The latest news from the House of Waterford Crystal....

WATERFORD, Ireland – Waterford Crystal is renowned for its sparkle!

Flat Cuts 

These types of cuts are most commonly found on the stems of glasses and the necks of decanters. This type of cutting, also known as
the Rheintour cut, is a common feature on World Sport Trophies. 

Fine Diamonds

A series of closely cut symmetrical lines arranged to give a diamondlike appearance. The depth of this cut contributes to Waterford’s unique brilliance. It is one of the more advanced cut types the apprentice cutter must master.

Open Plain Diamonds

The surface of the glass is carved with an abrasive wheel and a series of cuts symmetrically arranged to give a diamond-like appearance. Olives Performed using the smooth surface of a carved wheel. The cutter carves out an oval in the crystal similar to an olive shape. 

Wedge Cuts

These are also known as the leaf cut and are the most fundamental of all cuts. This type of cutting unites all designs. It can vary from a light, shallow imprint to a heavy deep incision – portraying delicacy or strength. Successful execution requires great skill and discretion.

Blaze

Blaze cuts are a contribution of leaf cuts placed around the piece; they can be either of equal or unequal length.

Blaze - perpendicular

These are upright cuts found on the glass. They are most commonly used in combination with other patterns, that being the Open Plain Diamonds.

Blaze – Unequal

This is a series of upright cuts of different size and length. Examples of these cuts can be found on the Maureen, Eileen and Mourne suites.

Rosette

A rosette is a combination of three or more cuts. The first cut is placed on the crystal in a vertical or horizontal position. A number of cuts are added to form the fan according to the designer’s pattern. The fan cut is most commonly used on bowls, vases and some stemware suites.

Rings

These are the circles placed around the piece, they are used to enhance and give a design structure. The ring cut is a feature of
hollowware – bowls and vases.

Did you know that Waterford Crystal has been fitting the Times Square Ball with brilliant crystal panels since the 2000 New Year’s Eve Celebration? 2019 will mark the 20th time that Waterford Crystal has been a part of the most iconic New Year’s Eve tradition.. and it keeps getting better! Each year, millions of eyes from all over the world are focused on the sparkling Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year's Eve Ball.

At 11:59 p.m., the Ball begins its descent as millions of voices unite to count down the final seconds of the year, and celebrate the beginning of a new year full of hopes, challenges, changes and dreams.

In Times Square 2014, all 2,688 of the Waterford Crystal triangles introduced the new design Gift of Imagination and conclude in 2023 with the “Gift of Love,” each year the Waterford Crystal triangles will depict a “gift” – a theme of global aspiration whose value is universally treasured. The triangles feature a series of intricate wedge cuts that appear to be endless mirrored reflections of each other inspiring our imagination with a kaleidoscope of colourful patterns on the Ball. 

For the 2019 New Year's Eve Ball, 192 new Waterford Crystal triangular glass panels will be featured and introduces this year's theme - Gift of Goodwill- a crystal cut pattern design that celebrates the thoughts, deeds and reflections that provide tranquility, peace and composure.

Perched high above Times Square, this crystal quilt-work of varying patterns will symbolize the World’s Greatest Gifts, serving as inspiration to all across the globe.

Ball Fun Facts

  • The Ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 11,875 pounds.
  • The Ball is covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles that vary in size, and range in length from 4 3⁄4 inches to 5 3⁄4 inches per side.
  • The 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles are bolted to 672 LED modules which are attached to the aluminium frame of the Ball.
  • The Ball is illuminated by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs (light emitting diodes). Each LED module contains 48 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs - 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white for a total of 8,064 of each colour.
  • The Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colours and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect.

