Crannmor Pottery Blog

July 22, 2015

The Beast of Ballyhoura

Filed under: Crannmor Pottery News — by crannmorpottery @ 10:34 AM
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Its that time of the year again and this year The Beast is hosting the finals of the Adventure Racing European Series. With just over 50 teams taking part it will be a milestone on the calendar for most taking part over the three non stop days of racing.

The Beast of Ballyhoura

The Beast of Ballyhoura

I was introduced to this race in 2010 and ignorance is bliss. I met my team just a week before the race and was told yes you will be fine for 24 hours of adventure racing.( they were desperate women in adventure racing are scarce!!!) I did however thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we finished a respectable 4th.

dave weston and myself

dave weston and myself

Thankfully I have retired from this race but will wish all well and my contribution instead is tankards for the winning Irish team.

Beast Tankards

Beast Tankards

The competition will be hot with top teams travelling from all over Europe and our top Irish teams will have a battle to stay with them.



Best of Luck to all men and women taking part and you can keep an eye on how all teams are performing on The Beast website


April 27, 2015

Ashford Castle

Filed under: Crannmor Pottery News — by crannmorpottery @ 3:26 PM
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Mrs Teas

Last week I took a trip up to Mayo to Ashford Castle. It is under new ownership and a lot of revamping has happened and is still ongoing. I was asked to supply their new boutique outlet with my work so Crannmór Pottery is now available in Mrs Tea’s Boutique and Bakery both my willow and silk ranges are stocked.

Willow             Silk

Ashford Castle is just outside the picturesque village of Cong and I took a stroll through Cong Abbey and to the Monks fishing house.

Cong Abbey                                    Monks fishing House

It is such a pretty spot at any time of the year and I enjoyed a wonderfully tastey bowl of tomatoe and bean soup drizzled with wild garlic pesto in The Hungry Monk. Well worth a visit

Tomatoe Soup

March 18, 2015

Philippines Part 3

Filed under: Travel — by crannmorpottery @ 9:45 PM
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Go Ferry

The Super Fast Ferry took us from Coron to Manila and as usual was late but it did deliver us into Manila port early the next day so slept for most of the trip and a smooth crossing compared to earlier trips. So we are back in Manila but not for long, we cycle to our bus depot and get a bus to Baguio which is a university town and a gateway to Northern Luzon. Yes we cheated and took a bus but we are heading into the mountains and what took 7 hrs on a bus would have taken us 2 hard slog days of climbing.


Bus and Bikes

We just had an evening in Baguio and we really liked it. There is a very youthful population due to the university and it gives the town a vibrant and funky vibe with lots of types eateries and trendy shops. The market is huge and it has everything. If you have time I would recommend a couple of days here.

Baguio Market

So back on a bus again we are still climbing and this was a 6 hr trip that took us to Sagada. A small town with almost a village feel to it and cool temperatures as we are now in the mountains. Sagada is a bit of a tourist spot but not too congested with them. We did two nights here and enjoyed exploring locally and seeing the beginnings of terrace rice fields and more unusual sites of hanging coffins. There was also a few nice eateries that pandered to the tourist but there was also the Happy Restaurant which is more local cuisine and very reasonable (cheap).




After some chill time in Sagada we got back on the bikes and 18km to Bontoc and thankfully downhill for most of that trip. We had breakfast in Bontoc and then payed a visit to the museum which is recommended. It has a great display of artifacts and information. Back on the bikes and this time it was a steady climb for 14km and then downhill to Banaue. This town was a bit disappointing it is a bit of a tourist rip off but a necessity to get to Batad. One little gem is Dreamers Bakery with does lovely savory and sweet pastries.

Bontoc Museum



After a good nights sleep and a fill of bakery goodies we took the road to Batad. It is only 16km but boy is it steep. It was a good work out and the final 2km was a hike. We locked our bikes to a tree and hit the trail and WOW the rice terraces of Batad are really quite amazing and a must to anyone visiting the Philippines. There has been restorative work over the last 10 years and they are an incredible feat of engineering. we had a room with an amazing view and spent the day walking among the terraces.




Our next day was spent getting out of Banaue and taking a few jeepenys  to San Jose and then convincing bus drivers to take our bikes. Eventually we got Dagupan that evening at 7.45pm and a quick search for a hotel and then on the bikes the next morning to hit the coast road and take a few days to get back to Manila. The beaches on the west coast are not quite as picturesque as Palawan but it was beach and swim time for the last few days. We did come across a lot of retired men and their Filipino wives holidaying along this stretch of coast.

The Coast



Another little bonus of our trip was to stumble across the Tour of The Philippines cycle race. A stage was finishing in a town we rocked up to Iba so we found a hotel and cheered them across the finish line and got chatting to some of the cyclist including a guy from Limerick who is cycling for an American team back by a pharmaceutical company.

