Belleek Pottery


Belleek, Northern Ireland, is a pretty, welcoming town near the Irish border. It has a wide main street, and in the September we visited its lampposts were hung with flowering baskets.

We stopped at Belleek Pottery, Ltd. (Belleek, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland; phone +44 [0] 28 6865 9300 or visit www.belleek.ie), for a guided factory tour. The factory was established in 1857 because of the quality and quantity of the local clay.

The name Belleek is applied only to first-quality parian china. Each piece is 100% handmade, and any item that is not perfect is destroyed. The artisans take years to acquire skills which have been passed down from generation to generation.

We watched a young woman painstakingly shape petals and leaves to create delicate flowers. We saw an artist paint intricate designs on a finely turned vase.

Following our tour we sipped tea from delicate china cups, then visited the company showroom with its wide selection of products that can be shipped home.

ALICE BLUE
East Troy, WI