Wexford Local Development has been to the forefront of supporting the local artisan crafts sector for many years. We recognise that a vibrant and active crafts sector showcases the strengths of a county, adds to its attractiveness as a tourism destination and helps to create sustainable employment in rural areas.
Over the past number of years we have supported many local crafts enterprises under the LEADER Rural Development programme. We have provided training and grant aid to numerous new and expanding crafts businesses and we also initiated the formation of the Wexford Crafts Trail.
One of the many innovative craft enterprises we have supported is “The Forge”, a crafts design, manufacturing and display centre located in Baldwinstown, close to Kilmore Quay. The Forge is owned and operated by a well known Wexford craftsperson Padraic Parle. Padraic is the 5th generation of his family to work in the Forge . Once a real working forge, dating back to the 1700s, the premises itself is worth a visit.
Wexford Local Development supported Padraic to redesign the Forge and turn it into a bright and welcoming crafts workshop and display area. The redesigned Forge is both a modern facility welcoming visitors and at the same time respectful of its old tradition as a workplace for generations of skilled artisans. As well as the crafts workshop and separate retail display area, the Forge has a bright courtyard area – perfect for taking a break with a coffee and icecream on a Sunny Wexford day!
The Forge is a treasure trove of local crafts. It showcases a wide range of traditional and contemporary works produced by talented craft-makers from all over the South East. These handmade pieces include pieces from artists working in pottery, glass, textile, wood, metals, natural waxes and much more. Over the past few months the redesigned Forge has welcomed visitors and crafts enthusiasts from all over the world. Visitors have marvelled at the range of unique crafts on display. Information about the Forge is available at its website www.theforgewexford.ie
To celebrate the new look Forge, Padraic Parle will be hosting an Open Day next Saturday (May 30th). The official ribbon cutting will take place at 1pm. There will be lots of demonstrations, prizes and special offers throughout the day. This will be a wonderful opportunity for locals and for visitors travelling to Wexford for the Bank Holiday weekend to visit this artisan crafts business and to sample some of the wide range of crafts produced by small producers in the South East.
Wexford Local Development is proud to support innovative crafts businesses like the Forge under the LEADER programme. We wish Padraic Parle and his family all the best for the Open Day and for many more years of successfully promoting local crafts in the Forge.