Pat Boyce Master Craftsman

On a warm Summer evening of 1964, 15-year-old Pat Boyce cycling home from De La Salle College decided to drop into the Waterford Glass Factory. Pat heard Waterford Glass were looking for apprentices and he thought it would be a nice summer job… a summer job that was to last 55 years! Pat took a test in the cutting shop and after he passed, he was offered a position at Waterford. His parents were not impressed with Pat choosing to leave school to work in the factory. Pat's father was an engineer in the local Jute factory and Pat remembers “My father had high aspirations for me as his eldest son to follow in his footsteps and to study to be an engineer. It took him a long time to come around to the idea that I was choosing to work in a factory. He advised me it was only a small company and he wasn’t convinced it was going to last!”

Pat started in the cutting department as an apprentice, at that time you trained on a six-man bench; usually two apprentices to four Master Cutters worked on the bench. Pat remembers with great fondness these years working with his mentor, Heinz Platner who was the manager of this area. Pat remembers that life as an apprentice was hard work with so much to learn. At the end of each of the first five years, there was an exam piece, a bowl to be cut. Each year the bowl increased in difficulty, each bowl more intricate than the previous one, finishing with the 5-year Apprentice Bowl. Pat passed his yearly exams with ease and was thrilled to bring home his final exam piece engraved with his name and the date he completed his exam and became a Master Cutter. Pat went on to become a Bench Master himself and stayed in this role for several years. While working in the cutting department, Pat was known to cut a particular bowl in record time. This bowl went on to be fondly known by the craftsmen as the ‘Boycey Bowl’. The memory of this brings a big smile to Pat’s face, “Just one of those things they said!” he fondly remembers.

Pat went on to graduate into the Specials Department, it was in this department that the bespoke pieces and trophies were created. It was an exclusive and very interesting place to work. “I really feel privileged to have watched Charles Bacik and Miroslav Havel at work, designing and creating these unique pieces that were in demand worldwide, at the time. I didn’t really realize at the time, what a huge part these men played in the history of Waterford Crystal,” says Pat. Pat went on to travel the world extensively, demonstrating the craft of cutting and engraving product at events. He visited stores in the UK, including; Harrods, Selfridges, House of Fraser and John Lewis, Dillard’s in the USA and many more. One of the standout memories of these visits for Pat was when he visited the USA Military base in Lakenheath, UK and bases in Naples and Sicily. Pat loved meeting with the army personnel and their families, enjoying personalizing their crystal purchases. Pat worked on the Superbowl trophy as a young cutter, it was a huge privilege to be chosen to cut this world-renown trophy.

Pat has met many of the rich and famous during his career at Waterford, it was a struggle to find his favourite. While working in the specials department in Kilbarry, Jimmy Carter (former American President) was visiting the plant. Pat met with Carter and requested a photograph with him and his son David, who had recently joined the company as a cutter. So, father and son joined Jimmy for a memorable photograph. While working in Harrods in London Pat had the pleasure of meeting Michael Caine (Actor) and Jose Mourinho (Football coach and former player) both men are people he admires. “I have met amazing people during my travels for Waterford Crystal, people I have admired and looked up to in my life, I consider myself very lucky to be able to do this as part of my working day”, says Pat.

Pat went on to became one of the first craftsmen to join a part of the tourist trail in Kilbarry known by the craftsmen as ‘The Hen House’. This was an area where the visitors would go, when they had completed a visit through the factory, to meet with Master Craftsmen. It gave the visitor the unique opportunity to see the Master Craftsmen up-close, using the skills that had taken them years to master. Visitors could chat to the craftsmen about the pieces they were working on and the skills involved in creating each piece. Pat stayed in this area, alternating between the tourist trail and the specials department for many years. Pat decided to go for a position that became available in the Gallery in Kilbarry, the position combined retail sales and engraving pieces for the visitors to personalize their products. Pat remained in this position until the closure in 2009. “Shocked and devasted, the only words to describe how I felt when the plant closed, I had known nothing else but Waterford Crystal since I was 15 years old,” a very emotional Pat remembers.

The story does not end there, Pat was recruited in 2010 when the House of Waterford Crystal reopened on the Mall, in the heart of Waterford City. Pat resumed the role of retail sales associate and engraver in our spectacular showroom. Pat’s son David who followed in his dad’s footsteps, training as a cutter and engraver is also working at the House of Waterford Crystal, so lots of words of wisdom and advise are passed on over tea break! At the end of November 2019 Pat will hang up his engraving buzzer for the last time and retire to spend time with his wife Sheila and family to pursue a life of foreign travel and fun.

