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Meet the Makers along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

Updated: Apr 2

Meet the Makers along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

Captivate your curiosity for local art and craftmanship by meeting some of the people who deliver brilliant taste and craft experiences around Doolin. We caught up with four local makers to get some insight into their craft, and what inspires their work.

Caireann Browne – Doolin Cave Pottery

Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?

My name is Caireann Browne and I have a pottery business called Doolin Cave Pottery. I make handmade ceramics from cave clay that I hand dig from Doolin Cave. I am from Doolin and my family own Doolin Cave.

When and how did you get interested or started in your craft?

I went to Art College where I studied Printmaking and I have a degree in Fine Art, but I always had a big love for ceramics. In 2009, I decided to do a night course in ceramics and started to teach myself how to throw. I worked with several master potters to hone my skills. I then started my own Pottery Business using the clay from Doolin Cave. The first time I entered the Cave when I was 14 I was struck by the quality of the clay and made a little figurine of a goblin.

What is it about Doolin and the Burren that brings you creative inspiration?

I am really inspired by the Cave and the Burren. The cave clay gives my work a unique quality. I love the rich terracotta colour it fires to. The flow and drip and layering of calcite that form sculptures of stalactites influence my work. I repeat these processes of dripping and layering and sense of flow through my glazing and firing techniques.

What is your creative routine? How often do you make your pottery? What is the creative process?

I work 5 to 6 days a week at ceramics. I find late evenings in studio are an inspiring time for me. I am not just keeping up with orders but exploring new shapes on the wheel or experimenting with glaze recipes.

Where can people find/see your pottery?

My pottery is available to buy online on the Doolin Cave website here and in the craft shop at Doolin Cave.

Please give us your best tip about Doolin for visitors.

The cliff walk that starts in Doolin and takes you to the cliffs of Moher is stunning…and Doolin Cave obviously! 🙂

Sheila Quinn – Doolin Music House & Art Gallery

Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?

Sheila Quinn, Artist and Event Manager at my home Doolin Music House and Art Gallery

When and how did you get interested/started in art?

Art has always been close to my heart. I studied Fine Art and Design, I also did a Masters in Arts Policy and Practice. I love painting and I think I understand what art people appreciate which is different for everyone. My partner is a musician and our house is always full of music and art activity. I love entertaining people in my home and friends suggested I should organise small events in our home in a natural setting. At first, I thought this might be difficult as we were promoting our home to visitors as opposed to simply entertaining friends. We gave it a go – thanks to our dear friend Susan Daly. Susan lives locally and hosts an amazing Bed & Breakfast. She called us one day, telling me to stop talking about ideas and get on with it!!! She booked in 9 Norwegians for the following day! We had to start our Music House then. We grew it from there and people love it.

What is it about Doolin and the Burren that brings you creative inspiration?

Doolin itself is a wonderful village with a great community. The local people are extremely welcoming. Doolin attracts people like myself (I am originally from Dublin) because of its music and artsy vibe. People living in the area are passionate about their artistic and creative spirit. The area incorporating the Burren has a magical feel to it. Fabulous scenery, great history, unique landscapes, and of course the Atlantic Ocean. It is a natural setting for Artists and Musicians. What isn’t there to love! Inspiration comes naturally when you are in such a location.

What is your creative routine? How often do you make your art? What is the creative process?

Routine is not my best attribute! I work with other artists – helping them to showcase their work through different programmes organised by various Arts Organisations that support artists. My routine varies, it depends on administration tasks. I find I am more creative early in the morning or late into the evening when I paint or write. Christy my partner plays music late into the night. I get inspiration from sentiment and emotions. I am an abstract painter and inspired by personal experiences of place.

Where can people find/see your art?

We are located approximately 2 km from Doolin Village on the Cliffs of Moher Road. We are approximately 7km from the Cliffs. We have a website here and a Doolin Music House Facebook page here.

Please give us your best tip about Doolin for visitors.

When in Doolin you simply must spend time in the village, where you will find great life, welcoming characters and music, and great pubs who serve excellent food. There are cafes and a super chocolate shop! Traditional music sessions take place in the pubs every evening during the holiday season. Doolin has a hotel that also hosts musicians and festivals. It is also a great base to explore the Aran Islands, the Burren, and the Cliffs of Moher. You need to relax and spend a few nights in Doolin as there is so much to do – you need lots of time and you will not want to leave. First-time visitors always comment on how sorry they are that they did not book extra nights in this wonderful place. Doolin is the place for cultural experiences, fun, adventure, and exploration.