Tour de Philipinnes

Tour de Philipines

And so back to the start and a chance to take in some of the sites during daylight. Maumtrase is well worth a visit. An old walled area of the city with a strong Spanish feel to it. We also went to the history museum for our last blast of culture.


It has been a good trip and pretty much hassle free. Filipino people are very friendly and we found it very easy to get around. However for me I missed colour. With no temples and the Buddhist culture being very small I felt it lacked and Asian feel.

February 16, 2015

Philippines Part 2

Filed under: Travel — by crannmorpottery @ 8:55 PM
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Stuck at sea

Stuck at sea

We eventually got to Peurto Princessa after spending 3 days on a ferry. It was supposed to be  a 26hr ferry trip but we encountered some bad weather and it was a bit scary when the waves were coming up to deck level so we had to shelter for a full day.

Sleeping quarters dorm style

Sleeping quarters dorm style

Jacks Shack

Jacks Shack

Palawan was a lot quieter with less traffic on the roads but food stops were a little less frequent. We stopped only after 75km as the road was heading inland and I was in need of a swim and sun soaking. We stopped at a little shack on the side of the road which served beer. It was Jack’s shack and American who had made it his home so at just after midday we had beers.

Sunrise on the East coast of Palawan

Sunrise on the East coast of Palawan

We pushed on and headed for San Vincente the next day and instead of taking the more the more traveled road we took what we thought would be a short cut but it had its price steep and dirt track. When we did get to the beach Paul had a mechanical with his derailer (again) but a very helpful local fixed it with him.

Helpful bike fixer

Helpful bike fixer

Il Nido was our final destination on Palawan and it was another touristy spot but we found a nice place to stay and were booked in for two nights to do some island hopping the next day. We took a trip to lagoons and two islands and shared the trip with 10 other people. We were not alone however there were about 20 more boats behind us but we were fortunate our guide was to the sites first so we were ahead of the masses for most of the day.


Lagoons near Il Nido

Lagoons near Il Nido

One major downside to Il Nido is that there is no ATM so we were getting a bit strapped for cash and had to dine using the credit card and they charge an extra 10% on top as well. However because of our dilemma we had one of the most amazing meals at Sea Slugs. We had a fish soup which had plenty of meaty fish and garlic buttered crab washed down with a few beers and G&T’s and that feast came to €20 for the two of us.

Feast of fish

Feast of fish

And now back onto another boat to make our way to Coron and then onto Manila.

January 14, 2015


Filed under: Travel — by crannmorpottery @ 12:15 PM
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Suburbs of Manila

Suburbs of Manila

It’s that time again when we have taken off to Asian shores and this time it is The Philippines. We landed in Manila last week and didn’t stay too long in this congested city and made our way south to get to beach life.

Largest Catholic Church in the world.

Largest Catholic Church in the world.

There have been a few surprises firstly didn’t realize this was a very Catholic country with 95% of the population Christian and with the Pope arriving tomorrow it is all excitement.

Giant Pope

Giant Pope

No we won’t get to see him. There is also a huge American influence here with fast food joints everywhere and basketball seems to be the national sport as well as badminton and chess is big too. The other thing that is lacking here compared to other Asian countries is colour and that is because of the major lack of temples but instead music can be heard from the smallest house and karaoke is pretty big.

Ati Atihan Festival

                            Ati Atihan Festival                                                                                              

Dance for the judges

Dance for the judges








Today we stumbled on a the Philippines equivalent of Mardi Gras. It is the Ati Atihan Festival and it takes place in Kalibo which we have stopped off in today and yes we have seen colour, music and dance.

Motorbike and side car

Motorbike and side car

As we go further south the traffic is a little less and thankfully they are not too crazy on the roads. They have some unique modes of transport. The people are very friendly but not too curious of us. The most common question is ‘ where are you going’. Thankfully we have only had one very nasty shower and a bit of overcast which suits us on bike days.

Jeepeny Notice the name!!

Jeepeny Notice the name!!

We visited Borocay which is a small island but is a major tourist destination. It was good to experience but a bit over commercialized for our liking. So we are on our way to Puerto Princessa which promises white sandy beaches and not too many tourists. Ha!

Tourist on the beach at Borocay

Tourist on the beach at Borocay

December 10, 2014

Christmas Pottery Gifts

Filed under: Crannmor Pottery News — by crannmorpottery @ 9:39 PM
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The Christmas shopping has kicked off for most of us. I have been busy making to meet the last minute orders and have plenty of stock for this weekend at Killruddery Christmas Market.


Its all about shopping local and supporting the small producers. I will be doing some of my Christmas shopping this weekend. Hope to see some of you there too.