 

“From time to time I pick up my apprentice bowl and look at the date 1972 and think where all the years went. It seems like a lifetime ago and yet it passed in a blink of an eye, when I look back on all those years working at Waterford Crystal, it afforded my family and I a great livelihood and a great life. I have made so many friends along the way, it has been my pleasure to have personalized so many pieces of Waterford for so many visitors. I have engraved thousands of pieces during my time in the Gallery in Kilbarry and here at the House of Waterford Crystal. Some of these inscriptions were unusual, some wonderful and are in homes all around the world. I have attended amazing events in spectacular locations, meeting wonderful people along my journey. All in all, its been a fantastic 55 years, thanks for the memories”.

On behalf of all of Pat’s work colleagues we wish him many years of health and happiness after 55 years at Waterford.

Confirmed for the 2021 Aer Lingus College Football Classic

  • Illinois and Nebraska will feature in the second of the five-game Aer Lingus College Football Series on Saturday August 28th, 2021 at the Aviva Stadium Dublin
  • The fixture is scheduled for week zero and will open the 2021 College Football Season. Both teams are part of the famed Big Ten Conference 
  • 25,000 fans expected to travel to Ireland for game week Dublin 2021 
  • The five-year series kicks off with the return of Navy vs Notre Dame on Saturday 29th August 2020

 

Monday, 14th of October 2019: Today at a press conference in the City of Champaign, Illinois it has been revealed that the University of Illinois will take on the University of Nebraska in the Aviva Stadium for the 2021 Aer Lingus College Football Classic on the 28th of August 2021. This will be the first time that either team has travelled to Ireland as Illinois and Nebraska both welcomed the invitation to move this game to Dublin. The game is sure to be a huge draw to sports fans both in the US and Europe as Nebraska is one of the most successful American College Football teams in history and Illinois has significant links with Ireland.

The University of Illinois Marching Band was the first American marching band to perform in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and have made trips to Dublin seven times, including their most recent visit in 2018. The Marching Illini are scheduled to return in 2022.

A core objective of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic Series is to foster academic collaboration and relationships as well as business and sporting links, so Illinois were a natural fit. The university already has strong institutional agreements in Ireland with universities and institutions across the country including Cork Institute of Technology, UCD, NUI Galway, UCC and DCU.

The University of Nebraska fans are renowned for taking over stadiums, home and away, with their famous “Sea of Red”, perhaps most notably turning Notre Dame Stadium red in their last encounter with the “Fighting Irish”. With this trip to Ireland, natives can expect to see more red at one time in their country than ever before.

The specially commissioned Waterford trophy is the perpetual prize for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. The Keough-Naughton trophy bears the names of two powerhouses of Irish America, Don Keough and Martin Naughton. Business leader and philanthropist Don Keough attended college and began his career in Nebraska. Don and was highly regarded by his friend and Nebraska alum, Warren Buffett.

The five-game series, sponsored by Aer Lingus, Ireland’s only 4 Star airline, kicks off with the return of the Navy vs Notre Dame which will take place on Saturday 29th August 2020 and is expected to generate €250 million direct economic windfall for the country over the coming years. Fans are expected to travel in droves to the game similarly to in 2012 when over 35,000 fans travelled from the US to the Aviva Stadium for the Navy V Notre Dame fixture. Limited Hospitality and travel packages are currently available for the Navy vs Notre Dame game, and general tickets will go on sale to the public this coming spring.

Speaking about the announcement, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. said: “It’s great to see new teams getting involved in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. Ten of thousands of fans are expected to make the journey for each game in the series over the next five years, bringing with them a huge boost for the economy. Illinois and Nebraska players and fans can look forward to the best of Irish hospitality. The series will showcase Ireland as a location for international events and tournaments and put our world-leading tourism sector front and centre. The 2020 game between Notre Dame and Navy is fast approaching and now sports fans have another great occasion to plan for in 2021.”

