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Nách mór ann!

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Faoi dheireadh thiar thall tá an obair Ealaíne á crochadh ar fallaí na scoile!
Magnificent work done today by Michael and his team!
Míle buíochas leis an meitheal oibre a tháinig i gcabhair orainn inniu; Jenny, Roseanne, Amy, Ben, John, Aileen, Mary-Anne, Kimberley,Shannon, Frances, Orla, Denis agus Amy….
Under Michael’s guidance we honed our skills and by the end of the morning we were qualified grouters…. We look forward to receiving our certificates in the post Michael!

Change of plan.

The firing on the tiles has slowed down. We are using the kilns in the sculpture factory in Cork, we’re finding that the heat in the kiln is not even so the tiles loaded at the top are over heating and the bottom tiles are so cool that the glaze hasn’t melted fully. Therefore we have had to put the last glazed firing in again. Today we will see how they are.

We have decided to give the first firing (bisque fire) to all the tiles in the sculpture factory. This makes them a lot stronger and the uneven heat is not such a problem. They will all be bisque fired by the end of next week. Then we will take them all to our studio in Co. Wicklow where we have a kiln. In Wicklow we will continue with the underglaze colouring and firing.When all the work is finished we will be coming back to Cork to install in the school during the last week in August. It will all be up and ready by the time schools opens on 29th August.

If there are any parents out there willing to help with grouting the tiles around the 23rd August we would love to have you. Please ring or text Liz 0868880602.



Glazing the St. Gobnait panel.

Today we have help glazing the panels. The artist Yanny Petters, one one Irelands top botanical artists, has come to help.

See her work on

She is very impressed by the quality of the children’s work.

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An chéad chéim eile leis na tíleanna

Nuair a tharraing na páistí pictiúir ar an gcré d’fhág siad poill agus línte ann. Anois tá Liz agus Fiona ag cur manganese dioxide ar an gcré a rithfidh isteach sna línte sin agus a fhágfaidh dath liath/dubh iontu. ( Manganese dioxide is a colourant that is being sponged on and will run into the lines that have been drawn into clay, to emphasise the lines in the lovely drawings.)

manganese dioxide

manganese dioxide

Agus seo samplaí de na dathanna a bheidh in úsáid
Colour samples for the clay.

Bain triail as!

Bhí an spórt ag gach éinne ag baint triail as an adharc chré-umha! Everyone got a chance to handle the bronze axe-heads, bellows, cuttlefish pieces and other artefacts that were on display. Seans gur chualadar fuaimeanna iontacha na h-adhairce trasna an ghleanna uainn i mBaile Nóra! And great fun was had trying to get a sound out of the beautiful replica of the Bronze-age horn that Fiona has made, with the trumpet, clarinet and flute players coming out on top!

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Ag dathú isteach!

Having had the initial firing in the oven, the first layer of paint is applied to the tiles.
The colour will be built up layer by layer like a watercolour picture.

The Patron Saint of Metal Workers

It is not a surprise that metal workers would be revered.Working with metal and fire where the solid becomes like a fluid sun would be magical.

When “a committee of the leading men of Ballyvourney” raised the funds in 1950 to commission a statue of St. Gobnait near the traditional site of her sixth-century convent, their work was interrupted after significant archaeological objects were discovered during the site preparation. The small circular early medieval enclosure called St. Gobnait’s House was found to sit upon the remains of some 137 forges, perhaps dating to as early as the first few centuries. Thus long before St. Gobnait’s time at Ballyvourney, the landscape would have been filled with the smoke and the din of an early industrial site where objects of iron and bronze were manufactured.

Gobnait and her convent continued the practice of working with metals.

Gobnait was the patron saint of iron and bronze workers. The pet name of Gobnait –Gobba come from Gabha which means smith.  Goibniu was the Celtic God of fire and metalwork. It could be that Gobnait got her name from this God .

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Lá seoigh ar chul an tí!

Chaitheamar an lá amuigh le Liz agus Fiona ar chul an tí. ag ullmhúThe ground was prepared with sand.
( Tá gaineamh ar an talamh chun an féar a chosaint )

an sorn
This is the furnace ( an sorn ) made by Fiona herself
out of clay, sand and horse-dung.

'tea-pot stand'
There is a chamber at the bottom of the furnace and this plate sits on top of that chamber. Téann an pláta seo isteach ag an bun agus tagann aer isteach tríd na poill chun an tine a choimeád ar siúl. The solid bronze is contained in a crucible (pota beag) placed in the middle of the furnace.
The pipe from the bellows takes oxygen into the chamber to feed the fire. Taréis a bheith ag tarraing pictiúir le gualach ag tús na míosa anois táimid á chur sa tine!
obair chrua
Chaith Fiona timpeall uair a chloig ag iarraidh teas na tine a dhéanamh ard go leor. The fire will be up to 1,300 degrees celsius to melt the bronze. Tógann sé roinnt ama chun an cré-umha a leá!
cré-umha leáite
Réidh le tógaint amach
pouring into the mould
Fiona uses a crucible made of graphite.
dath álainn oráiste
Bíonn dath láidir oráiste ar an gcré-umha nuair a tá sé leáite!
Molten bronze has a beautiful orange colour!

ag fuarú sa uisce
Isteach sa uisce le fuarú
cré á bhaint
agus baineann Liz an múnla cré
Liz chips off the clay mould
ceann tua á nochtadh!
Ceann tua á nochtadh!
The axe-head is revealed!

Ag múnlú cré-umha.

Beigh Fiona agus Liz ag múnlú cré-umha amárach ar chúl na scoile má bhíonn an aimsir go deas.

Boats on the River Lee. Casting the Boats

When looking at the Ordinance Survey maps of the Lee you will see a huge amount of evidence of early man along the river banks and surrounding area. Stone rows, fulacht fias, wedge tombs etc. The easiest way to travel in Ireland at the time was along the river.

Sixth class explored boats. We discussed how the first boats might have been discovered- maybe swimming with a log and then how man adapted the log by hollowing it out.

We looked at photographs of a dugout canoe found in a bog from 2200BC.

The sixth class have made 47 boats in wax, which we have cast in bronze. These bronze boats will represent early man’s inhabitation of the Lee valley.

Casting the Boats.

On Sunday we brought the boat moulds to sculptor; Holger Lonze’s studio in Schull. Holger uses a lot of bronze casting in his work and has all the facilities for melting and pouring Bronze.

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The bronze boats will now need the pouring cups removed and maybe a finishing touch with a file and sandpaper.

Holger also cast two bells of his while we were there. To see more of his work

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Jessie, in Rang 6 made a robin. The Spideog is the school emblem.