Waterford....Vedrafjord - 'windy city'

Trip Start Mar 25, 2012
Trip End Apr 08, 2012

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Flag of Ireland  , County Waterford,
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

After Kilkenny, we stopped at the House of Waterford Crystal factory for a fascinating tour.  George and William Penrose set up the original factory in 1783.  Timber from surrounding forests fueled the huge furnaces producing molten crystal: 20 tons of wood fired 9 tons of glass melt.  In 1799 the Penroses sold the business to their clerk who worked closely with John Hill, the glass maker. 

We toured the factory starting with the initial drawings and viewing the various tools and molds.  We progressed through the tour by watching the various craftsmen working with the hot molten crystal, blowing the shape of the piece, checking for quality and flaws and finally watching more artisans etch each piece.

It takes 5 years for a craftsman to learn the steps of blowing and shaping the crystal and 3 years to learn the etching skills needed to create an object.

Finally, of course, we were ushered into the retail area with all things sparkling....and we do like sparkle!! But we resisted.

Later we took a walking tour of Waterford.  Waterford is Ireland's oldest city and was founded by the Vikings in the 9th century. It was taken over by the Anglo-Norman invaders of the 12th century.  Our local guide let us know, among many interesting historical facts, that Waterford is NOT named for the crystal factory!!  It's Norse name was Vedrafjord, meaning 'windy fjord.'

Tomorrow, we're off to kiss the Blarney Stone....well, some of us are.
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Erinne Aboytes on

The factory tour must have been amazing! What a fun trip you two are having! x

Linda West on

Beautiful...did you buy me a surprise???

Nancy Spann on

Love the videos. Beautiful city. Looks like you two are seeing so much. Where are your smiling faces??

Nancy Spann on

Wait...the surprise is for me ...right???

Sami on

Well you certainly are sharing your trip with those video. I feel like I'm learning right along with you.

sandyhart on

I'm surprised that none of the workmen are wearing glasses - - they are grinding glade with their nose (and eyes) just inches away from a spray of little glass "sawdust" bits.
Thanks for the little videos - - it's just like being there! So far you've hit places I didn't have a chance to visit on either of my trips, so it's especially interesting

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