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Paul Mc Auliffe who travelled to Illinois as part of the official Irish party said: “It is a privilege to be here at the University of Illinois for the announcement of the teams for the 2021 Aer Lingus College Football Classic. I welcome the news that both the University of Illinois and University of Nebraska teams and fans will travel to Dublin in 2021 and I look forward to seeing the colour and energy that they will bring to the city of Dublin. Dublin and Ireland are ready to welcome you! This fixture is an important date in our calendar and showcases Dublin as a destination for hosting major international sporting events.”

Speaking at the announcement, Padraic O’Kane from Irish American Events Ltd. said: “This is a milestone moment for the combined Irish American Events team, we set ourselves the ambitious goal back in 2015 when we formed the joint venture company, to establish Ireland as the European headquarters of College Football. Today we announce our first back to back fixture with the news that the Fighting Illini and the Huskers from the Big Ten conference will play Dublin in 2021. “On or around St. Patrick’s Day 2020 we plan to announce the 2022 fixture which will make it three games of the five game series confirmed in a row, not to mention the amazing and exciting recent news that ESPN College GameDay is coming to Dublin next summer as part of the 2020 Classic, our ambitious goal is now a reality!

“We are honoured to promote and operate such profile annual events under the umbrella of Much More than a Game, as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Series. It’s a real team Ireland Inc. public / private partnership win – a special note of thanks’ much go to Aer Lingus, Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Dublin City Council for believing in our vision”

Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman commented: “The University of Illinois, our football program, our alumni and fans, and the entire Fighting Illini family are in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the Emerald Isle. When first approached about this game, almost two years ago, we had an immediate interest. This game will provide an incredible educational opportunity for our football student-athletes who, because of their schedule, generally do not receive the same international experiences as many of our other student-athletes. For our fans, I hope they will journey with us across the Atlantic for a wonderful trip and a major football game, all set against the beauty of Ireland.”

Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos commented: “Playing a game in Ireland provides another way to spread the Nebraska brand, and in this case on an international stage,” Moos said. “We are always looking for new scheduling opportunities, and when this was presented, Coach Frost and I decided this would be an experience of a lifetime for the student-athletes in our program. This will also be a great trip for our fans, and knowing how Husker fans travel, it will be great to see Dublin, Ireland turned Red.”

Commenting on the announcement, Aer Lingus CEO Seán Doyle said: “With the excitement building ahead of the return of Navy and Notre Dame next August for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2020, it is great to see such enthusiasm from other teams to cross the North Atlantic to play in Ireland in 2021. As title sponsor of the five-game series we have no doubt that this exciting event will strengthen the important ties, both in sports and in tourism, between Ireland and the US.

“Aer Lingus, Ireland’s only 4-star airline, is undergoing its largest ever transatlantic expansion, building towards our aim of becoming the leading value carrier across the North Atlantic. We now fly to 14 North American destinations direct from Ireland. The Aer Lingus College Football Classic provides us with a unique opportunity to promote ourselves to this key strategic US audience.” The Aer Lingus College Football Series will have a very strong Irish-American influence. Not only will there be the usual college football fanfare with lots of fun events including marching bands, cheerleaders and tailgating parties, but there will also be a great celebration of the close Irish-American links that are so highly valued. The teams will compete each year for the Keough-Naughton College Football perpetual Trophy, acknowledging the contribution to Irish-American society of Don Keough and Martin Naughton.

ESPN College GameDay Built by The Home Depot is bringing its iconic pregame show to Dublin on Saturday, 29th August 2020, kicking off a new college football season and marking the first time in history the travelling road-show will originate from outside the United States. The 11-time Emmy Award-winning pregame show, in cooperation with Aer Lingus and Tourism Ireland, will set the scene for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Notre Dame and Navy at the Aviva Stadium.