September 23, 2014

Sunny September

Filed under: Crannmor Pottery News,Fitness — by crannmorpottery @ 7:28 PM
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The tan got topped up this weekend in the Mourne Mountains. I took part in the Mourne Mountain Marathon which is teams of two navigating there way up,over and around the Mournes. Myself and Martina O’Kearney Flynn teamed up to do category C. We had 12 controls to find on both days and minimum distance of 35km. We probably did a bit more than that. We were out for 6 hours on the Saturday but got to the camp site at a respectable hour to pitch tent and then begin a food fest. We were incredibly lucky with the weather with blue skies and a clear night. The Sunday was even warmer and thankfully the route a little shorter so back to the the finish in under 4 hrs. We had a great weekend and no major nav errors and finished 33rd out of 72 teams. Not bad for a couple of veteran chics.


On the potting front morning classes are into their second week and some good results coming already. A nice small group of four ladies and watch out for the creations in future posts.



Also more decals on tankards for prizes for The Gravity Enduro Series . They went down well.


September 2, 2014

Pottery classes in Glenmalure Co. Wicklow

Filed under: Crannmor Pottery News,Pottery Classes — by crannmorpottery @ 9:31 AM
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The kids have gone back to school and you are scanning the local papers to see what you would like to do now you have some time for yourself.

night classes 010

Clay is a wonderful medium to work with and no previous skill is needed anyone can produce a pot from a simple pinch pot to a more elaborate coil pot or an easily formed slab pot. These are the techniques that I show folk and then let their imagination do the rest. You will also have an opportunity to try the wheel and create a pot at speed.

Night class 006


Night class 003

The classes will start Tuesday 16th September and there is a morning class from 10am-12pm and an evening class from 7.30pm-9.30pm. The classes will run for 6 weeks and includes making and glazing pots. The cost of a class is €40 or pay for all six (€220)and get a reduction of €20. This includes all materials and firings.

Book soon as places are limited to 6 people per class. Call me Hilary 087 6254884

August 11, 2014

Centred at Farmleigh


Last Thursday I was at the opening of Centred a Ceramics Ireland run exhibition at Farmleigh Gallery

centred exhibition

Centred celebrates the breadth of contemporary Irish ceramics practice.

It features functional, decorative, sculptural, and installation-based works highlighting the diverse range of clay practice of Irish and Ireland-based makers.

centred ehhibition

Andrew Whitelaw

These are the 35 makers that are showing their work.

Adam Frew, Alex Scott, Alison Kay, Andrew Ludick, Andrew Whitelaw, Christy Keeney, Claire McLaughlin, Cormac Boydell, Deirdre McLoughlin, Derek Wilson, Eva Farkasova. Evelina Wojtowizc, Frances Lambe, Gemma Dardis, Grainne Watts, Ingrid Murphy, Isobel Egan, Jack Doherty, Jane McCormick, Jennifer Hickey, Katherine West, Kathleen Moroney, Kate Standen, Lucy Morrow, Mandy Parslow, Marcus O’Mahony, Michael Flynn, Neil Read, Nuala Creed, Nuala O’Donovan, owen Quinlain, Peter Fulop, Sara Flynn, Sinead Glynn, Tina Byrne.


They either work here in Ireland or Irish and working abroad. It is well worth a visit and if you would like to start collecting or adding to your collection of ceramics this is the perfect place to find a treasure.

Jack Doherty

Jack Doherty

I did. Finally treated myself to a Cormac Boydell piece.

Cormac Boydell

Cormac Boydell

June 25, 2014

Summer Begins

It has been a busy time for Crannmor Pottery after a very successful opening it was time to restock and produce prizes for more competitions. Ceramics Ireland also has it’s members show on in The National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin running until 20th July.

Sinead Glynn


This weekend is busy with two sporting events that I am supplying work for prizes. The first is Rogaine Ireland which starts on Saturday for those doing the 24 hour event and there is a 6 hour event on the Sunday. I am going to give the 6 hour one a go with my Mourne Mountain team mate Siobhain Duggan.

Rogaine Prizes

Also on the Sunday is The Escape From Ireland Swim which is a swim from Irelands Eye back to mainland Howth. I have previously done this swim and am sorry to miss it this year. The conditions look good for Sunday too.Escape From Ireland Swim


As I mentioned earlier it was all go last week to get the Ceramics Ireland Members Show mounted and ready for the opening. This year The Botanic gardens play host to the show and it really is an magnificent venue. Not only do you see a wonderful display of ceramics from 60 of our members you also get to walk around the beautiful gardens and it is all for FREE. So you might have a bit of cash to purchase one of the many affordable exhibits.

Ceramics Ireland ShowKeiran Whitelaw

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