Rainy Days in Belleek

During January and February, when the days are really cold and often wet, Belleek Village quietens down a little. This gives us a welcome opportunity to catch our breath and start getting prepared for the year ahead. In early January we did most of our buying for the year – I love that part of the job so much! By 1st February couriers begin to arrive with boxes of goods and sometimes it feels like Christmas has been extended.

Upstairs at Gilmartin’s Craft Shop provides endless opportunities for product photos.

emeral Gold Claddagh ring photographed in window overlooking Belleek Pottery and River Erne

The window which overlooks the back of Belleek Pottery throws in a lot of light in the morning so this is the best time to capture the sparkle on fine jewellery.

14ct gold emerald claddagh ring

With a white background, the light from the window does justice to one of my favourite pieces of jewellery in the shop.

Irish Road Sign Boa Island

The ancient staircase makes an ideal background for our Irish Road Signs

I even make use of the white bath (not for relaxing in) for photographing our cute cottages and Michelle Duffy’s art.

painting of 2 fishermen in a boat on Lough Melvin - print by Michelle Duffly

Michelle’s print of two fishermen on Lough Melvin is new this year.

Irish Thatched cottage Ornament with Green Door

The antique fireplace is the pièce de résistance for product photos though.

Antique Fireplace with turf fire at Gilmartin's Craft Shop, Belleek, Fermanagh, Ireland

We sometimes light the fire in very cold weather. When I say we, I really mean my dad, Kevin (AKA the boss) lights the fire and I enjoy the glow and the warmth.

This fireplace belonged to the original Belleek Courthouse building and is over 100 years old. The judge warmed his toes before this fire when handing down sentences for smuggling and petty larceny.

Galway Crystal Tumblers filled with Irish Whiskey in front of open fire

Sometimes I dream that I could move my office in here and have the fire lit each morning. But then I remember that this is not Downton Abbey and I am not Lady Grantham and I spend most of my time downstairs in the shop anyway.

kevin enjoying an Irish Whiskey at the antique fireplace upstairs at Gilmartin's Craft Shop

It has to be said that Kevin loves to hear the words “turf fire” and “photo shoot”. It’s a great excuse for a cheeky wee nip. And it makes up for always having to be the one to light (and clean out) the fire.

Galway Crystal Brandy Glassed filled with cognac in front of open fire

We’re not always (ahem) to be found drinking on the job. I promise!

The sound of the fire crackling is so nice when the Fermanagh weather turns chilly and getting to enjoy it at work is a bonus.

New products are arriving all the time and it is important we get them on to the website and shop displays asap. Otherwise they just end up in the stock room feeling left out. Many of our products are hand made by artisans, so we don’t always have the luxury of stock photos. I enjoy the challenge of product photography, so the trade off is well worth it to have quirky products like Nick Alma’s slate mirrors.

Group of Irish made Slate mirrors by Nick Alma

Nick dropped in to deliver his slate mirrors and holy water fonts just as I was finishing this blog post. They will go into the bath tomorrow for a wee photography session (no water involved). The white bath, tiles and ceiling prevent reflections which distract from the product.

Until next time,

Lots of love

Pauline x


2 thoughts on “Rainy Days in Belleek

  1. Brian Ellis

    A very nice read Pauline and you are handy with the camera too. Looking forward to more and get your father to share some of his stories without the names if they are still living.

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