Ticketing / Hospitality & Travel Packages

Hospitality packages for both the 2020 and 2021 games are on sale now through the official corporate hospitality game partner Corporate.ie.

Travel packages are on sale through official travel partner Anthony Travel in partnership with Abbey Group Ireland.

General ticketing information to be released in due course, with a pre-sale sign-up option available on the official site

For exclusive information see www.collegefootballireland.com and follow College Football Ireland on Twitter @CFBIreland, Facebook @CollegeFootballIreland and Instagram @CFBIreland #MuchMoreThanAGame.

ENDS

For further details, please contact:

Rachel Solon [email protected]

Eimhear Breen [email protected] .

Christopher Phelan Apprentice Cutter

Whether he knew It or not Christopher Phelan was almost predestined to become an apprentice cutter here with us at the House of Waterford Crystal. “I have pure Waterford Crystal history running through my veins”, says Chris. “My father Jody Phelan was a Master Cutter in the Kilbarry factory, he moved in to a supervisory position in the cutting shop and my mother Miriam Mac Auliffe (RIP) also worked in the Kilbarry plant.” His mother’s father (Chris’s Grandad) John Mac Auliffe was also a Master Cutter with Waterford crystal, his uncle Chris (Master cutter) and Terry. Chris is a third-generation cutter at Waterford Crystal. It took a little while for the plan to come to fruition, even though he grew up surrounded by Waterford Crystal, cabinets filled with the pieces created by his Dad, Grandad and Uncles, in his own home and in both grandparents homes, Chris says “It never entered my head that I would one day be cutting crystal at Waterford too !!!”

Chris finished school and went on to follow his passion for Art, he attended Waterford Institute of Technology and obtained his degree in Visual Arts. Having obtained his degree Chris went down various routes using his qualifications to set up an Art Studio in Baileys New street in Waterford City. When the studio closed he went on to work in Red Kettle Theatre as a technician, Chris then went on to work in Central Arts, curating works, setting up exhibits, organising the display and installation for the exhibitions and event managed the launch nights for numerous exhibitors.

In 2014 the news that the House of Waterford Crystal were recruiting apprentices broke. This was great news in the city, as these were the first apprenticeships to be offered in over 25 years. Chris’s Dad, even though retired from Waterford Crystal always kept an interest in what was happening, so on hearing this news thought of his son. He knew this job would be the perfect for his very talented artistic son. Chris applied along with many others for the position. The recruitment process was intensive, the men/women who applied for these positions needed to be committed to training for several years. Chris was both excited and nervous when he was told he was successful in his application. “There is something very prolific about walking in the steps of your forefathers,” Chris says.

Chris started his training in 2014, it must have felt strange to be surrounded by Master Cutters who had trained and worked with his dad and his grandad. Chris likened the experience to ‘arriving at a destination you didn’t know was included in the Itinerary but feeling very much like it was always part of your journey’. The training for our apprentices is very much ‘Sit by Nellie’ style training, where the apprentice watches the Master craftsmen at work and do as they do. Chris enjoys his training and mentoring with the team of Master Cutters, he is intrigued by all the different techniques used by the individual cutters. He loves that it is hands on training, the artist in him enjoys the attention to detail and the precision involved in creating each piece.

At the end of each year of training, our apprentice cutters are given a bowl to cut as an examination of the skills they have mastered, starting in year one with the Lismore (318), which is cut using one diamond wheel, each year the test piece becomes more difficult, incorporating more intricate designs requiring more wheel changes. The final year bowl is the apprentice bowl designed by Miroslav Havel, this bowl has ten-wheel changes and 600 individual cuts, a very difficult test for Chris and his fellow apprentices. On the day of the exam the apprentices were given three blank bowls to work on, two of the bowls were used to practice on and the third bowl becomes the exam piece, Chris was given 8 hours to complete the bowl, which he successfully cut earlier this year.

Apprentice Bowl

In October 2019, Chris our 3rd generation cutter will officially qualify as a craftsman here at the House of Waterford Crystal, a great achievement. Chris will go on to train for a further three years to become a Master Cutter, following in his dad and grandad’s footsteps, forming quite the Waterford Crystal dynasty of Master cutters.

