series, facilitated by Karen Thompkins of The Treasure Vox. Allison Ryder from Arklow Town Team explains, “ Last year we invited past pottery workers to share their memories on film. This year, we hope to add to this great collection by recording snippets of audio to create a six part series. If anyone who worked in Arklow Pottery or Noritake would like to share a story or memory we would love to hear from you”.
Eamonn & Karen Bermingham of Arklow Photo & Framing will also be working on compiling new photography of key pottery pieces and digitizing all the old photos and videos for use on the website.
To help build capture as much information as possible, the community are invited to meet with the project team on Saturday 24th June in Arklow library from 12pm to 4pm. Anyone who worked in Arklow Pottery or Noritake, or had a connection to it, is asked to come to Arklow Library or contact the team. Members of the public can also bring along any old original photos or documents which will be copied on the day for inclusion in the archive.
Irene Sweeny of Arklow Town Team has been collecting donations of Arklow Pottery for several years and has been a driving force behind establishing an Arklow Pottery Museum. In 2018, planning permission was granted to construct a museum in Abbey Lane, however securing adequate funding has been a stumbling block. Irene says; “we are continuing to make steps towards having and Arklow Pottery Museum that people can visit and engage with. In the meantime, we are delighted to receive funding for this project which will be an asset to any future museum. It is most important to us to capture the knowledge now before it is lost, and we are delighted to see that the Heritage Council support this project and recognise the value and importance of recording the stories of Arklow Pottery. We are also encouraged by the support from the local community and farther afield, and the interest there has been since the project details were announced last week and would like to thank everyone who has offered to contribute so far”.
The project team are also looking to hear from collectors who would be happy to have some of their pieces professionally photographed – particularly older or more unusual pieces and backstamps. The photography can take place wherever the pottery normally resides without the need to move precious items.
To make a contribution please contact the project team – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Allison on 089 4414442 or find details on the Arklow Town Team Facebook page.
This project is funded by the Heritage Council and Arklow Town Team would like to extend their gratitude to them for this funding.