MEET THE MAKERS
MICHAEL GRIFFIN Bogwood sculptor, Raw Studio
WHAT’S BOGWOOD AND
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE IT? Bogwood is tree material that
has been preserved under peat for anything between two to
9,000 years. I collect it mostly along Donegal’s shores and in the local hills. It’s unusual because of the abundance
of shapes that are preserved within the wood.
HOW DID YOU START WORKING WITH IT?
I began nearly 20 years ago, when I found a piece while
fishing. It looked interesting and I just started gathering
pieces. I had no training but I liked working with my hands. My first sculpture was a
seagull, inspired by the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
WHAT’S THE PROCESS?
I work mostly with local bog oak, which is black, and bog pine, which is red. The wood needs to be dried for at least two to three years, although
larger pieces can be up to 15 years. I love finding different shapes within the wood — these natural forms guide how I shape and smooth the wood.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR SCULPTURES?
My sculptures are mostly inspired by the Donegal landscape. But by people
too — landscapes are part of our personality. Those from flatlands are mostly level-headed. Us Donegal
people, we’re a bit wild. Up and down, always a storm
brewing. That’s reflected in my work — it’s full of movement. donegalcraftvillage.com
DONEGAL DULSE Hand-plucked from Donegal’s shores, these deep-red seaweed tendrils are best nibbled straight from the bag as a salty nutrient-rich snack.
ELEANOR HANNA General manager, Hanna Hats A tweed flat cap oſten conjures up images of country walks and a day at the races, but for Eleanor Hanna it’s hand-me-down family history. “My grandfather began as a tailor in 1924,” she explains. “When demand for custom- made suits declined, he started Hanna Hats. My father inherited the business and now it’s my turn, with my uncle, brother and sister by my side.” Eleanor adds that quality is
paramount. “We use the finest Donegal tweed, woven exclusively for us.” Inside, ceiling-high shelves are stacked with teetering piles of headwear: there are stud-fastened flat caps, feathered deerstalkers and wide-brimmed walking hats in herringbone and patchwork tweeds. The earthy shades are redolent of the local landscape — mossy greens blend with rich golds and browns to match Donegal’s moors and mountains.
Cranking up behind us is the pressing
machine that bears an uncanny resemblance to a Doctor Who Dalek. “This irons out the final product,” Eleanor explains. “But the real magic happens next door.” I follow her to the production room, where some dozen-or- so craſtswomen sit at sewing machines using swiſt movements to bind and stitch the final shape. “When I began we foot- peddled these machines,” remarks Tony, a 79-year-old employee who was trained by Eleanor’s grandfather. “We began in a hut with room for just me and him.” Aſter trying on many shapes and sizes,
I settle on a dapper brow-sweeper in dun and beige colours of the countryside, fittingly named Donegal Touring. When I ask how long my hat will last, Eleanor retorts, “Too long! Yesterday, a customer came in with one he bought here 42 years ago.” I look forward to donning my new statement piece for decades to come. hannahats.com
WHEATEN SCONE Nothing compares to a crumbly wheaten scone served fresh from the oven. Recipes often combine coarse wholemeal flour with buttermilk, eggs and a touch of brown sugar.
4tastes of �onegal MUST TRY
SMOKED SALMON The Haven Smokehouse in Sheephaven Bay uses 10,000-year-old turf cut from the hillsides to smoke its organic salmon so it’s robust in taste and muscular in texture.
MOUNTAIN LAMB Donegal’s free- roaming sheep graze on green, untamed headlands — no wonder the local lamb is renowned for being rich and juicy.
Donegal 2017 15
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20