Chris has also become the 'Face of Waterford Crystal' with his image promoting the guided factory tour on the Aircoach in Dublin, our adverts in publications like Aer Lingus Cara Magazine and also on our Waterford Crystal  brochure.

It’s a story with a curious beginning, carried forward by a mix of inspiration and logic to an entirely fitting conclusion.

Legend has it that in 1947 when Mr. Bill Dolfin was the Personnel Manager of Waterford, he decided that the company needed a distinctive label for its crystal. Discussions turned to the Waterford City Coat of Arms, which has two supports, a sea creature and a lion, and it was suggested the sea creature could be modified into an image to suit the label. After all, this heraldic creature symbolises Waterford’s maritime connections – in the Middle Ages Waterford was Ireland's largest port – and it was the potential for exporting that had attracted the founders of Waterford Crystal here in the first place.

There was some uncertainty as to exactly what kind of sea creature the heraldic creation was, but Bill Dolfin quickly declared it to be a dolphin. It was no secret, that, as he shared a similar sounding name to the said sea creature, he believed his association with Waterford Crystal would live on in posterity! While it was generally agreed that the sea creature bore little similarity to a dolphin, it was felt it did vaguely resemble a seahorse.

Mr. Havel, Waterford’s Chief Designer from the early 1940's, then proffered two very convincing reasons as to why the seahorse would be appropriate for the Waterford symbol. Firstly, that the curved shape of the seahorse would lend itself far more artistically to the type of label he had in mind to design. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, was the fact that the seahorse was a truly original and unique sea creature, given that the male seahorse was the carrier during reproduction, unlike any other sea life.

 

Because Waterford Crystal was also considered unique in its beauty, it was agreed that the designing of the original symbol would be based on the concept of a "Sea Creature" similar to a seahorse. The symbol was further developed over the years and in 1986, it was decided that, although now well known, the symbol needed refinement to conform to the more stringent design concept of the times. So, it was decided to define the seahorse shape that is seen today.

A curious tale, but one that highlights how creative processes can come to a final, elegant conclusion.

John Drohan always knew he would spend his life working with his hands, his father was a talented well renowned carpenter, who instilled great values in his family,. He always told them “All great craftsmen, have pride in what they do”. This resonated with young John and is something he has aspired to all his working life. John was born and raised in Dunhill in county Waterford and resides there to this day. He spent a lot of time in his youth accompanying his father as he worked, it gave John a great appreciation for fine craftsmanship. Johns eldest brother went on to follow in his father’s footsteps. In 1970’s Ireland trades were the way to go for many young men. John left Dunhill National School and travelled to the local technical school in Waterford City. A representative from Waterford Glass factory visited the technical school back in 1970, the boys were invited to apply for positions in the factory. John went to the Johnstown factory, where he successfully completed a cutting test and started working in the Kilbarry plant in June 1970.

 

Thirteen apprentice cutters to each bench, in the cutting shop, John was mentored by Jimmy Cusack, John says “You meet a few people in this life that have a profound effect on your life and Jimmy Cusack was one such person, an amazing mentor”, Jimmy taught John all the basic skills to become a craftsman. John qualified as a Rheintour (Flat) Cutter after five years of an apprenticeship and a further three years before he became a Master Cutter. John says the day he qualified as a flat cutter is one of the highlights of his time in Waterford Crystal.

The test piece for the flat cutters was a Royal Tara Decanter or a (606 as the craftsmen would say), the entire piece is a series of flat cuts, each cut, cut twice, first cut on a rough diamond wheel and then refined on a smooth diamond wheel individual 50 individual cuts and eight wheel changes. Johns name and the date was placed on his exam piece and presented to him on qualification, a piece that has pride of place in his home. John recalls with great sadness the day Waterford crystal closed in 2009 this sadness was replaced with great happiness when the factory reopened here on the Mall in 2010, he says “I felt honoured and privileged to become part of the revival of Waterford Crystal, it felt great to be back doing what I do best hand cutting crystal”.

