Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Michael Quirke: Woodcarver

Samhain with Michael and Eithne Quirke

Michael Quirke is well known in Sligo Town and by people all around
the world, and many come to Sligo just to visit and chat with Michael.
We were honoured to share Samhain with not only Michael but his equally
inspiring and encouraging wife Eithne.

They arrived with Brighid cross walking sticks, one of rowan and one
of hazel, passed along our driveway of candles, and as they parked their
crosses into the soil each side of our cottage door the local church struck
the bells at seven.

It was a wonderful evening of chilli based dinner with mulled wine around
a turf fire and shared stories between Michael, Eithne, Claire Roche, her
friend Patricia and myself.

History

Michael arrived in Co. Sligo from Mallow in Co. Cork as a boy with his
family. He became a butcher in his father's business in 1957 in the same
premises that is now his wood carving workshop.

It was In 1970 that Michael started to carve wooden figures in his butchers
shop while still preparing and selling meat.

It was 1988 when Michael dropped the butcher's side of his business
to become a full time woodcarver. Today, his workshop store still has the
white tiles and certain looks of the original butcher's shop.

For awhile Eithne became a local guide to ancient sites in Co. Sligo
and together they set off on various USA tours sharing their stories. Today,
the Quirkes travel little, but many travel far to meet them and to admire,
and collect, Michael's intricate and meaningful work.

Is Michael's Work Available?

Though Michael is a teller of many stories he has never put them to
paper and print and that's by his choice. I do have a series of audio and
video and may, with his permission and arrangement, make these available.

Meanwhile, when you are in Ireland do schedule some time up in the North
East here, not only to adventure on one of my day tours but to spend some
time with Michael in his Sligo shop and maybe take home a carving



Michael Quirke at work in his workshop store.
Wine Street, Sligo.
Open 10:30 am - 1:00 pm,  3:00 pm - 5:00 pm , Tues - Sat





This is mine, one of Michael's Brighids with trinities on breast and womb and all kinds of intricate hidden symbolism all round.  Visit Michael to choose your treasure for your sanctuary




An excellent step-by-step guide to drawing a wide variety of Celtic designs for all media. Celtic patterns, knots, spirals, animals, beasts, and Celtic lettering you could use on wood, glass, paper, metal, ceramics and more. There's lots of legend and story background for many of the designs.

You can read more about, and order,
Draw Your Own Celtic Designs
from these links ...
USA  Canada  UK/Ireland


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