Kevin Lynch & Tina Robinson – Airmid Natural Skincare

Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?

Kevin Lynch and Tina Robinson – we are the couple behind Airmid Natural Handmade Skincare. We produce a range of luxury soaps, balms, botanical oils and gifts from our workshop in Kilfenora. If it doesn’t come from nature, you won’t find it in our luxury plant-based range.

When and how did you get interested/started in your craft?

The Airmid story began in 2009 as a truly home-grown enterprise. Our son was born with eczema and, like many parents, we struggled to find a gentle and effective product that was also kind to the environment. As an organic horticulturist, Kevin looked to nature for inspiration. Pure Chamomile – with its calming and cleansing properties – was our first soap. We saw a great improvement in our son’s condition. Since then, we have developed a wide range of skincare products to include body oils, organic perfume oil, beeswax bars, gifts, and more – all with nature at the heart of their design.

What is it about Doolin and the Burren that brings you creative inspiration?

Airmid was the Celtic goddess of herbs and healing to the Tuatha de Danann, Ireland’s magical ancient tribe. As organic growers, the wealth of flora in the Burren and our rugged landscape is a constant inspiration. Our perfume oils are inspired by the cliffs, forests, and meadows of the Burren. Spending time up the mountains and away from the business always recharges the batteries, a wonderful place to escape and find solitude. The Burren Geopark is a unique experience – like nowhere else in Ireland – and constantly changing throughout the seasons.

What is your creative routine? How often do you make your products? What is the creative process?

We make every day at Airmid, and sourcing local ingredients is very important to us. All our beeswax is from local beekeepers, our coffee is roasted locally and herbs are grown in our garden. Our luxury soaps are made by the traditional cold process method, hand blended with pure essential oils. That means we keep all the goodness of the ingredients in the final product. All our bars are cut by hand and are cured for at least 6 weeks to ensure a long-lasting product. Botanical oils and Irish beeswax balms are hand-poured to our custom aromas. Sustainability is at the heart of our business.

Where can people find/see your products?

Buy online on our website here or see a list of stockists.

Please give us your best tip about Doolin for visitors.

Stay a little longer. Talk to the local people, hear the music, eat amazing food and experience the sunsets over Doolin pier.

Vera Muir – The Clare Jam Company

Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?

The Clare Jam Company is a family business that was set up in 1986. Using 100% natural ingredients, The Clare Jam Company has created a unique range of tempting Jams, Marmalades, Chutneys, Mustards, and other condiments. We’re situated near the coastal village of Doolin, Co. Clare.

When and how did you get interested/started in jam making?

From small beginnings as a jam producer supplying local shops in County Clare, I had established a successful family business and a much sought-after product range. Launched in 1986, The Clare Jam Company has grown to a well-known artisan brand. We use traditional Irish jam-making techniques to achieve our quality produce.

What is it about Doolin and the Burren that brings you creative inspiration?

Our products are inspired by the stunning beauty of our captivating West of Ireland surroundings. We are situated overlooking the splendid vista of the Atlantic Ocean, the Aran Islands, and the Burren.

What is your creative routine? How often do you make your products? What is the creative process?

The Clare Jam Company is committed to maintaining traditional artisan preparation techniques, including open-pan boiling and hand pouring. By using time-honoured methods that have been perfected, our premium ingredients retain their outstanding natural flavour. For us, it’s all about patience – we know that the best results are always worth the wait! But while our preparation skills are wholly traditional, we take enormous pride in our innovative approach to creating imaginative new flavour combinations, ie Extra Strawberry Jam with Champagne, Extra Strawberry Jam with Bailey’s, Orange Marmalade with Poitin and Spices, Connemara Whiskey Marmalade, Wild Blueberry Jam, or Fig and Apple to add to a Cheese Board.

Where can people find/see your products?

Our produce is available at our own tiny shop in Luogh North, as well as in a large number of shops throughout the county and country.

Please give us your best tip about Doolin for visitors.

Doolin is a renowned centre of traditional culture and heritage. Located on the rugged Atlantic coast, this West of Ireland fishing village is idyllically situated close to some of Ireland’s most renowned landmarks – The Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, and The Aran Islands are all nearby. Steeped in history and frequently described as an important centre of Ireland’s traditional music scene, Doolin is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from throughout Ireland, Europe, and further afield. It’s from these beautiful, unspoiled surroundings that The Clare Jam Company brings you their enticing product range.

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