 

John has always taken pride in his work, something his father instilled in him, capability and intent have brought him through the rest of his journey in Waterford Crystal. Some of the favourite pieces John has worked on down through the years are the spectacular trophies, the Irish Budweiser Derby, the Honda Classic, Shell Houston, the Pebble Beach and the Solheim Cup. John worked on these trophies and gets a great sense of achievement knowing that the trophies he works on here in the factory are treasured by people from the worlds of sport and entertainment.

In the countdown to the Millennium, Waterford Crystal launched the most successful champagne flutes to date, starting in 1995 a different themed pair of flutes was launched each year, bows for happiness, hearts for love, stars for health, wheat sheaf’s for prosperity and doves for peace. Each champagne flute stem was cut by the flat cutters, using the rough and smooth diamond wheels.

These flutes were limited edition pieces, the moulds were destroyed when they were completed. John remembers the excitement this collection created in the factory, he loved the tag line they were marketed with “Buy now or wait another 1,000 years!!” John like a lot of the workers, decided to purchase the full collection. Having this collection means a lot to John” The flutes are a permanent reminder of the pleasure of being involved in something that caused a real stir all over the world when they were launched, and to have been a part of the team that created these flutes was something very special”.

John also has a real fondness for the Royal Tara collection as this collection is entirely cut on the flat wheels, the flat cut would traditionally be seen as a complimentary cut to the more prominent wedge cut, so the Royal Tara breaks the rules a little with this beautiful series of flat cuts each incision done twice using rough and smooth wheels. This very precise work appeals to John’s passion for perfection in his work. John says he loves, “Making a very ordinary cut transform into an extraordinary piece”.

Even in planning his retirement John is measured and precise, on the 23rd of June this year, exactly 49 years to the day John started working in Waterford glass he will cut his final piece of crystal here in the House of Waterford Crystal. John has met and chatted to thousands of visitors to the factory the two that stand out for John were Mary Robinson (Former Irish President) and John Hume (Irish former politician from Derry, Northern Ireland who was co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize, with David Trimble).

On reflection on spending 49 years cutting crystal and meeting people from all walks of life, John says” I have loved it all, the time has just gone by so quickly, I will be sad to leave but I have had the privilege to work among great colleagues and made lifelong friends along the way, these were the people that really made a difference on my journey”.

World Gin Day is a global celebration of all things gin, on the second Saturday in June.

Gin’s popularity is continuing to grow, and what better way to enjoy the drink of the moment than in a glass from Waterford’s Gin Journeys collection.

   

Featuring six different crystal patterns, the collection is not only striking to look at and enjoyable to drink from, it is steeped in history with inspiration being drawn from County Waterford’s heritage in gin. Since the Victorian era, spices and botanicals have been transported along its roads and rivers to distilleries and the great houses throughout Ireland.

The crystalware itself has been designed using three Short Stories barware patterns. These include Olann, which boasts a dramatic diamond design inspired by the classic diamond stitch on Olann knitwear originating from the Aran Islands; Cluin, which showcases a masculine square-cut design reminiscent of the bookshelves in Dublin’s 18th Century Gothic Marsh’s Library and Aras, which draws inspiration from the architecture of ancient castles found on the rolling hills of the Irish landscape, with its dramatic yet classic vertical-cut design pattern.

In addition to this, the collection includes three more timeless designs including Waterford’s signature Lismore design, which is renowned for its brilliance and clarity; Elegance, which is the epitome of exactly that - ideal for entertaining and transforming any event into a special occasion, with its sleek lines and sophisticated pattern; and Elegance Optic, a smooth, crystal design that would be a welcome addition to any gin connoisseurs’ barware collection.

The Waterford Gin Journeys collection has something for everyone from dramatic designs to sleek, minimal pieces – offering a sophisticated way to enjoy and truly appreciate the flavour of the much-loved spirit.

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