Guest Author - Mary Ellen Sweeney
Clare Walsh Puts the "W" in Waterford with her own clever vision of Ireland's own signature crystal.
Clare has an appreciation for beauty and fine craftsmanship that can be traced to the very roots of her family tree. Her mother Brigid was one of the first female employees of the Dungarven Waterford facility, and her father, Jim Walsh, has worked at Waterford for 30 years. In 1994, Clare followed in her parents’ footsteps by joining the Waterford family, making her a true Waterford legacy in her own right.
After attending the prestigious Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork, Clare joined the Waterford design team in 1999, starting as a sculptor, and then branching out into other areas of design work. Her exceptional skills have proven indispensable in her role as a designer for the Waterford Holiday Heirlooms collections.
Clare’s creative contributions form a considerable body of artistic achievement. Her very first design was the Waterford Crystal Contemporary Nativity set. She has since designed many ornaments in the Waterford Holiday Heirlooms Collections, as well as annual ornaments for Waterford Crystal Christmas and the Noah’s Ark Series in the Marquis Christmas Collection.
As Waterford Holiday Heirlooms spokesperson, currently posted at the New Jersey facility, Clare appears at select holiday gift stores across the U.S. to speak with collectors and sign their Holiday Heirlooms purchases.
Personally, I find Clare’s work to be cutting edge, part of the new, contemporary face of Waterford. While we all know the intricately cut Waterford crystal designs that have seen the inside of Grandma’s best cupboard, then Mam’s, and that some day---though not too soon---will sit in our own best cabinet to be brought out for the most special occasions, Clare’s work is light years ahead of anything else in the crystal department anywhere. No one else will ever match it, that classic Waterford look, and the same is true of Clare’s 21st Century Waterford designs, including the “W” Collection. There’s no doubt you’re looking at Waterford: the quality, the beauty, the unique presence, they’re all there...but Clare’s work is representative of the modern Irish woman, very much so. It’s sleek, alert, and absolutely fabulous; full of light. There won’t be a doubt in your mind that it’s Waterford, and there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that these enchanting pieces of crystal art will be stars in your home, representative of their Irish heritage and the dawning of the new Irish identity.
Another of Clare's accomplishments includes The Celtic Spiral Knot Accent Plate Collection, a private series made exclusively for members of "The Waterford Society," each plate is indelibly marked with the word "Waterford" and the Waterford Society backstamp and year of issue. Please inquire about "The Waterford Society" when you visit Cashs of Ireland, Waterford's mail order presence and supporter of Irish Culture at BellaOnline.