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     Wood films available for order:

Carriage Building - No. 10

One of the last surviving carriage works in Ireland is Breen’s in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford who make traps, gigs and landaus in the traditional manner. The documentary covers five trades: the wood-turner and bodybuilder, the wheelwright, the blacksmith, who makes the metal undercarriages and bands the wheels, the painter, Colm Breen, who skillfully lines the wheels and applies further decoration, and finally the upholsterer who completes the interiors. All these skills are featured in the film, ending with a carriage driving event at Powerscourt Demense in Co. Wicklow.     Made in 1978.

Commentary- Seamus Ó Cathaín; Music- Terry Odlum;     Running time - 26 minutes

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Cavan Cabinetmakers - No. 11

The Robinson brothers, Tom-Joe, Charles and Michael from Milltown, Co. Cavan demonstrate superb craftsmanship in making a dining room furniture set in the 18th century Regency style. Using a lathe, Michael turns the backs of the chairs from a single piece of wood. Charles designs and cuts the exquisite inlay work using a marquetry swing saw operated by a foot treadle that he built from a design in a Victorian book. The final touch is the polishing of the furniture using wax supplied by the brothers’ bees.     Made in 1980.

Commentary- Benedict Kiely. Music- Jolyon Jackson, Paddy Glacken & Matt Molloy;     Running time - 26 minutes

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Cavan Cooper - No. 12

This film documents the once numerous craft of coopering, a craft which has been in steady decline with the advent of changing demands and materials. A highly skilled craftsman, Ned Gavin has been working as a Cooper in Ballinagh, Co. Cavan since the age of fourteen, when he was apprenticed to the local Cooper. He made his first churn when he was just seventeen. We see him making a one-cow dash churn, Noggins for drinking out of, Piggins for holding milk, and stave-built churns and barrels, while being watched by his grandsons.     Made in 1981.

Commentary- Ray Mc Anally; Music- Jolyon Jackson;     Running time - 26 minutes

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Chair Maker John Surlis - No. 13

John Surlis's skill as a chairmaker is inherited from his grandfather, a native of Co. Leitrim. Based in the little village of Monasteraden, Co. Sligo, we watch John making a traditional ash wood Leitrim Chair in the slab and stick method. He uses the 'beetle' or cleaver to split the rungs and legs, and shapes them using a drawknife sitting astride his Cooper’s Mare. As a versatile craftsman, John also makes traditional donkey straddles & Sugáns, or twisted straw ropes.     Made in 1980.

Commentary- Benedict Kiely; Music- Jolyon Jackson; Paddy Glacken & Matt Molloy;     Running time - 26 minutes

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Dublin’s Viking Longship - No. 14

For the celebration marking Dublin’s millennium (1,000 years) the communities of The East Wall and Ringsend built a replica of a Viking longship, The Dyflyn. The film follows the shipwrights as they travel to the Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway to study original boats. We follow the construction of the vessel in detail from the felling of ancient oaks in Co. Laois to it’s assembly. The ship is finally hauled into the open by teams of men, and the figurehead, mast and rigging mounted; followed by the launch of the vessel, and it’s inaugural voyage northward up the Irish Sea in the wake of the ancient Viking raiders.     Made in 1988.

Commentary- Éamonn Mac Thomáis; Music- Mary Mc Auliffe;     Running time - 1 hour

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Harp Making - No. 15

The Forgotten Sound. The sweet resonance of the Irish wire-strung, low-headed Harp – Ireland's national symbol, had not been heard for centuries. This film tells the story of Peter Kilroy from Kenmare, Co. Kerry, who decided to construct one based on the Brian Boru harp in Trinity College, Dublin. We watch him making the body from willow, and the back sounding board from 20,000 year old Bog Pine. The harmonic curve is carved, the pieces assembled, the brass tuning pegs adjusted and the instruments strung. We hear again that ancient, magical sound.     Made in 1989.

Commentary- Michéal Ó Súilleabháin; Music played on the 29 string low-headed harp by Paul Dooley & Corry Kilroy;     Running time - 26 minutes

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Hurl Making - No. 16

The ancient ball and stick game of Hurling has been played in Ireland for centuries. The water-powered sawmill on the river Nore, near Kilkenny is used for the initial sawing of the ash wood planks. John Surlis, master craftsman, still does the job entirely by hand. Famed hurl-maker, Raymie Dowling - now living in Kilkenny, skillfully shapes the hurl using a band saw, and hand finishes it. His craftsmanship makes it to the All Ireland hurling final at Croke Park in Dublin. Liam Dargan makes the traditional sliothar or leather ball.     Made in 1983.

Commentary- Diarmuid Ó Muirithe; Music- Vincent Kilduff;     Running time - 26 minutes

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Irish Spinningwheel making - No. 17

James Shiel and his son Charlie, from Carndonagh, Co. Donegal, are 2nd and 3rd generation spinning wheel makers. They are the last individuals to commercially make the Dutch or low spinning wheel in Ireland, first introduced from Holland in the 1630’s for spinning flax, and later used for wool spinning. This film shows the making of a traditional spinning wheel, the types of timber used, and the woodturning techniques employed. We visit Mrs. Mary Towe, one of the last traditional hand-spinners who has spun wool for her family’s needs all her life. Her treadle-wheel has been handed down through five generations and is at least 270 years old.     Made in 1991.

Commentary- Ben Kiely; Music- John Murphy;     Running time - 26 minutes

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Shannon One Design - No. 18

At Mount Plunket near Lough Ree, Co. Roscommon, surrounded by beautiful countryside, Jimmy Furey, a former eel fisherman, builds a sailing boat based on a traditional 18ft River Shannon angling boat. He lives in a rural idyll, with his dogs and collection of old Volkswagen cars. The documentary covers the process of constructing the boat, including the selection of timber, steam bending, and laying the strakes, and concludes with its launch and sailing in the annual Lough Ree regatta.     Made in 1988.

Commentary- Ben Kiely; Music- Maurice Roycroft;     Running time - 26 minutes

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