I was introduced to forgework at an early age as my Father was a blacksmith/ farrier, and with my interest in drawing I pursued a career in Draughtsmanship, at this time I studied part time in Carlow RTC and Bolton St. Dublin for an FTC in Mechanical/Production Engineering and then moved to a job as a Design Draughtsman working mainly with military vehicles and fire tenders.
At age 24 I decided to leave full time employment and pursue self employment combining Draughtsmanship, Engineering and decorative forgework ( seen as a mad idea by family and friends) this followed in a move to London and Hertfordshire where I worked in three different forges as ( what my Father described at the time) an Improver, after joining BABA and attending some of their Forge-Ins I became addicted to Artist Blacksmithing , then I won a Fellowship with Digswell Arts Trust in Hertfordshire for four years , the opportunity to work with artists and sculptors and take part in group exhibitions and open days was invaluable.
Later I moved back to Ireland and worked as an assistant instructor in the newly opened National Blacksmithing School in Belmullet, Co. Mayo , working with Master Blacksmith Elmer Roush and with people starting out in the craft was a great experience, this led on to working with FAS in Co. Meath in running an eight week NCVA acredited course in Blacksmithing for local CE workers. During this time I was delighted to be part of a small group of Blacksmiths who were the founder members of IABA (Irish Artist Blacksmiths Association)
Now years later I have Moved back to Kilkenny again where I met my beautyfull partner Christine and we have set up our business together called Pristine Ironworks.
Christine's great interest in history and art fuels her passion for the conservation of traditional craft using traditional material , as an Art collector Christine compares the restoration of a great work of art to the restoration of our heritage ironwork, the same care and attention is needed , with her attention to detail and her skill at co-ordination and interior design combined with a strong work ethic ensures that everything she undertakes is handled in a professional manner and completed in detail to a high standard, her work on copper and brass restoration speaks for itself as seen in the copper wall lamps for Co. Meath and the brass leafs on Nikker Church finials.
Christine's design input and preparation work is opening a new avenue of interest in internal and external ironwork based on mainly traditional techniques and finishes.