19 Rose Inn Street
Factory Shop in Callan:
T: +353 56 7725132
See our website for online shopping, shipping and
more about the history of Irish Glass:
Founded in 1969 by Patrick Clancy Kilkenny Crystal is Ireland’s oldest Family-owned Crystal Studio Workshop. Our use of traditional techniques means that our crystal is likened to antique quality. Each piece is deeply cut by hand and then polished with care to retain a fine finish. We create many original designs and unusual pieces and due to the limited number of pieces produced each year many items become valuable collectors items.
Kilkenny Crystal is the oldest family-owned & run crystal workshop in Ireland
Kilkenny Crystal was Ireland's pioneer in handcrafting lead crystal glassware from a small studio workshop. Nowhere in Ireland is there a similar workshop of comparable expertise & variety of skills. In the late sixties Patrick Clancy, a native of Callan Co. Kilkenny, with his keen interest in crafts, started to look at crystal with a view to starting his own glass workshop. During 1969 he met Hans Gross, a German-born mastercutter. Hans had vast experience in the crystal industry, and had worked in Germany, Sweden, England, before coming to Ireland. Patrick was building a new home, and decided to use the large garage for Kilkenny Crystal's humble beginnings. As a result new equipment was purchased and the workshop started to take shape. Hans then started to train our first apprentice, Tommy Roche. Later Bridget, a sister of Tommy, joined the firm and also worked in the production area.
During our early years every piece was hand-polished, as was all cut glass or crystal prior to 1920. Hand-polishing involves following the cuts with a cork or wooden wheel with damp pumice powder as an abrasive. The pumice left a polished but dull finish to the cuts, and so a brush or horsehair wheel with a specific yellow powder was used to achieve the desired sparkling finish. Because hand-polishing became rare once chemicals to polish were developed in 1920 our early hand-polished pieces are today collector's items. Kilkenny is the only crystal company in Ireland to have hand-polished its production & have experience in this area.
Polishing completely by hand is so very slow that we were obliged to move to the chemical polishing process in 1977, but to this day we still incorporate the hand polishing process in our production. In the early 1970s a book on Irish Glass devoted a full chapter to Kilkenny Crystal, its history and products, as our designs were very different from all the other crystal available in Ireland at that time. A son & daughter of Patrick later joined the firm, Richard in 1985, who manages the production at our workshops in Callan, and Mary in 1994, who manages the retail end of the business. Just 8 years after the first pieces were produced we moved to a larger building adjacent to the original workshop.
In addition to our Factory Shop in Callan we also opened an outlet in 1987 at 19 Rose Inn Street, in the heart of Kilkenny City.
Today the crystal is still cut by hand, using the traditional methods, and to the same high standards set in the early years.