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The story of Mullingar Pewter (Part1)

At Mullingar Pewter our skilled craftsmen produce a piece of Irish history in every piece. Today our products include tankards, drinking goblets, pewter cups, and watches with decoration including Celtic knots, Claddagh rings, and Celtic crosses. We cater for weddings, new home, baby gifts, birthdays for him, birthdays for her, and other beautiful Irish gifts. However it had to start somewhere and our director Peter Collins is here to tell you more!

'In 1974 Mullingar Pewter was established. The Collins family began to make pewter, reviving a lost craft in Ireland. We decided that we should venture the cast pewter production route and so we invested in a furnace, a lathe, polishing machine soldering equipment and the different tools we needed to shape and design the many pewter pieces we still make today. The Collins family worked in Germany for a few years in a pewter factory,  and we knew how to make pewter, we just needed to put the pieces together and gather the necessary tools.

The search for a premises which would soon become home to skilled pewter craftsmen in Ireland began. When we secured a premises to work from, our business commenced pewter production. An old grain store,  in the garrison town of Mullingar, in the heart of Ireland, was to be for us the beginning of a new way of life for our family. My father and I began to build the company from nothing but a bank loan, and so the company, Mullingar Pewter, was established.

We built all the work benches needed and set about installing gas, water and electric. We were lucky that the guys involved in the early days were tradesmen, like plumbers, carpenters and an electric engineer. The first task in reviving the ancient traditional craft of pewter making was to make the necessary steel molds that would be needed to cast each item.

It was decided to use local designs, designs representing the local area. Ireland is dotted with icon images such high crosses, monastic settlements and ancient manuscript, beautiful Irish landscapes and so it was a matter of selecting the most transferable designs to items of pewter such as Pewter goblets, tankards, Irish ornaments, watches and so much more. 

The Bealin Cross is a High Cross that is not to far from Mullingar Ireland. It was once in Clonmacnoise, Co. Offaly, Ireland, but was moved to its present site in the 10th century. The cross provided us with the first designs for our beakers, tankards and shot measures. We added the designs to the whiskey measures first and then added them to our Pewter beer beakers and steins. The design fitted in very well with the top and bottom band of the beakers turned to a lovely soft silver finish while the decorated area was polished to a darker silver finish. Hence we had our first items and designs from our local area. We could now begin to produce our first products. We still make the same whiskey measures, cast with the same pewter metal mix and to this day they still make great men's gifts  suitable for best man, groomsman, birthday 21st, 18th, fathers day, new house gifts and so much more, a gift for a lifetime.

However, it is here that we rest for a while. Our story will continue as the Blog progresses and I hope that is becomes something that is worthwhile to follow.

Many thanks,  Peter!

 

 

  • Apr 09, 2021
  • Category: Our Blog
  • Comments: 0
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