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irish pottery update

updated sat 26 jun 99


The Slack-DeBrock Family on fri 25 jun 99

Greetings to all of you who so graciously responded to my past inquiries,
and for those of you who asked for further information, I regret that this
has taken so long to go through. for some reason, my messages kept coming
back, so hopefully this will go through. If anyone wants the list of
potters and potteries throughout Ireland that Daphne sent me awhile back, I
will be happy to forward it to you. An addition to the list is a pottery I
found just north of the heritage site Clonmacnoise, the O'Briens, who do
beautiful salt glazed work. During my last visit to Ireland I had the
opportunity to hold and photograph 5,000 year old pots from at the Ulster
Museum in Belfast, and learn about the different styles of decoration and amazing experience to say the least! I then visited many of the
ritual sites and megalithic monuments from where the pottery had come. If
you are visiting do not miss Loughcrew, west of Newgrange near Oldcastle,
where you can climb amongst the carved stones from eons ago.........a good
book for understanding the rock art is Martin Brennan's THE STONES OF TIME.
Much of the pottery has come from Carrowkeel near Sligo, another
fascinating megalithic center, and Carrowmore on the west side of Sligo is
also extremely interesting. THE PREHISTORIC ARCHAEOLOGY OF IRELAND by John
Waddell has thorough drawings and explanations of the evolution of pottery
in ancient Ireland and up through the ages, and all the books mentioned
will point to other good reading about the pottery and rock art. What is
important to remember, though, is that full understanding of these sites,
and the pottery, can only be accomplished by learning the stories, legends
and myths that accompany a place, because every place has that it is not just a "dolmen" standing there, but there is a
whole set of other levels of understanding why it is there.

I will be returning to Ireland in August on a travel grant to take an
archaeology class in Donegal, and then hope to visit more megalithic sites
as well as "Holy Wells". The wells are a beautiful pagan/Christian folk art
blend, and I am busy researching now for the upcoming trip. Thanks again to
so many of you for your leads, and if I can be of any help to any one,
please let me know!


Joan Slack-DeBrock/River Run Pottery
P.O.Box 95
McNaughton, WI 54543