On Thursday 30th June we said farewell to Master Craftsman Jim Buckley as he retired after 52 years!
Jim started working at Waterford back in 1970, at the age of 15. His uncle Joe worked as a blower at Waterford, and Jim thought it would be a great summer job – it turned into a life-long career.
He started his training as a wedge cutter in the Johnstown factory, and also had the opportunity to train in the blowing department for 3 months – the team wanted their apprentices to know how the product was made at various stages. Jim moved into the Kilbarry factory, and when diamond tipped wheels were introduced, he became a trainer. Later he was asked to manage the K4 marking department. In total he spent 35 years as a cutter and then 17 years in the marking department.
During his career, Jim went on Artisan Trips representing Waterford and signing pieces across the USA, Hawaii, Jamaica, and The Marshall Islands to name a few! He also did live demo’s, sharing insights into the craft and technique used at Waterford which was broadcast live to the USA from House of Waterford on The Mall! Over the years Jim met a number of famous faces, including John Rocha, Golfer Nick Faldo and Cliff Richard! Jim’s favourite part of the job was the challenge he faced – he loved working with design and finding the best ways to put the patterns on the crystal, and how this would translate when the cutters went to work on the product.
Jim worked on many of the large world sporting trophies including The Solheim Cup, The Pebble Beach Trophy, The Players Trophy and many more. It’s hard to pick just one, but Jim says he really enjoyed creating the American Football Helmet and the Ferris Mowers Basketball Trophy. His favourite Waterford pattern would currently be the Irish Lace.
Jim is an avid gardener, and loves to spend time at home in his garden. He also loves cycling and swimming and has his hands full helping to look after his 6 grandchildren!
We wish Jim a very happy retirement and would like to thank him for his 52 years at Waterford – what a career! He will be missed by all of the team here but we’re sure we will see him around!