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For centuries the Irish have been supreme artists in glass. It is one of the great traditions in the realm of art, a tradition founded on patient and meticulous hand craftsmanship.
Skill of Irish Craftsmen
The skill of Irish hands is only part of the story - there is also an uncanny power in those hands to impart something magical to glass. And in all of Ireland, no hands have been more patient, more meticulous, or more blessed with the elusive powers of art than the hands of Waterford crystal's craftsmen.
When the brothers George and William Penrose founded the Waterford Crystal House in 1783, they made a bold promise - to make Waterford crystal in "as fine a quality as any in Europe in the most elegant style."
It was no idle boast. They had in hand the old secrets of mingling minerals and glass to create Waterford crystal of beautiful and mysterious qualities. It sang sweetly at the tap of a finger. It felt soft and warm to the touch yet possessed strength and durability known only to Waterford crystal. And it radiated a distinctive, silvery white brilliance, which Waterford Crystal's artists enhanced with deeply - cut ornamentation that gave the finished pieces a vivacious, traditional Waterford crystal sparkle.
This great tradition lay dormant for a hundred years. But when Irish independence rekindled a passion for Irish arts in the 1940s and 1950s, a group of businessmen resolved to bring back to life the industry that had made the city of Waterford famous. They recruited a small band of hand - picked artists, and under the guidance of these masters, young apprentices learned the intricacies of the art of crysta l. In a few short years Waterford Crystal reclaimed its pride of place. Once more, it is the customary gift for royalty and heads of state. Patience, skill, and artistry had wrought a triumph at Waterford crystal.
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